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Album Review

Although she shares the billing on this session with tenor saxophonist Spike Robinson, this is very much an Ellyn Rucker album. A bop-based pianist so talented that she really does not have to sing, and a highly appealing jazz vocalist who would be quite notable if she did not play an instrument, Ellyn Rucker has long deserved to be famous in the jazz world. Based in Denver, Rucker combines her two skills at a level that has not been heard since Nat King Cole; when she accompanies her vocals, the piano playing is so stimulating that one would swear that there were two people involved. Spike Robinson, one of the last practitioners of the Four Brothers cool-toned Lester Young sound, is in excellent form and has swinging solos on most of the 11 standards. But it is for the playing and singing of Ellyn Rucker (heard at her best on such songs as "El Cajon," "Nobody Else but Me," "You Took Advantage of Me," and "As Long as I Live") that this CD (released in 1995 and also featuring the late bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Ralph Penland) is most highly recommended.


Born: 29 July 1937 in Des Moines, IA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A talented bop-based pianist and a highly appealing and sensuous singer, Ellyn Rucker has long been a fixture in the Denver area. Although she started playing piano when she was eight, discovered jazz at 13, and studied classical piano at Drake University, she did not decide to become a full-time musician until 1979. Rucker has toured Europe several times (with and without Spike Robinson), recorded several albums for Capri, has a full-length video on Leisure Jazz, and performed at many festivals....
Full bio
Nice Work!, Ellyn Rucker
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