167

The Dani Felber Big Band: Music Was My First Love

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
As Dani Felber was kind enough to send me a copy of his debut album, Music Was My First Love, all the way from Switzerland, I should repay his kindness by dwelling first on the more positive aspects. The good news is that Felber plays a fine flugel, and the band is clearly sharp and well-rehearsed. The closing track, Bill Holman’s classic arrangement of “Malaguena,” is first-rate, as are Bob Mintzer’s fresh look at Glenn Miller’s familiar theme, “Moonlight Serenade,” and an unassuming but enjoyable reading of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “I Have Dreamed” (from the play / film, The King and I ).

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: dani.felber@swissonline.ch; 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

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Suisa | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Rough Enough" CD/LP/Track Review Rough Enough
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Aziza" CD/LP/Track Review Aziza
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "X-Ray Search Light Project: Djuke Music" CD/LP/Track Review X-Ray Search Light Project: Djuke Music
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "El Viaje" CD/LP/Track Review El Viaje
by James Nadal
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Escualo" CD/LP/Track Review Escualo
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Alive Out There" CD/LP/Track Review Alive Out There
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!