Ella Gahnt: Third Stage of Elegance

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Modern composers of jazz vocal pieces have much to contend with: first, the Great American Song Book. Jazz was largely developed from learned reinterpretation of Tin Pan Alley standards composed as showtunes in the 1930s through '50s. That is a dearth of music already existing that anything newly composed is compared against. So, hats off to all who try their hand at newly composed jazz vocal music. That said, Philadelphia vocalist Ella Gahnt has been doing exactly that over the course of three recording: Immaculate Union (Self Produced, 2001); By Request (Self Produced, 2006) and the present Third Stage of Elegance.

In the first two recordings, Gahnt inserted her well-crafted compositions in among time-tested standards. Third Stage of Elegance features nine original compositions presented with a simple piano jazz format. Gahnt's lyrics are decidedly adult. With whiplash inducing swing, Gahnt strolls through "What You'll Hear from Me" with a confident swagger and sway. Listen to "When You Walk Away" and you hear the protagonist of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" after 35 years of marriage. She takes chances with the deeper psychology of plowed into her lyrics. These pay off when combined with her smart delivery and scat chops. Third Stage of Elegance is the next step, an important one for Ella Gahnt.

Track Listing: What You’ll Hear from Me; Let It Be Yesterday; Butterfly; To Be; A Gloomy Day; Some Other Spring; When You Walk Away; What Would it Take; The Golden Years.

Personnel: Ella Gahnt: vocals; Adam Faulk: piano; Lee Smith: bass; Harry “Butch” Reed: drums, percussion; Aaron Graves: piano (3,7).

Title: Third Stage of Elegance | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Inner Fire Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jazz Flute Traditions CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Nerve Dance CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by John Sharpe
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Saluting Sgt. Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Aziza" CD/LP/Track Review Aziza
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 19, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.