Eric Felten - Meets The Dek-Tette (2003)

Genre: Jazz | Total Time: 50:45 | Size: 114.80 MB | MP3 320 kbps
1. You're Driving Me Crazy
Written-By – Walter Donaldson 2:39
2. Pick Yourself Up
Written-By – Dorothy Fields, Jerome Kern 4:53
3. I Hadn't Anyone Till You
Written-By – Ray Noble 4:14
4. I Could Write A Book
Written-By – Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 3:15
5. I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan
Written-By – Arthur, Schwartz, Howard Dietz 3:06
6. My Time Of Day / I've Never Been In Love Before
Written-By – Frank Loesser 3:21
7. Broadway
Written-By – Bill Bird, Henri Woode, Teddy McRae 3:12
8. Gone With The Winmd
Written-By – Allie Wrubel, Herb Magidson 3:40
9. I'll Be Around
Written-By – Alec Wilder 5:00
10. It's All Right With Me
Written-By – Cole Porter 5:15
11. Where Or When
Written-By – Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 4:44
12. I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
Written-By – Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn 3:51
13. This Can't Be Love
Written-By – Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 3:06

Recorded at Entourage 5.1 Studios in West Hollywood on September 6th, 2003

Alto Saxophone – Herb Geller
Arranged By – Brent Wallarab (tracks: 2 to 4, 6 to 13), Scott Silbert (tracks: 1, 5)
Baritone Saxophone – Tom Peterson
Bass – Chuck Berghofer
Conductor – Brent Wallarab
Drums – Gregg Field
French Horn – Rick Todd
Tenor Saxophone – Med Flory
Trumpet – Bob Findley, Jack Sheldon
Tuba – Les Benedict
Valve Trombone – Bob Enevoldsen
Vocals - Eric Felten
Eric Thomas Felten, 18 September 1964, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Born into a highly musical family, among whom were several professional jazz musicians, a career in music was inevitable. Felten took up the trombone, studying from the age of nine with his grandfather, Lester Felten, who had played trombone in dance bands during the swing era. He earned a degree at Arizona State University, and another at Harvard, before starting work as a journalist in Washington, DC. This was in the summer of 1989 and, meanwhile, he eagerly pursued an alternative career as a jazz musician. He played in various bands in the Washington area before forming his own group at the beginning of 1991. In the course of the next two years, the International Trombone Association named him as Best New Jazz Trombonist and he released his first album for Soul Note Records, on which he was joined by Jimmy Knepper and Joshua Redman, having met the latter while both were students at Harvard. He continued to lead the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra in Washington, gaining considerable critical acclaim for its performances of classic big band music of the swing era. His follow-up album continued his display of appreciation of the music of past masters; the concept for Gratitude was modelled upon the small groups drawn from the Duke Ellington band of the 30s. Once again, for his sidemen he called upon established jazz artists, among them Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, and Bob Mintzer.

Meanwhile, Felten had been showing a talent for singing and in 1998 he sang with his big band during a one-hour show on Black Entertainment Television’s BETonJazz cable network. He has also sung and played with the Bloomington Pops Orchestra in Indiana, and the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. At the end of the 90s, he occasionally played trombone duets with his grandfather, who was then in his nineties. As the mid-80s and onwards popularity of new swing bands demonstrates, Felten is not alone in referring back to music of an age that was over long before he was born. Significantly, he does it with flair, considerable musicality, and with great respect for the originals.

This project by vocalist/trombonist Eric Felten with the Dek-tette salutes the many memorable recordings made by Mel Tormé with the band when it was led by Marty Paich. But these sessions are hardly re-creations, since new charts were written by Brent Wallarab or Scott Silbert specifically for this recording. A number of Dek-tette alumni were recruited (including alto saxophonist Herb Geller, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, valve trombonist Bob Enevoldsen, and bassist Chuck Berghofer), though tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins (who was excited about participating) unfortunately died shortly before the sessions took place. Felten's warm vocals are straightforward but always right on the money, while his pair of trombone solos are also very enjoyable. The leader merits praise for including two often omitted verses in the richly textured, swinging arrangement of "Pick Yourself Up." Felten indulges in a bit of playful scat singing in a brisk take of "I Could Write a Book," offers a snappy rendition of "Broadway," and delivers a heartfelt "I'll Be Around" with sincerity. Each of the charts reflects the spirit of Paich's work without copying his approach to scoring, while the soloists and the ensembles are never less than flawless. Every participant should be extremely proud of his contributions to this fine date by Eric Felten, including the leader.

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