V.S.O.P. #113 Eric Felten Meets The Dek-Tette
Herb Geller (Alto Sax); Med Flory (Tenor Sax); Tom Peterson (Bari Sax); Bob Findley (Trumpet); Jack Sheldon (Trumpet); Bob Enevoldsen (Valve Trombone); Rick Todd (French Hom); Les Benedict (Tuba); Chuck Berghofer (Bass); Gregg Field (Drums).
Washington, D.C. based bandleader, trombonist and vocalist Eric Felten has assembled some of the finest West Coast jazz musicians to revive the unique sound that was originally produced by the pairing of Mel Torme with Marty Paich’s arrangements and ten-instrument ensemble. Eric Felten comes from a long tradition of musicians and is the leader of the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra that was featured in the PBS special “The Big Band Sound of WW II. In college and fronting his orchestra he has exhibited his vocal talents in a broad range of contexts from baroque choir and opera to big band crooner and supper club/lounge singer. His previous jazz recordings as leader (performing on trombone) include a release with Joshua Redman and Jimmy Knepper, and one with Joe Lovano and Randy Brecker. For this release, in addition to Eric, the roster includes Herb Geller, Jack Sheldon, Med Flory, Bob Enevoldsen, Chuck Berghofer, Tom Peterson, Bob Findley, Rick Todd, Les Benedict and Gregg Field. The purpose of this recording is not to slavishly imitate the style of Mel Torme or even Marty Paich’s arrangements. It is a tribute with a difference: all the arrangements were written from scratch and Eric’s voice does not resemble Mel Torme’s. Nevertheless, the feel of the Marty Paich Dek-Tette is evident, significantly enhanced by the presence of several musicians who worked with Marty throughout his career. The solos are particularly noteworthy: Jack Sheldon sounds great both as a reminder of Don Fagerquist and as himself; Herb Geller is always excellent and a more authentic choice could not have been made to cover the alto parts; Bob Enevoldsen never played a bad solo in his life and certainly does not do so here; Med Flory makes some fine contributions on the tenor, and Eric Felten’s trombone work is of a caliber that is clearly worthy of the stellar crew he has chosen to work with. Eric’s vocal style is engaging, devoid of artifice, helps to showcase the excellent jazz ensemble and is perfectly suited for the arrangements. Truly, Eric Felten is a multi-talented musician and vocalist with excellent taste. This recording is a very refreshing reminder of a great musical pairing.
Other Sources for CD: City Hall Records