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West coast vocalist Michelle Conte employs a crack East coast team for her debut recording. Originally conceived as a family-only event, Brother Mark Elf dared Conte to do it right if she was going to do it at all. The result of this dare is Lucky Me!. Conte has a tight refined voice and likes to sing her songs straight. No vocal fireworks for Conte, only pure vocal talent. Conte chooses a repertoire straight down the middle for her debut, heavy on the standards all delivered in a conservative manner.
I tend to favor recordings like Lucky Me! because they illustrate how the American Songbook was envisioned to sound by the composers who contributed to it. I would recommend this disc to all listeners before I would recommend the more exploratory jazz vocalists. Michelle Conte sings in a way that would be pleasing to even the fussiest listener, and her band is without compare. Mark Elf is well known to these pages with many well-received recordings to his credit. His comrades ditto. Just place this disc under the laser, queue up "Until the Right Thing Comes Along" and revel in all that is great about American Music.
Track Listing: I Thought About You; Lush Life; Makin' Whoopie; Triste; Until The Real Thing
Comes Along; The Way You Look Tonight; I've Got A Crush On You; Fly Me To The
Moon; Suddenly Spring; Just In Time; I've Got The World On A String; I Can't Get
Started; I'm Holding Out; Route 66; Suddenly Spring (Alternate Take). (Total Time
Personnel: Michelle Conte-Vocals; Mark Elf-Guitars; Neil Minor-Bass; Allen Famham-Piano;
Walt Weiskof-Tenor And Soprano Saxophones, Flute; Jon Wikan-Drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.