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Bebop Spoken There

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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Album review: Marty Elkins & Mike Richmond - 'Tis Autumn

Marty Elkins (vocals); Mike Richmond (bass/cello)

A couple of weeks back at The Globe, the Jazz Co-op's Newcastle HQ, I was mesmerised by Lindsay Hannon singing 'Tis Autumn and the tune has been in my head ever since - it's that kind of tune.

So when an album arrived using that very same song as its title my appetite was whetted. 

Elkins has been around for a while going back to when she sang with Max Kaminsky's Band at Jimmy Ryan's back in 1980. Since then there have been five albums and many appearances at some of NYC's hippest clubs such as Mezzrow and 55 Bar.

Richmond's CV includes 30 years with Stan Getz - there must be a few stories there! - plus stints with Dizzy, Horace Silver and many others.

Together they work well. Voice and bass aren't the easiest combination to pull off successfully, in fact I can think of only one other duo who have cracked it and I'm pleased to say they are not unknown in the UK and particularly in the northeast.

The selection of songs are well chosen, mostly from the twenties to mid forties and Elkins' delivery is just so perfect. Her pronunciation absolutely all-American - haind, avenoo, glaynce, - and her phrasing frequently throws a curve-ball that both surprises and delights. There's also some scatting here and there just to break things up.

Richmond's bass is 100% supportive and his solos never catch you yawning. He plays cello on a couple of numbers where, unless he's got four hands, he plays over a pre-recorded bass line.

This is one of those albums that once heard is never forgotten and, take it from me, you'll play it many more times than once!

Lance

Try/buy.

Old Devil Moon; In a Mellow Tone; 'Tis Autumn; When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along; Stairway to the Stars; Lullaby of the Leaves; My Mother's Eyes; Honeysuckle Rose; I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues; All or Nothing at All.

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