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10/14/09

Ellynne Plotnick

Life Is Beautiful

Ellynne Plotnick’s life is the stuff that meaningful movies are made of being a source of inspiration for others to find what gives them joy. As an elementary school teacher by day in her home state of Connecticut, Plotnick is rewarded by nurturing young minds, but after hours, she indulges in the blissful tones of soiree mood music and easy listening supper club jazz. As a singer, she delivers the graceful rond de jambes of Irene Atman and possesses a lush palette of timbres liken to Jane Monheit. As a songwriter, she displays the roomy harmonies relatable to Rodgers and Hart and the tranquil esthetics of Shubert. Her latest CD, Life Is Beautiful from Princess Monkey Music, does justice to classic, dreamy jazz tunage with a repertoire that brims with Great American Songbook décor.

Every track is an original piece of work written or co-written by Plotnick, and features a wonderful assortment of musicians which spans the orchestral swirls of tenor saxophonists Chris Coulter and Steve Moran and trumpeter Fred Mariano to the classic jazz trimmings of pianist Dan Furman and the dreamy brushstrokes of guitarist John Cain. The bass and drum combos provide a fireside ambience in the backdrop that turns into comfy bossa nova gait in numbers like “Midnight Shades Of Blue” and “When The Going Gets Too Tough” with rain sticks, woodblocks, and a variety of percussive tools that create a veritable siesta of dance grooves which inject a starburst of flavors to the album. The tune “Song For Barbara” is a loving tribute to the late vocalist Barbara Winfield who toured with Duke Ellington at the start of her career when she was seventeen. “Recurrence” was composed around a poem by Dorothy Parker and gently fringed in light bass knolls, while “As Rare As You” is delicately seamed by Furman’s feathery piano doodles.

Plotnick creates an intimate setting between herself and the listener. She is fearless in her delivery and pervades a calming composure and melodic sensibilities that show the sophistication of classic jazz vocalists. Plotnick combines a taste of vintage Americana jazz and bossa nova in her album that soothes the soul and injects good vibes into every pore. Her album overflows with good tidings and is effective in displaying jazz music‘s melodic beauty.

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