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Elemental Soul

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Album Review

Marlena Shaw's recording career has been rather spotty, with the soulful singer often recording inferior and forgettable pop tunes. Fortunately, her Concord releases (of which this CD was her second) have been on a higher level. For this date, Shaw is accompanied by pianist Dave Hazeltine, either Earl May or Terry Miller on bass, and drummer Jerry Jones; the first three numbers add the always welcome tenor of Stanley Turrentine. Not all of the material is equally memorable ("Where Do You Start?" did not need to be recorded again), but there are enough highlights to make this a worthy acquisition, including "Your Mind Is on Vacation," "How Deep Is the Ocean?," the 1920s chestnut "Handy Man," "'Round Midnight," and "My Old Flame."


Born: September 22, 1942 in New Rochelle, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Marlena Shaw is among the most versatile and charismatic jazz vocalists on the scene today. Her performances are marked by an artful blend of pop standards and straight-ahead jazz tunes. Her extroverted stage presence gives her an edge over other vocalists, and clearly, singing live before an audience is where she feels most comfortable. After her uncle Jimmy Burgess introduced her to the recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, she caught the jazz bug and purchased records by Al Hibbler,...
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Elemental Soul, Marlena Shaw
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