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Marty Elkins: Fat Daddy

Dan Bilawsky By

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The jazz world is full of singers who deserve a higher profile than they have, and Marty Elkins is most certainly one of them. This trad-jazz true believer and pliantly phrasing charmer has a way with words and an appreciation for the finer things in sound and song. Some might call her an aural antiquarian, but there's nary a speck of dust on the material she chooses to sing. Accompanied by a crack band equally at home with chestnuts of yore, Elkins makes the old sound new again.

The ease with which this production's leading lady delivers the opener—"You Turned The Tables On Me"—is an early sign of promise that carries over through the thirteen numbers that follow it. Supported by Lee Hudson 's bass, cushioned by Joel Diamond's subtle and slight organ adornments, and joined up front by Jon-Erik Kellso's muted trumpet, Elkins delivers a performance that wins out without needing to really sell itself. From there she visits church with "On Revival Day," raising the rafters and catching the spirit along with her band; shares the spotlight with Kellso and guitarist James Chirillo on a steadily swinging "How Can You Face Me?" that speaks to Fats Waller's legacy; distills the languid wonders of "That's All There Is To That," offering some space to pianist Steve Ash along the way; and follows Kellso's charge out of the gate on "It's Too Hot For Words," a magnetic swinger and a real standout lifted by its verve and hot potato solo trading. None of those numbers break the four-minute mark, but they say plenty in the time they have.

The remainder of the album is chock-full of animated offerings and breezy fare. The country blues comes to visit on "Cow Cow Boogie," an attractive calm takes hold during "I Cover The Waterfront," the title track makes for a rollicking affair, and various shades of romance, past and present, color many of the proceedings along the way. Through it all, class and good taste prove to be the defining traits of this project. In a nutshell, Fat Daddy is a find.

Track Listing: 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; Trav'lin All Alone.

Personnel: Marty Elkins: vocals; Jon-Erik Kellso: trumpet; James Chirillo: guitar; Joel Diamond: piano, organ, alto saxophone; Steve Ash: piano; Lee Hudson: bass; Taro Okamoto: drums, tambourine; Leopoldo Fleming: conga, claves.

Title: Fat Daddy | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Nagel Heyer Records

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CD/LP/Track Review
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Fat Daddy

Fat Daddy

Nagel Heyer Records
2018

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