JazzTimes

24th January 2016

"The arrangements are inventive, and the solos come fast and furious. Hot Town is all about fun." -- Steve Greenlee, JazzTimes Editor's Pick

Read the full article here.

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NPR: A Blog Supreme

24th January 2016

"At once faithful and resolutely postmodern in its approach to the most vintage material jazz has to offer — tunes by forgotten 1920s Harlem and Chicago bandleaders — Ghost Train Orchestra's antic Too Hot delivers an even greater jolt of period displacement. The sound of surprise can come from music long past, music only those of us in the here-and-now have never heard before." -- Francis Davis, TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2015

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New York City Jazz Record

26th December 2013

"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." - Andrew Velez, New York City Jazz Record

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Downbeat

26th December 2013

"Brian Carpenter has followed a footnote from Gunther Schuller’s book The Swing Era down a rabbit hole to a bizarre, charming world of nearly forgotten music from the 1930s. On the surface, the Ghost Train Orchestra may look like just another Brooklyn-based jazz revival act, but Carpenter and his collaborators find plenty of new life in these old charts and 78s." - Davis Inman, Downbeat

Full review here.

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Burning Ambulance Best of 2013

26th December 2013

"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." - Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance

Read the full article here.

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NPR Best Jazz of 2011

11th December 2011

"The Ghost Train Orchestra, an initiative of the trumpeter and composer Brian Carpenter, plays music scored by largely forgotten composers and arrangers of the late 1920s. It's fun music; there's a peppy, charged, vaudevillian feel, and you could dance to some of it, too. It's also weird and unfamiliar music; not quite big-band swing, not quite early New Orleans polyphony, it rewards the close listener with unexpected twists and turns. Carpenter largely plays it straight, at least as he discerned it from the original recordings, though some strings and a musical saw bolster his vision. Whatever he's done, it's a neat trick: It's old music which somehow sounds new." - Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR Best Jazz of 2011

Read the full article here.

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Boston Phoenix article

16th November 2011

"This is music from the heart of the Jazz Age that still has a raucous immediacy. In fact, just about every track on the band's Hothouse Stomp (Accurate) has the hookiness of a pop hit." -- Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix

Read the full article here.

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Fresh Air with Terry Gross

17th July 2011

On Thursday April 7 2011, Brian Carpenter was interviewed NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. You can read the transcript and listen to the interview here.

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NPR's All Things Considered

17th July 2011

"Brian Carpenter, who plays the trumpet here, took these old-old recordings, transcribed them for a ten-piece band and added his own touches. It's music with grit to it, with drive and raw energy. It's delightfully familiar, too — or is it? With quirky little arrangements, plus Carpenter's additions of strings and musical saw (responsible for the "voodoo" effect heard here) there are plenty of delights for the close listener." -- Patrick Jarenwattananon, for All Things Considered

Read the article and listen to the segment here.

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Downbeat review (July 2011)

1st July 2011

"Carpenter leads a suberb band of New York-based vanguardists and while most of the solos ditch period authenticity and employ a vocabulary that contains ideas from the next 90 years of jazz history, his sharp arrangements retain the contrapuntal flash, sweet voicings, and fiery rhythms of the original era..." -- Peter Margasak, Downbeat

Full review here.

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All Music Guide

18th May 2011

"The music gathered and interpreted on this thoroughly winning disc all comes from a period before the emergence of the big-band jazz sound.Just about every track is full of those kinds of musical treats and surprises, and it all adds up to a relentlessly rollicking good time." -- Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

Full review here.

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Downbeat Editor's Pick

1st April 2011

"Brian Carpenter is a multi-faceted artist, musician, composer, arranger, film director, radio producer and more. In short, he's a guy who follows his muse. In this case, that muse is jazz of the 1920s and I'm mighty thankful he took this detour. Hothouse Stomp is a loving tip of the cap to some of the unsung greats of Harlem and Chicago's South Side...the only thing better than hearing this recording would be seeing the band live." -- Frank Alkyer, Downbeat

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Boston Globe

14th March 2011

"A trip through 1920s Chicago and Harlem...Carpenter selected, transcribed, arranged, and conducted tunes made semi-famous by bands that have faded into semi-obscurity...one must stop and remind oneself: This crazy-beautiful living-history lesson sprang from Brian Carpenter's mind. Wow." -- Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe

Full review here.

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