Danny Federici

Danny Federici

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Hip-O's 2001 release Danny Federici is a reissue of Music Master's 1997 album Flemington with the addition of one new track, the opener, "Erica." "Erica" adds a smooth jazz element to the album. It's a showcase for saxophonist Michael Cates, who also produced and co-wrote it, with keyboardist Federici playing a supportive role. The rest of the album is Federici's show, and he displays the talents that have made him a key figure in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, starting with the rock-oriented former title track, "Flemington," which has some of the feel of Springsteen's "Backstreets" in its piano/organ interaction. The echoes of E Street continue on "A Doorman's Life," which is a setting for E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren, and on "In the Next Five Minutes," which features E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent and finds saxophonist Joe Sublett recalling the sound of Clarence Clemons. Elsewhere, Federici delves into light funk ("Mingle-Mangle"), soul-jazz in the Jimmy Smith vein ("My Little Cow"), and compositions that work equally well as new age music and as the soundtracks for films yet to be made. Flemington, aka Danny Federici, may be in essence a busman's holiday and a vanity project, but it demonstrates the wide range of musical interests of one of Springsteen's most faithful and least visible compatriots, helping to demonstrate how one aspect of the Springsteen sound has been achieved.

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