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Elana James

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Audio CD, February 27, 2007
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Twenty-Four Hours a Day 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. One More Night 2:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Oh, Baby 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Goodbye Liza Jane 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. All the World and I 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Run Away with Me 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Eva's Waltz 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Down the Line 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good) 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Silver Bells 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Little Green Valley 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Memories of You 2:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. I Don't Mind 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 27, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Snarf Records
  • ASIN: B000I6B55U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,994 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This the debut CD from the Hot Jazzy Fiddle-ist and vocalist from the westen swing power trio Hot Club of Cowtown and Bob Dylan's touring band. Elana [James'] throaty violin solos arrived in terse, epigrammatic phrases with a sprint, every so often, into chromatic harmony. She also sang in a breathy, un-self-conscious voice that made every double-entendre seductive. --Jon Pareles New York Times


As a featured instrumentalist (then known as Elana Fremerman) within the Hot Club of Cowtown, the violinist helped bridge the Parisian jazz of Django Reinhardt and the western swing of Bob Wills. When the Hot Club disbanded after touring with Bob Dylan, she served a stint in Dylan's band. On her solo debut, Elana James continues to impress as an instrumentalist, though her original material is pretty slight and her voice lacks range. Uptempo fare such as "Twenty-Four Hours a Day," "Oh, Baby," and "Run Away with Me" mainly serves as a springboard for sprightly instrumental interplay, with bassist Beau Sample and guitarist Dave Biller among those providing superb support, while Texas Playboy alum Johnny Gimble guests on a couple of other cuts. The stately "Eva's Waltz" instrumental and the Appalachian strains of "All the World and I," with doubled-tracked vocal harmonies, suggest that her songs are stronger when she slows things down, as does her rendition of Dylan's "One More Night." Covers of a couple Ellington tunes--"I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)" and "I Don't Mind"--are passably torchy, but the violin remains her most compelling voice. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

She has a distinct style and voice.
Susan A. Harris, Prints
A very musical blend of swing, jazz, country and folk, she crosses genres with ease and makes it seem so effortless.
Robert Martin
This album reinforces her belief that the key to success is just a matter of getting out there and doing it.
J. Ross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Ross on February 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Playing Time - 40:24 -- Elana Fremerman is originally from Kansas. In search of her muse, she's now living in Austin and is known as Elana James. Beaming with irresistible, savory music, Elana's debut comfortably presents original songs alongside classic jazz and western swing standards. All have straightforward stories and simple declarations. The ten-year member of the Hot Club of Cowtown was invited to join Bob Dylan's group shortly after the former disbanded. She covers Dylan's hit that was originally released in the 60s, "One More Night," and she's clearly ready for the light to shine on her. Building off her previous body of recorded work, Elana's music radiates with plenty of seductive charm, confidence and composure. It's nice to see the skillful musician making the big leap to being a full-fledged soloist in the spotlight. It's obviously a kind of liberating experience for her. Six of the CD's cuts are her own self-penned original songs demonstrating her proficiency as both musician and lyricist. Her challenge is to make the set sound both new and old alike, and Elana has that special knack that will surely bring much continued success. One of the youngest inductees into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame, Elana is happening probably because she sings and plays with so much fervor and infatuation. She's got it bad, and luckily for us that's good!

Whether bowing her "Eva's Waltz" or vocalizing Eubie Blake's big 1940s hit "Memories of You," she connects the dots from past to present. She's blessed with a Midas touch on her violin that moves effortlessly from note to note throughout the album. Actually, she prefers to be known as a "fiddilist.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on March 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Fiddle virtuoso Elana James (nee Fremerman) steps out front following the dissolution of her gypsy-jazz-meets-western-swing band, Hot Club of Cowtown. In addition to handling the lead vocals, James wrote nearly half the tunes and carefully selected the rest from the catalogs of Bob Dylan (with whom she recently toured), Duke Ellington and Eubie Blake. Her voice is not quite the seasoned instrument of her violin, but its qualities - at times thin and whispery -- are compelling. Upbeat tunes like "Oh, Baby" sport the jazzy sass of Annie Ross, and the multitracked vocal of "Goodbye Liza Jane" echo The Andrews Sisters.

James' fiddle is supported by the propulsive bass playing of Beau Sample, the superb guitar of Dave Biller and Joe Kerr's smooth, late-night piano. James duets with the legendary Johnny Gimble on a mid-tempo arrangement of "Silver Bells" and shows off the fluidity of her playing on the original "Eva's Waltz." Her songwriting and singing confidently bridge her jazz and country influences, slowing for the Appalachian-stained harmonies of "All the World and I" and realizing Ellington's "I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good)" as a thoughtful daydream.

This is a delightful release whose charms bow to swing ancestors without devolving into costumed revivalism. As a leader, James is g as a western swinger, but surprising on the jazzier ballads; she's always been spunky, but her slinky takes as a chanteuse are exhilarating. [©2007 hyperbolium dot com]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Old Man from the Valley on April 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD
It was my first visit to Gruene Hall, south of Austin, on a Saturday afternoon in Dec. '06, and I was amazed to find that Elana and her band was playing there for tips. What a day! On the break, I bought my CD from her. I admit, on the CD, I thought her fiddling comes across a bit better than her vocals on the CD. On the other hand, when she was live, I really enjoyed her voice more than the fiddle--go figure. Regardless, I enjoy the total package!

At any rate, I'll buy her next CDs as fast as they come out. I'm also planning on catching her live in the future.

After listening to fiddle music most of my life, I know good fiddle. She's got good fiddle! I'm guessing Johnny Gimble enjoyed playing with her as much as she was honored playing with him. They both are in my top five fiddlers. Great First CD after HCC!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a really fun, lively solo debut for Elana James, a talented Texas fiddler formerly with the now-defunct Hot Club Of Cowtown... She mixes western swing with elegant, Ellingtonian jazz and a bit of gypsy swing... All of it sounds great, and she sounds completely focussed and joyful. Definitely recommended! (DJ Joe Sixpack)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Judge on September 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Wow, was I in for a pleasant surprise when I happened on to Elana James. I took a chance on this album only because of a Austin connection. Having spent a little time in that storied town, I felt that criteria was enough to spend the thirteen or so dollars on this new (to me) talent. She had me from the second cut on. Her rendition of "One More Night" made me forget Bob Dylan for two minutes and thirty-five seconds that Elan wove her magic on his standard. If you are looking for an exciting new talent - that does not follow the same worn-out patterns that we are bombarded with on most new c.d.'s. Now, the exciting part, this woman can fiddle and I mean fiddle! I have played this album about six times so far and find myself more engaged with the music on every succeeding playing.
The mixing by Mark Hallman gives a very forward presence to the music. His style of mixing is a very comfortable fit with this group of musicians, as it is composed mostly of strings with a nice mix of Joe Kerr's Piano and Bruce Blackman's Clarinet. You will have to wait until the last cut to hear a wonderful interpretation of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's "I Don't Mind," a tune worth waiting for. The nice thing here is that you are not wasting your time playing all of the twelve previous songs, for when you arrive at the end of number thirteen - more than likely you will start number one all over again!
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