Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mark Elf - Dream Steppin'

On Dream Steppin’, Mark Elf’s eighth release for his Jen Bay label, the first thing you notice is the guitarist’s distinctive sound. The tone is full, rounded, and each note rings hard and true. While encompassing the somewhat polite quality of traditional jazz guitar, his sound nonetheless looms large, almost getting in your face without veering off into the sonic territory normally associated with Rock and R & B-influenced music. On the other hand, there’s nothing imprudent about Elf’s playing. Even at fast tempos everything is in its proper place. The neat, thoughtful development of his turns is a pleasant contrast to the legions of plectrists who sacrifice form in favor of facile visceral impact. Although the record mostly features his able original material (“Griff’s Riff,” “Rhymin’ For Simon,” and “Pregnant Chad Blues” are particularly catchy), Elf also displays affection for the melodies of a few standards. For example, while executing Irving Berlin’s “Cheek To Cheek,” he evokes the romantic dance of the tune’s lyrics by cleverly integrating single notes and chords.
Excepting two solo guitar cuts (one is an ornate treatment of the patriotic song “America”), Elf works with bassist Neal Miner and drummer Lewis Nash, and overdubs light, skeletal rhythm guitar parts that subtly broaden the trio’s overall sound. Although the impression made by their respective instruments is not as forceful or assertive as the guitarist’s, Miner and Nash are ideal partners — so good, in fact, that it’s difficult to imagine the record without them. The bassist has a nice, full, woody intonation, and interesting things to say as a soloist on “Loved Again,” and “Blues To The Left.” Nash is a master of percussive textures and rhythmic nuance. Without making a big deal of it, he effectively utilizes a stick in one hand and brush in the other during portions of the title track and “Ballad 2000,” and skillfully integrates his bass drum to accent portions of Elf’s statement of the melody on “Loved Again.”
David A. Oothmann

Source :

Mark Elf
Dream Steppin'


1 Dream Steppin' (Elf)  3:20
2 Too Marvelous For Words ()  4:38
3 Loved Again (Elf)  4:44
4 Griff's Riff (Elf)  6:19
5 Oye DNA (Elf)  4:53
6 Ballad 2000 (Elf)  7:21
7 Rhymin' For Simon (Elf)  4:32
8 Blues To The Left (Elf)  3:55
9 America (public domain)  3:34
10 Cheek To Cheek (Berlin)  5:37
11 Pregnant Chad Blue (Elf)  4:35
12 Have You Met Miss Jones ? (Rodgers, Hart)  4:38
13 Pregnant Chad Blues [alt.take] (Elf)  1:25


Mark Elf - g
Neal Miner - b
Lewis Nash - dr

Recorded at Acoustic Sound Recording [Trio], New York ; November 20 & 21, 2001 ; & Sound on Sound Studio [Solo] ; December 18, 2000


Melanchthon said...

Fernando said...

Thank you Mel!

wouter said...

this album is new to me, and i like mark elf a lot!
thanks very much, Mel!

Rodney said...

Thank you, Mel. Unknown album to me too.

OldHippieRick said...

WoW 19 pages of spam to get links a new record I hope they pay you to use that I know I would never use that much spam to share 1 album but it was a nice cd so thanks but I'll be more sellective on what DL here from now on since my anti-virus what crazy just to get links... oldhppierick

duck said...

Mel, finally got this album but PW was needed 4 times to unrar each part. Is this correct? Cheers and as always thanks for the music.

francisco santos said...

re-post, please !...
BIG THX !....