is not a typical modern "bigband." Modeled loosely on bands of the 1930s, like Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultans, the band is a compromise between typical big bands and the more flexible small groups. Swing Feeling
utilizes that extreme flexibility to advantage.
Created and led by French trumpeter Dan Vernhettes
, the swing outfit really cooks on sixteen fine tunes. The material, with few exceptions, is drawn from compositions that are seldom heard anymore. Among them is Duke Elligton’s beautiful Someone
in a perfectly orchestrated version. Another standout is La Belle Claudine
penned by Milt Buckner during his years in Europe.
The featured guest on the session is Tori Robinson
, the Florida born gospel singer. Tori is no stranger to the French band, having performed with Dan Vernhettes’ smaller band, the Vintage Jazzmen
. In addition to a fine CD with the small group, she appeared with them at the 2004 New Orleans Jazz Fest. Rumor has it that she’ll be invited again in 2005. Victoria Robinson has a voice like a trumpet and revels in gospel songs. On this CD, she delivers a searing rendition of Gershwin’s Summertime
featuring some great passages by Hugues Dieuzeide on baritone sax. Dieuzeide and Vernhettes are credited with most of the arrangements on the new disk.
While there isn’t space to list all members of Swing Feeling
and the three recording sessions that went into this record, several soloists deserve praise. They are trumpeters Dan Vernhettes and Jerome Etcheberry, reedman Hugues Dieuzeide and pianist Pierre Jean who carries on the tradition of Pete Johnson. His Boogie Woogie passages are exceptional! The veteran trombonist, Benny Vasseur makes his presence know. Vasseur played with Django and many American stars including the great Clifford Brown.
Of course, Tori Robinson’s performance is always great. Her version of You’ll Never Walk Alone
is the best since Roy Hamilton’s 1954 recording. Diehard purists will be delighted with Swing Feeling’s treatment of Jelly Roll Morton’s piece Stop And Go
. This fine recording gets high marks for originality and musicality. The CD may be ordered directly from the band. Email Dan Vernhettes