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Fuse Blues by Marty Elkins

One of the many joys of my association with The Jazz Review is the exposure to new artists and jazz labels. This is my first review for the Hamburg based Nagel-Heyer Records and an introduction to vocalist Marty Elkins.

I'm unable to present a bio of this fine young singer other than she was once a waitress at the Village Vanguard and recently appeared at the Water Wheel Cafe in Milford, PA. Exposure to the many stars appearing at the legendary jazz-spot probably influenced Marty's vocal style but it appears that no particular vocalist left an indelible mark on the young singer. She executes a barrage of jazz standards in her own distinctive manner and it's truly delightful. Accompanied by a great Manhattan group of musicians, Marty Elkins engages her listeners with a unique delivery of top-quality material including Gershwin's "Soon", a hit for Bing Crosby in 1935, and seldom heard today. She treats "When Your Lover Has Gone" with a lightly latin flair. Another surprise was a scat intro and coda to the 1932 treasure, "You're Blasé," once a major hit for the sadly forgotten singer Chick Bullock.

Marty's deep voice is as smooth as Chivas Regal. Once you've had a taste, you'll be back for more. A departure from her swing and ballad style is her own "Fuse Blues", a funky blues delivered in a "down and dirty" style. It's great!

The fine interplay between singer and instrumentalists is marvelous. I really liked Tardo Hammer's lyrical and swinging piano and Greg Skaff's mellow guitar. The rhythm section is superb and who can deny the presence of Herb Pomeroy and Houston Persons? Pomeroy is particularly effective on "Stars Fell On Alabama", "Fuse Blues" and "As Long As I Live."

In summation, this is a fine an flawless session. I have a habit of placing a little red dot on the edge of CDs I want to play for visiting jazz fans. "Hey Honey! Where's your fingernail polish?"

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Marty Elkins
  • CD Title: Fuse Blues
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2000
  • Record Label: Nagel-Heyer Records
  • Musicians: Marty Elkins (vocals); Herb Pomeroy (trumpet); Houston Person (tenor sax); Tardo Hammer (piano); Greg Skaff (guitar); Dennis Irwin (bass); Mark Taylor (drums).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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