Book of Rhapsodies on iTunes
6th June 2014
Book of Rhapsodies received a great review from iTunes..."Carpenter leads GTO through this strange and beautiful world where humor, wit, and idiosyncrasy were given credence. The music is tight but flexible, crackling with energy. All killer and no filler." You can purchase Book of Rhapsodies on iTunes here.
Book of Rhapsodies received all kinds of praise, landing at #3 on the Burning Ambulance Top Jazz Albums of 2013 and on the Best Large Ensemble Releases by the New York City Jazz Record. Phil Freeman of Burning Ambulance writes "Carpenter is on a mission to make 21st Century listeners aware of just how much awesome music was being made in the early decades of the 20th by rooting out obscurities and tweaking the arrangements until they pop like fireworks." Andrew Velez of the NYC Jazz Record writes "This is an amazing ensemble, playing music like no others these days. There hasn’t been big band music as exciting as this since forever...GTO is creating its own electrifying musical gold."
In November's Downbeat Editor's Picks, Davis Inman writes "Carpenter and his collaborators find plenty of new life in these old charts and 78s...down a rabbit hole to a bizarre, charming world of nearly forgotten music from the 1930s." Bill Marx adds Book of Rhapsodies on the annual holiday gift wrap-up on ArtsFuse, writing "an impish excursion into the nooks and crannies popular music in the 1930s...a delightful trip through a retro aural funhouse." Lucid Culture describes it as a "joyous, vaudevillian ride...with a couple additional, absolutely killer tracks from the Raymond Scott catalog." Irwin Chusid, who led the rediscovery of Raymond Scott, describes Carpenter's new arrangement of Scott's composition "Celebration on the Planet Mars" (the epic 9-minute closing track on the album) as "out of this world, in every sense of the phrase...spectacular."
"Happy & Gay" Premieres at New England Animation Film Festival
12th May 2014
Lorelei Pepi's animated short film “Happy and Gay” is premiering at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in May as part of the New England Animation Film Festival. "Happy and Gay" is a revisionist history document reflecting the form of a 1930’s-styled cartoon musical misadventure. The film examines historical issues regarding stereotype, representation, censorship and homophobia.
The cartoon was scored by Brian Carpenter in 2004, recorded and mixed by Danny Blume, and features members of the Ghost Train Orchestra. Carpenter's original score was inspired by many of Carl Stalling's early scores from the late 1920s and '30s (pre-Warner Bros), particularly Flip the Frog and Willie Whopper.
More details, including dates and times, plus tickets are available here.
1st April 2014
Jon Garelick wrote a terrific piece in the Boston Globe, "Ghost Train Orchestra delivers an unclassfiable mix", in advance of our show in Boston on Wednesday April 9th at Scullers. We'll also be performing two nights in Durham, NC (April 4-5) and two sets in Philadelphia on April 12th. Tickets and more info on the EVENTS page.
Photo by Peter Gannushkin.
Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist
1st April 2014
We will be performing in conjunction with the Nasher Museum of Art's exhibit Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist on April 4-5 in Durham, NC. The exhibit presents the remarkable paintings of Motley, a Chicago-based artist legendary for his expressive, satire-laden, jazz-inflected canvases. At the outset of the Harlem Renaissance, Motley reveled in painting Chicago's black community.
Don't miss this incredible exhibit near you...Nasher Museum of Art (Jan 30-May 11, 2014), Amon Carter Museum of American Art (June 14-Sept 7, 2014), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Oct 19 2014 - Feb 1 2015), Chicago Cultural Center (Mar 6-Aug 31 2015), Whitney Museum of American Art (Fall 2015).