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Mark Elf: Over the Airwaves

Fleet-fingered guitarist Elf has come up with another winner with this CD, a tribute to jazz radio and the many DJs who’ve played his previous five discs and propelled them into the top 10 on the Gavin Jazz chart. By now his fans know exactly what to expect of this very talented player-and he doesn’t disappoint them: some very original originals mixed in with a few fascinatingly remodeled standards all played with swing and finesse. Accompanied by bassist Jay Leonhart (who was also on his last CD, New York Cats) and drummer Ralph Peterson, Elf approaches each tune with fresh ears and dazzles the listener with his unique introductions and arrangements.

Of the standards, a joyously rhythmical “Love for Sale” and a boppy “By Myself” vie for top honors. Not content to rest on his laurels, Elf performs “Blue Moon” and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” solo, playing the melody, bass and chords simultaneously. His originals include a lilting bossa, a waltz (“In Three for Bob P.” which he dedicated to ex-KJAZ DJ Bob Parlocha) and “The Cookie Maker,” a roaring take on “Cherokee.” Leonhart and Peterson mesh with Elf perfectly on each tune.

Originally Published