145

Mark Elf: Dream Steppin'

By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Elf: Dream Steppin'

Evidence of Mark Elf's high level of musical craftsmanship is encapsulated in his latest offering Dream Steppin'. In a pared down, clean, uncluttered upbeat-sounding trio setting, Elf combines his compositional talents along with his interpretations of standards by Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, and Richard Rogers to produce 12 individual musical selections. One segment of an alternate take of is also offered in the 59 minutes 39 seconds of music on the CD.



Elf demonstrates great guitar chops as he deftly maneuvers through melodic heads and graceful improvised lines. Of particular note is his sensitive ballad style on his original composition "Ballad 2000" and his unaccompanied soloing on "Have You Met Miss Jones" and the post-9/11 patriotic tribute "America." Sidemen Lewis Nash, and Neal Miner likewise shine not only in their roles as excellent accompanists to Elf's guitar, but also their contributions of tasty and competently performed solos.



A witty side to Elf's musical personality is perhaps evident in his original compositions. Griff's Riff"a blues in Gb, is a tribute to Little Rock, Arkansas radio personality Robert Griffen. "Pregnant Chad Blues," is a tongue and cheek "lament" on Floridian vote counting conflicts in our most recent presidential election. The Latinesque "Oye DNA," offers a nice change of pace and is perhaps a welcome rhythmic and stylistic "aural sorbet" to all the straight ahead swing of the four tunes that precede it on the CD. Elf is also perhaps having some good natured "fun" with the listener and checking to see just how close the listener is discerning his music. "Rhymin' for Simon," written for Key West Florida disc jockey Simon Hendrix, uses basically the same motivic material in the tune's head as "Griff's Riff" albeit at a faster tempo and in a 32 bar form rather than as a 12 bar blues (perhaps Elf was going for a "twofer" to satisfy two different friends).



The recording quality of Dream Steppin' is excellent with good separation and clear, crisp sound from all the instruments. The overall mood of the CD is very upbeat perhaps in spite of, or inspired in response to the events of September 11th. Dream Steppin' would be of particular interest to those listeners interested in great jazz guitar playing, and for the general listener it would be a nice addition to one's jazz CD collection.


Track Listing:

Dream Steppin'; Too Marvelous For Words; Loved Again; Griff's Riff; Oye DNA; Ballad 2000; Rhymin' For Simon; Blues To The Left; America; Cheek To Cheek; Pregnant Chad Blues; Pregnant Chad Blues (Alternate Fragment). (Total Time: 59.39).

Personnel:

Mark Elf: Guitar; Lewis Nash: Drums; Neal Minor: Bass.

Title: Dream Steppin' | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Jen Bay Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Another Day in Fucking Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Another Day in Fucking Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Developing Story" CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Wash My Horse In Champagne" CD/LP/Track Review Wash My Horse In Champagne
by James Nadal
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.