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I dread having to review albums like this one. Ellynne Plotnick probably has worked hard to get where she is, and it pains me to be the one who must let her know that she's nowhere near where she has to be, assuming she intends to pursue a career in music. No one wants to hear that, much less see it in print.
To be fair, Plotnick has the basic equipment; that is to say, a pleasant voice and passable articulation, but her intonation and timing are imprecise and erratic, while her pitch is occasionally wide of the mark. Nothing that more long hours of practice couldn't overcome, but those weaknesses are out front for everyone to hear and evaluate on Daydream.
A second shortcoming lies in Plotnick's choice of music, which, she writes, embraces "songs I truly love." Musical tastes are quite personal, of course, but there are only four songs among the dozen she has chosen that this reviewer would place on any list of favorites, including one"I Remember Clifford"that would make the cut only as an instrumental, not a vocal. "Clifford," which closes the album, is immediately preceded by two that would surely make my list, and many others, I'd supposeFrank Loesser's "I've Never Been in Love Before" and Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark." The other winner is Cole Porter's "So in Love" from Kiss Me, Kate, but Plotnick's version is shaky, lacking assurance and resolve.
The sidemenpianist Pete Malinverni, guitarist Steve Cardenas, bassist Marcus McLaurineare first-rate, and do their level best to enliven Plotnick's every phrase. It doesn't always work, but the enterprise would be far less engaging without their resolve. As it is, the best we can say is that Daydream paints an accurate picture of where Plotnick is at this stage in her musical development.
Track Listing: A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing; A Time for Love; So in Love; Never Let Me Go; Daydream; Virgo; How Insensitive; Moon and Sand; 'Round Midnight; I've Never Been in Love Before; Skylark; I Remember Clifford (50:08).
Personnel: Ellynne Plotnick, vocals; Steve Cardenas, acoustic guitar; Marcus McLaurine, bass; Pete Malinverni, piano.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.