Activist big band Brass Against called on powerhouse singer Maya Azucena (who previously lent vocals to the group's rendition of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs") once again to front their take on Jane's Addiction classic "Mountain Song." The pioneering alt-rock outfit wrote the song way back in 1985, before they were even officially a band, and the track was featured in indie film Dudes (directed by Wayne's World director Penelope Spheeris) before making its way onto the Jane's Addiction's 1988 album Nothing Shocking. Brass Against's version polishes up the gritty feel of the original without completely sanitizing it, providing a strong foundation for Azucena's rock-steady vocals to climb on and soar over.
Layered horns and funky solos add depth to the song's fairly simple thematic riffs and backbeat. Bombastic and dizzying, the coordinated but varying parts make the large ensemble seem endless. Excellent production and practiced precision puts a highly professional touch on the project, in keeping with the rest of Brass Against's impressive growing roster of tunes.
The performance was arranged by the outfit's director, Andrew Gutauskas, a Grammy-award winning multi-instrumentalist and composer who received his Bachelor of Music from the esteemed William Paterson University and has performed on Broadway, television and in film. Artists he's worked with around the world range from Michael Buble to Living Colour.