Thursday, March 4, 2010

Angela Hagenbach: The Way They Make Me Feel

Resonance Records
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 3.4.10
Buy CD: The Way They Make Me Feel

The “They” in this album title refers to legendary composers Johnny Mandel, Michel Legrand and Henry Mancini, who wrote the songs on this CD; the relatively unknown Angela Hagenbach is the featured vocalist.

Although I wasn't initially familiar with her, it's clear that Hagenbach won't be “unknown” for long.

Further proof of her bright future can be found in the quality of the musicians secured for her backup group. They're all first-rate, with pianist Tamil Hendelman and guitarist Larry Koonse the stand-outs.

Despite the vast number of immediately recognizable hits written by Mandel, Legrand and Mancini, most of the melodies here aren't the ones you'll remember (the exceptions being “I Will Wait for You,” “Charade” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel”). Being lesser-known, however, certainly doesn't make them any less beautiful.

Although some of these selections — notably “Sure As You're Born” and “Quietly There” — generally are performed by jazz instrumentalists, because of their melodic lines, Hagenbach clearly demonstrates that their lyrics are equally beautiful.

This is a truly fine album. We'll be hearing more from Hagenbach.

No comments: