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Eric Felten Meets the Dek-Tette

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Album Review

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.


Born: September 18, 1964 in Phoenix, AZ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

b. 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...
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