Charlie Elgart on Apple Music

Charlie Elgart

Some of the highest honors received by Charlie Elgart have been a pair of gold albums for his work as producer, arranger, and keyboardist on projects by the saxophonist Najee. Even the most casual listen to these recordings, Najee's Theme and Day by Day, reveal that Elgart's talents lie in the milder side of jazz, the funky and groovy sounds sometimes referred to as "gliding music" or "jazz lite." Nonetheless, jazz heavyweights also figure into the total Elgart picture. He played in the New York Fantasy Band alongside musicians such as the great guitarist Larry Coryell, vibraphone master Roy Ayers, and the fine drummer Victor Bailey.

Elgart's work under his own name includes versions of jazz standards such as "Solar" by Miles Davis as well as the sort of material associated with Najee. His broad range of musical interests is also reflected in his technical abilities, his mastery of both keyboard and reed instruments, as well as a sure hand at the mixing console. He has a reputation as a producer with an attention to detail that is still going strong even after Sherlock Holmes has gone to sleep. On his recordings Elgart seems to have no time for rest, working as composer, producer, arranger, and engineer while also taking care of all the keyboard work. He has also collaborated with saxophonist Craig Handy on a new musical project, again providing expertise as producer and engineer.

Elgart has also been involved in many television and radio soundtracks as well as advertising jingles. Commercials for an alternative energy company, for example, feature tasty musical contributions from Elgart and singer Kenny Loggins. For the jazz listener who would rather not hear a commercial or a commercial style, Elgart has promised an effort focusing on his talents in a traditional piano trio setting. He should not be confused with the earlier jazz multi-instrumentalist Charlie Elgar; something that happens when typesetters run out of the letter "t." ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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