Friday, October 5, 2012

Ellen Robinson Don't Wait Too Long EMR 2012

"Don't Wait Too Long" is the third release from Bay Area vocalist Ellen Robinson and will be dropping on October 16th. This wonderful live set includes some eclectic numbers from Joni Mitchell, Michel LeGrand, and Irving Berlin as well as three Robinson originals that serve her well as both a prolific vocalist and lyricist.

While there is a tightly clustered pack of female jazz singers, there is all ways room for one more and Robinson fills the bill well. Robinson demonstrated an understanding that some "singers" simply either do not get or they spend an entire career struggling with connectivity. The connectivity is only heightened on this live set as the quartet playing with her seems to have the same understanding of what musical artistry is all about. Opening up with "Dance Only With Me" pianist Murray Low turns in a harmonically engaging solo to compliment a some what melancholy version of the Jule Styne tune. The brush work of drummer Dan Foltz and lyrical bassist Sam Bevan compliment Robinson's talent well. A slightly odd metered swing that is a Robinson original "Soon" could easily pass as a standard if one was not familiar with the set list here. Kristen Strom is the perfect counterpoint on tenor sax and rounds out a rock solid ensemble. The cover of Joni Mitchell's "If" which is actually a Rudyard Kipling poem kicks off with bassist Sam Bevan and is an organic testament to what true vocal artistry is about.

Remaining true to the artistic sense of self especially in the more commercially oriented realm of vocal jazz is a difficult trick to pull off but Robinson is obviously comfortable with who she is and where she intends to go as an artist and this is half the battle in the music business today. Ellen Robinson marches to her own beat and places her own indelible stamp on some classic tunes that turn Don't Wait Too Long into a delighfully entertaining release.

Recorded live at Freight & Salvage Coffee House, Berkley, Ca.

Tracks: Dance Only With Me; Soon; If; Almost Like Being In Love; The Storm; You Must Believe In Spring; Tick Tock; Be Careful It's My Heart; Our Day Will Come; Calling You; But Beautiful; Don't Wait Too Long.

Personnel: Ellen Robinson: vocals; Murray Low: piano,keyboards; Sam Bevan:bass; Dan Foltz: drums; Kristen Strom: soprano,tenor saxophone.