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Live at Small's: Smalls Jazz Nightly Live

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Live At Smalls
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Audio CD, Live, September 12, 2000
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$17.12 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

jazz guitarist stretches out on this live trio recording from Smalls nightclub in New York City, performing blistering, extended solos & a tender ballad as well, feat. bassist Neal Miner & drummer Joe Strausser

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Mark Elf plays bop guitar in a classic vein--high speed, harmonically adventurous, rhythmically aggressive--recalling giants of the form like Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow, and Jimmy Raney. He has technique to spare, and it enables him to add fresh rhythmic detail to a cascading line and to push a long solo to its logical limits. His combination of raw vigor and high dexterity is especially apparent on this, his first live release, recorded in 1995. The youthful rhythm section of Neal Miner on bass and Joe Strausser on drums provided the guitarist with all the fuel he needed. On bop classics like Horace Silver's "Quicksilver" and Thelonious Monk's "52nd Street Theme," Elf is happy at tempos that would have pleased Charlie Parker. He also swings effusively on Kenny Dorham's "The Theme," a Jazz Messengers anthem. The guitarist's lyrical side shows in some rich chorded passages on standards like "Stella by Starlight" and "Too Close for Comfort," but even the ballads are animated by kinetic, coiling, single-note lines. There are two extended versions of his blues song "109 West," and Elf shows that he can find different inspirations in the same material. --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 12, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Jen Bay Jazz
  • ASIN: B00004WK5P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,948 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Mark Elf's playing is in the tradition of bop guitar. His touch makes him sound a bit like Grant Green. Elf plays high speed runs with ease, somewhat a la Pat Martino, and can slip into chordal mode on medium and slower tempo tunes. He is not attempting to take jazz guitar anywhere new, he just does an outstanding job of continuing the tradition. The first two songs should tell you whether you'll enjoy his style on the uptempo tunes.
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Format: Audio CD
He is quite impressive in his dexterity and fluidity. There are many good things to say about his playing and I'm sure others will corroborate that, however, he tends to noodle a lot and at times he also sounds very choppy. Additionally, I can't tell many of his songs a part from one another as he tends to sound very repetitive. By far though the most annoying and distracting thing he does is "sign" the notes as he plays his solos. I noticed that in some of the songs in his Live at Small's CD, I don't know if he does that all the time. In all fairness, while I have listened to many of his songs and do enjoy his music, I have never bought any of his CDs because I refuse to pay $17 for CDs and it's unlikely that I ever will buy one at that price.
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Live at Small's: Smalls Jazz Nightly
This item: Live at Small's: Smalls Jazz Nightly
Price: $17.12
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