The Dani Felber Big Band: Music Was My First Love (2003)
As for the rest . . . well, as Felber explained in a note that accompanied the CD, big bands must make concessions these days if they wish to stay in business. That’s apparent in the choice of material (second-rate songs by Lionel Richie, Joe Sample, Stevie Wonder and others) and lackluster charts (light on inspiration and improvisation but heavy on the backbeat, special effects and somnolent sound). The vocalists aren’t much help, as neither Kent Stetler (“Music,” “Angel,” “Superstition,” “Time of My Life”) nor Lisa Doby (“I Will Survive,” “Street Life,” “Time of My Life”) rises above the ordinary. In their defense, selling songs with wimpy lyrics would be a herculean task for any vocalist. The opener, Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good,” starts well enough with Felber’s gossamer flugel setting the compass, but a wearisome rock beat (underlined by Johannes Eberhard’s twangy guitar) soon intrudes, as it does on too many other occasions. Felber’s band has potential, only some of which is visible on this album. As its reputation grows, he may perhaps be able to lessen the emphasis on rock / pop in favor of more straight-ahead Jazz. If so, we’d love to hear the result.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.gwfag.com/danifelber
Track Listing: Feel So Good; Music; I Will Survive; Moonlight Serenade; Angel; I Have Dreamed; Street Life; Superstition; Time of My Life; Malaguena (52:34).
Personnel: Dani Felber, leader, flugelhorn; Stephan Geiser, Adrian Eugster, Markus Weiss, Arthur Schubert, Osvaldo Aden (7), trumpet; Ren
Record Label: Suisa
Style: Big Band