Big Wy’s Brass Band
Portal to Funkville
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., May 25, 2018
Formed at Westlake High School in 2014 and led by trumpeter Wyatt Corder, hip-shaking nonet Big Wy's Brass Band whips up a nonstop party on its debut EP Portal to Funkville. Bassist Dylan Hill brings the funk without ostentation, while drummers Chase Ozment and Brady Knippa urge the songs relentlessly forward. The horn section shows off every second of practice, with harmony beds like miniature string sections and unison riffs tighter than a Chinese finger trap. The soloists dive deep in jazz waters, trombonist Justin Dunlap romping across the moody "Portal" and saxophonist Paulo Santos dancing through the epic "Phoenix." All that craft comes to bear for a single purpose, and that's to have a great time. It's never easy translating to disc the distinctive energy of a live brass band performance, where the rhythms boil and audience interaction is key, but Big Wy and his pals unquestionably deliver.