195

Mark Elf: Glad to be Back

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Elf: Glad to be Back New York City guitarist Mark Elf has been missing in action for the past year. Mr. Elf spent the majority of 2003 and 2004 recovering from not one but two life-threatening health conditions. Now, convalesced and back on his feet, he offers us an expression of gratitude in Glad to be Back. Always in the company of great musicians, Mr. Elf recruits the stellar rhythm section of pianist David Hazeltine, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Lewis Nash to join him on his new recording. Their presence elevates this recording above the typically excellent Mark Elf offerings to a sublime status.



Mr. Elf serves up his trademark quicksilver bop guitar on a collection more heavily seasoned with the guitarist's original compositions than previous recordings. Elf makes this a personal statement, as his compositions are all directed toward and dedicated to individuals instrumental in his recent recovery. The Latin-tinged "Groove for Gonzalez," the Carnival-infused "Bossa for Eric A," the waltz "A Fancy for Yancy," and the soft-spoken "Ballad for Bertrand" all specifically express Mr. Elf's gratitude in a very unique way. "Gaston's Gate" is a wonderful Basie-type blues that walks right off of the disc. These pieces all betray a great deal of thoughtful consideration in composition.



Of the remaining pieces, "Elfin's Pace" is based harmonically on John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." Elf takes an already demanding set of chord changes and spins a commanding melody over them, providing him and his rhythm section a superb vehicle for probing improvisation. Elf's playing is strutting and bright and his note choice perfect. Elf blazes through Hoagy Carmichael's "Little Old Lady," in which David Hazeltine submits a nifty solo with Elf capably comping behind him. There are two takes of the Rogers and Hart tune "Falling in Love with Love," each offering its own unique charm and loads of round tones from maestro Elf.



Visit Mark Elf on the web.


Track Listing: Elfin's Place; Little Old Lady; Groove For Gonzalez; Alfie; Bossa For Eric A; A Fancy For Yancy; Falling In Love With Love; Ballad For Bertrand; Gaston's Gate; Falling In Love With Love.

Personnel: Mark Elf--Guitar; David Hazeltine--Piano; Peter Washington--Bass; Lewis Nash--Drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Jen Bay Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)" CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Of Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Of Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "Groove Legacy" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Legacy
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Occasional Poems" CD/LP/Track Review Occasional Poems
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Breaking Point" CD/LP/Track Review Breaking Point
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!