Why Don’t You Do Right
Diamonds are a Girls’ Best Friend
A Tisket A Tasket
And The Angels Sing
Flight of the Bumblebee
Almost Like Being In Love
Swing That Music
What A Wonderful World
Fola Dada (vocals)/SWR Big Band conducted by Pierre Paquette
Recorded January 2013, SWR U-Musikstudio, Stuttgart [46:04]
Here’s a nice, albeit short, set from the powerhouse SWR Big Band. The repertoire is standard swing and many a hat is doffed to Benny, Harry, Fats, Ella,
Duke, Louis and the like – though, on reflection, when did anyone ever meet their like? This is the crème de la crème, repertoire-wise, fourteen
tracks, with vocals from featured singer Fola Dada on six of them.
gets a Dorsey cum Goodman workout with some cutting clarinet from Pierre Paquette and whilst Why Don’t You Do Right doesn’t have that sassy Peggy
Lee feel, Fola Dada does well by it, preferring a less high-heeled approach – less of the stiletto. Maybe Diamonds are a Girls’ Best Friend is
rather odd in context – this disc is no homage to Marilyn, certainly – but it makes a change and the chart is a good one. Glenn Miller voicings are part
and parcel of At Last, the Harry Warren vehicle arranged by Bernd Rabe, complete with a fast-toned trumpet solo from Felice Civitareale.
Fola is canny enough not to don the mantle of Ella in A Tisket A Tasket – it would hardly work – thus preserving independence of spirit; nice
feel. And she phrases just behind the beat in And the Angels Sing sounding not much like Martha Tilton’s girlish eagerness but with her own
graceful take on things. Civitareale takes the Ziggy Elman role. It’s altoist Klaus Graf who assumes the mantle of Johnny Hodges on Isfahan which
he does well, though no new ground is either broken or taken. Flight of the Bumblebee is heard in the arrangement by British trombonist Mark
Nightingale and, appropriately, it’s a feature for trombonist Marc Godfroid of the SWR – virtuosic and funky, to be sure. Those who love Boogie will enjoy
the inevitable Harry James piece Trumpet Blues. There’s a final dual salute to Louis in the shape of Swing That Music where Martijn de
Laat sports the trumpet and then, finally, What A Wonderful World which gets a nicely individual arrangement and a good vocal from Dada.
There are in fact a lot of good arrangements throughout from a variety of pens – Bill Holman did Almost Like Being in Love, for instance – and the
Stuttgart-based band plays with good corporate strengths throughout. Not too many solos are parcelled out, the strengths remaining ensemble-based. I found
- and this is always a good sign – that 46 minutes passed in a flash.