All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


The Steve Elmer Trio: Fire Down Below


Sign in to view read count
Fire Down Below, from The Steve Elmer Trio, evokes personal memories of being an undergraduate in the early 1960s at Hofstra College on Long Island, N.Y. (soon to be Hofstra University). Pianist Elmer was one of the "jazz guys on campus," entertaining the student body while working towards his B.S.

Iit is quite evident that Elmer has stayed true to his muse, producing a fine example of piano trio jazz that is an exuberant and facile demonstration of his skills as a jazzman as well as those of bassist Hide Tanaka and drummer Shingo Okudaira.

Over the course of several decades, Elmer studied for many years with piano great Lennie Tristano, worked as a music educator for New York's Queens College and was a member of The Jazz Mentality, which also featured saxophonist Chris Potter. His last album as a leader (and his debut) was I Used to be Anonymous (Self Produced, 2006).

Fire Down Below contains ten originals that show Elmer's compositional chops as well as his dynamic playing. The opening "Sister Joan" is a catchy and fast-moving vehicle that Elmer navigates skillfully. "Silhouette" is an attractive tune that bears some melodic resemblance to Luiz Bonfa's "The Gentle Rain."

"Constant Lee" pays homage to one of Tristano's star pupils, altoist Lee Konitz. Tanaka's arco solo is one of the album's highlights, with the bassist receiving plenty of solo space throughout the disc. Elsewhere, Okudaira shows appropriate restraint and emphasis on drums, with the balladic "Lasting Love" poignantly delivered.

Track Listing: Sister Joan; Silhouette; Constant Lee; GA's Jambalaya; Fire Down Below; Lasting Love; Delicate Balance; Tanaka's Hideout; Big Chief Red Cloud; Aaronology.

Personnel: Steve Elmer: piano; Shingo Okudaira: drums; Hide Tanaka: bass.

Title: Fire Down Below | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

Steve Elmer
I Used To Be Anonymous



Steve Elmer
Fire Down Below

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Jazz Life - Live @ Cleopatra's Needle, NYC

Jazz Life - Live @...

Self Produced

Fire Down Below

Fire Down Below

Self Produced


Related Articles

Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read From Silence to Somewhere CD/LP/Track Review
From Silence to Somewhere
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Friendly Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Friendly Ghosts
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Trillium Falls" CD/LP/Track Review Trillium Falls
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "The Big Wig" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Piteşti" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Piteşti
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Atlantic Bridge" CD/LP/Track Review Atlantic Bridge
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 12, 2017