Artist: David Bach
Label: Integrity Music
Fierce Heart, the sixth outing from keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader David Bach is a Disneyland-esque fantasy for the ears. The lush landscape of Pocahontas‘ enchanted forest can be imagined through “Serenade.” The frolicking prancing of Mowgli’s animal friends from The Jungle Book is relatable to the buoyant swells of the title track. And the glittering notes sparkling across “Taylor” extol a Pinocchio-like wonder experiencing new sights for the first time. Although Disney’s adaptations may have not been the inspiration for Bach’s music, the scenes projected through the music will sweep listeners away into a fantasy world much like a Disney production. Featuring several original compositions written by Bach and three cover tunes, Fierce Heart enchants and entertains in a similar manner to a #Disney film.
Bach’s keys provide a foundation filled with mirth for the flights of David Marq’s soprano saxophone paired with the gentle flutter of Brian Falkowski’s flute along “Gymnopedie.” The blissful aesthetics in the instrumentation propel the elegant movements along the arrangement. Moving on, the sleek jaunty ripples of Al Williams’ saxophone driving “Strike the Note” produce a balmy ambience as Bach’s twinkling keys dimple the track with a cheerful glint along the melodic progressions.
Bach’s reimagination of Sting’s tune “Roxanne” gives the song a smooth nocturnal glow as the smooth cruising rhythm carves out a hypnotic cadence that plunges the listener into a dream-like state. Another cover is Freddie Mercury’s timeless “We Are The Champions,” which Bach handles with the mindset of a smooth jazz dramatist. Marq’s tenor saxophone plays the main motif with a mixture of passion and sensitivity as Bach’s improvisations on the keys add graceful frills and lively accents.
Fierce Heart is masterfully tailored to draw out beautifully crafted harmonic forms from the musicians. Perhaps it is Bach’s skill to groom each track’s ambience to a distinguishable finish that correlates to Walt Disney’s talent. Whatever the connection is, both artistic leaders have an instinct for creating scenes, musically for Bach and visually for Disney, that sweeps audiences away into a fantasy world.
David Bach – all keys, including synthesizers, Yamaha Grand, Rhodes Piano, Hammond Organ, finger snaps, claps, and vocals
Al Williams – saxophone and flute
Rob Zinn – trumpet
Lorenzo Sands – bass guitar
Mark Prince – drums
David Marq – soprano sax and tenor sax
Brian Falkowski – flute and bass clarinet
Jimmy Charlsen – bass guitar
Leonard Stevens – guitar and nylon guitar
Jeff Reed – Upright bass
Ekendra Das – percussion, congos and tablas on “Roxanne”
Edgar Montalvo – percussions, congos and udu on “Serenade”
Jenny Langer – vocals on “Fierce Heart” and “Mood Swing”
Michele Bowman – vocals “Fierce Heart” and “Serenade”
Karla Chisholm – vocals on “Serenade”