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Thursday, July 05, 2018

CD Review: Marty Elkins - Fat Daddy.

Marty Elkins (vocals); Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet); James Chirillo (guitar); Joel Diamond (piano/organ/alto); Steve Ash (piano); Lee Hudson (bass); Taro Okamoto (drums); Leopoldo Fleming (congas).
(Review by Lance).
Another singer, another wowser! Tuesday it was Allegra Levy, today it's Marty Elkins. Two girls successfully mining the GASbook, both able to convey the emotions expressed by the lyricists without over-emoting.
Unlike Levy, Elkins doesn't stray into more contemporary waters but stays well within the 'golden era' that stretched from the 1920s to the mid-1950s. This isn't a criticism of either. Both do what they do do, well.
Elkins got hooked on jazz when at college in Boston. She discovered a copy of Billie's Lady in Satin in a Woolworth's bargain bin. The gal was hooked!
Moving to New York, she sang at the legendary, and now long gone, 52nd St. club Jimmy Ryan's as part of Max Kaminsky's band and still free-lances in and around the New York scene
All of the songs have historic affiliations with legendary jazz/popular music divas such as Ella; Billie; Dinah's Washington and Shore; Ethel Waters; Bessie Smith; Lavern Baker; Dorothy Squires; Alice Faye and even Mae West. I think they'd all approve and yet, Lee Wiley is the name that springs to my mind. The same relaxed, laid-back interpretation that characterised the singer who also moved around in Kaminsky's circle (Eddie Condon and co.). There's also a lovely Fats Waller song that's new to me - How Can You Face me?
Kellso is at his most lyrical - Ruby Braff lives! Chirillo's guitar is full chorded both in solo and comping. George Barnes the inspiration. Ash, totally relaxed on piano. Diamond, some funky organ fills and, helped by a simpatico rhythm section, the whole thing gels. 
I'd like to think that one day I may catch Marty Elkins live. Trump's visiting these isles in the near future, maybe she could hitch a ride or, better still, take his place. Then again, there's an annual classic jazz party that takes place just outside of Whitley Bay but well within earshot of a Buddy Boldon trumpet solo.  Elkins, Kellso and the above gang would slot in just fine...
You Turned the Tables on me; On Revival Day; How Can You Face me?; That's All There is to That; It's Too Hot For Words; Cow Cow Boogie; I Cover the Waterfront; It's a Pity to Say Goodnight; My Old Flame; Fat Daddy; I Can't Face the Music; Sugar; These Foolish Things; Travelin' All Alone.
Released tomorrow (July 6) on Nagel Heyer Records.


Joel Fass said...

Great singer, great time, good friend. Keep 'em comin', Marty!

Sabine Nagel-Heyer said...

Listen to this recording and you will be overwhelmed. It makes you feel young again, at least this happens to me!
Marty Elkins really is something special. She is the most natural living singer I ever heard. No overdoing, yelling and being too dramatic as some of the younger female vocalists are.
Please forgive me that I am raving about this CD as it is released on our label.
But it is Marty's success and hopefully it will also be successful for the label.

Sabine Nagel-Heyer

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