Bach’s Fierce Heart
by Bruce Von Stiers
In the past, I reviewed a couple of albums by David Bach, 5 Thousand Words and Window of the West. Now the jazz pianist is releasing a brand new album. The title of the album is Fierce Heart.
Fierce Heart contains ten songs, of which seven are original compositions by Bach. He also produced the album. It has a play time of forty-four minutes. The album is being released by Integrity Music.
On this new album, Bach plays the Yamaha Grand and Rhode pianos. He also plays the Hammond organ and synthesizers. He is joined by a host of other great musicians on the album. Al Williams plays the flute on a couple of songs and sax on another. Rob Zinn is on trumpet for three of the songs. Lorenzo Sands plays bass guitar on a few songs. Mark Prince is the album’s drummer while Ekendra Das does the percussion. David Marq does the majority of the sax playing on the album. Also helping out on flute, along with bass clarinet, is Brian Falkowski. Jimmy Charlesen plays bass for several songs, while Jeff Reed does the upright bass on a couple. Leonard Stevens is on guitar for most of the songs on the album and plays the acoustic guitar on one. Edgar Montalvo plays several percussion type instruments on the album, including the congas, bongos, talking drum and udu. There are some vocals on the album as well. Those vocals are done by Jenny Langer, Michele Bowman and Karla Chisholm.
The title track, Fierce Heart, begins the album. It has a cool, head bopping beat with great sax, guitar and keys. And a light, almost Burt Bacharach touch with some vocals.
Gymnopedie was a suite of three piano compositions by French pianist and composer Erik Satie. Bach has done a very modern arrangement of the song with some terrific flute and piano.
Strike The Note is another toe tapper modern jazz piece.
Slowing things down quite a bit is Serenade. The song has both subtle yet strong piano and sax. It also has a melodic backing chorus.
Mood Swing is a fairly slow and easy piece. The flute is well done and there is some cool guitar in the middle.
An interesting choice for the album was an instrumental rendition of Roxanne. One of the signature songs of the band The Police, Bach gives it a jazz infused styling with some super cool piano.
Mandalay is a pretty busy tune. It kind of reminded me of a film soundtrack where there is a car moving down a street or some kind of train moving through town.
One other interesting choice for the album is We Are The Champions. For some parts, it follows the constructs of the original Queen hit song. But in other parts, Bach has made a definite jazz arrangement with strong piano.
Trickle Up has some good sax in front of subtle piano and guitar.
The album closes with a soft, piano and flute laden tune called Taylor.
With Fierce Heart, David Bach has once again shown that he is a terrific jazz composer and pianist. And bringing along some top tier musicians and vocalists to perform on the album makes it and even better listening experience.
You can hear songs from Fierce Heart on David Bach’s official web site. That site can be found at http://davidbachmusic.com/