Tributees: Mel Torm‚; Marty Paich Dek-tette.
Personnel: Eric Felten (vocals, trombone); Eric Felten; Chuck Berghofer (double bass); Herb Geller (alto saxophone); Med Flory (tenor saxophone); Tom Peterson (baritone saxophone); Jack Sheldon, Bob Findley (trumpet); Richard Todd (French horn); Bob Enevoldsen (valve trombone); Les Benedict (tuba); Gregg Field (drums).
Audio Mixer: Alan Wonneberger.
Liner Note Author: Scott Yanow.
Recording information: Entourage 5.1 Studios, West Hollywood, CA (09/06/2003).
Arrangers: Scott Silbert; Brent Wallarab.
This project by vocalist/trombonist Eric Felten with the Dek-tette salutes the many memorable recordings made by Mel Torm‚ 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. ~ Ken Dryden