231

Mark Elf: Over The Airwaves

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz guitarist Mark Elf celebrates jazz radio on the aptly titled, Over The Airwaves which coincides with his overall success as a jazz musician who is afforded the luxury of having his CDs played...”over the airwaves”. Yet reality dictates that Elf is a fine guitarist who possesses imposing technique and acute sensibilities or in ordinary terms, - The guy is a bona fide virtuoso!

Here, Elf is in fine form while receiving some exemplary assistance from the top-notch and thoroughly professional rhythm section of drummer Ralph Peterson and bassist Jay Leonhart. And as we might surmise, Peterson’s polyrhythmic soloing/fills and swinging drive only enhance Elf’s fleet-fingered attack and brisk movement; hence, Elf reaps huge dividends here as enough cannot be said of the excellent and highly esteemed Leonhart! The trio get out of the box in a flurry with the opener, “On at KLON” which are in fact the call letters for the well-known Los Angeles radio station. Throughout, Elf’s hollow body electric guitar rings a dark, sonorous tone as Elf swings hard in the traditional sense, atop Leonhart’s authoritative walking bass lines while Peterson, the motion poet provides the hard-hitting attack, yet remains skillfully unobtrusive. On “TGEG Blues”, Elf produces rapid bop-ish lines intermingled with bluesy phrasing while exhibiting his articulate picking and strumming skills and maintaining a high degree of finesse as a leader and soloist. Elf soars into the stratosphere with breakneck speed on the piece titled, “The Cookie Maker” as the band dabble in a bit of post-bop, contrasting Elf’s intricate patterns and sharp, fervent leads on Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life”. The guitarist’s inventive polytonal voicings, complex picking, shrewd employment of harmonics and gently sweeping chord progressions come to the forefront on the standard, “Blue Moon” while he jabs and spars with Peterson on the Bossa-Nova piece, “Mr. Suave. Elf is technically masterful while – walking – the guitar through his solo performance of Gershwin’s “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off”.

Over the Airwaves features a hearty mix of standards and Elf original compositions as the ensemble work is near flawless yet besides his extremely impressive technical capabilities Elf possesses a flair for the dynamic, counterbalanced by his sensitivity and fertile jazz vocabulary! More importantly, Over the Airwaves is jazz entertainment at its stylish best! * * * * ½

Personnel:

Mark Elf; Guitar: Jay Leonhart; Bass: Raplh Peterson; Drums

Website: www.jenbayjazz.com

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


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "The Long Journey Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Journey Home
by James Nadal
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Shoebox View" CD/LP/Track Review Shoebox View
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.