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WOODBURY, BRIAN: Variety
Followers of our Quarterly will recall, about 6 years back, Woodbury's inspired arrangement of 'Shenandoah', which managed to embrace the whole of America history in under 10 minutes. Since then he has been working on completing this collection, his first full ensemble instrumental CD. The interest starts with the ensemble itself, half as expected for Latin, Jazz and Big band arrangements and half traditional American: pedal steel, banjo, accordion and fiddles. One thinks of Van Dyke Parks', and indeed VDP is a fan: '..consummate song writing craft ... indispensible'. This is the work of an arranger and composer still dedicated to the unfashionable pursuit of a kind of extended - mainly instrumental - show music where skill and intelligence and attention to detail matter indiv. An intensely musical record, and a highly unusual one. But then what would you expect from a guy who studied with both Tom Lehrer and Pauline Olivieros?