Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

123

Michelle Conte: Lucky Me!

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
It must be genetic, because there’s no doubt that musical talent runs in some families. The Joneses, the Heaths, the LaBarberas — and the Elfs (or should that be Elves?). Michelle Conte, whose brother is the well-known guitarist (and entrepreneur) Mark Elf, makes her recorded debut on Lucky Me!, and it’s hard to believe when listening to her that she (a) began singing seriously only a few years ago, and (b) is self-taught.

Like her brother, Michelle has a natural talent that serves her well on this easygoing and wholly enjoyable album of standards on which Mark (who doubled as producer) lends more than moral support, assuming a supporting role on almost every track and enlisting some of his talented friends to round out his sister’s stellar back-up crew.

Conte’s voice is bright and pleasing, she sings on-key, respects a lyric and charts a steady course, wisely leaving the improvisation to brother Mark and the others, none of whom lets her down. Pros like pianist Allen Farnham, reedman Walt Weiskopf, bassist Neal Minor and drummer John Wikan would give any singer a boost, and they do their part to enhance the album’s charisma. As for Conte, she seems perfectly at ease in the company of such heavyweights, belying her admission in the liner notes that she was “a little nervous.”

In fact, she sounds so happy to be there that it’s hard for her to assume a more sorrowful presence on such songs of loss and despair as “Lush Life” or “I Can’t Get Started.” But Conte gives them her best shot, as she does the happier tunes by such renowned composers as Jimmy van Heusen, Gus Kahn, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Jule Styne, Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn, Bobby Troup and Antonio Carlos Jobim and a couple that were new to me, “I’m Holding Out” and two takes of “Suddenly Spring.” The album cover shows a smiling Conte in front of a bed of four-leaf clovers, which is entirely appropriate, as she is indeed lucky to have a go-getter like brother Mark (who she says “is solely reponsible for making this project possible”) in her corner.

But luck can only open the door to success — it takes talent to keep it from slamming shut again. Luckily for Michelle Conte, she has plenty of that as well.

Contact: Jen Bay Records, P.O. Box 184, East Rockaway, NY 11518. Web site, www.jenbayjazz.com; e–mail jenbayjazz@earthlink.net or jenbayjazz@hotmail.com


Track Listing: I Thought About You; Lush Life; Makin

Personnel: Michelle Conte, vocals; Walt Weiskopf, tenor, soprano sax, flute; Mark Elf, guitar; Allen Farnham, piano; Neal Minor, bass; John Wikan, drums.

Title: Lucky Me! | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Jen Bay Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Minor Step" CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Demons 1" CD/LP/Track Review Demons 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "The Late Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Late Set
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Home Counties" CD/LP/Track Review Home Counties
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Compass" CD/LP/Track Review Compass
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017