Elli Fordyce

Songs Spun of Gold

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After the success of her belated debut as a leader, jazz vocalist Elli Fordyce, 72 at the time of these sessions, continues to pursue the dream of a music career that was twice interrupted for long periods. Her choice of songs is impeccable, a mix of standards, bossa nova works, and timeless jazz pieces, all sung in a cool fashion with the heart of a veteran. Her emotional rendition of "Softly, as I Leave You" packs a powerful punch, assisted by Jeremy Manasia's sensitive piano, while her medley of Thad Jones' "A Child Is Born" and Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debby" works beautifully. She reprises her vocals with Jim Malloy on her first CD in a delightful rendition of "Oops!," a forgotten recording by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Every singer is expected to know standards like "I'll Remember April" and "My Heart Stood Still"; while Fordyce doesn't break new ground in her interpretations, her sincerity is readily apparent. Female jazz vocalists face some of the toughest competition in the marketplace because of the sheer number of them -- Elli Fordyce makes a strong case that she stands out from the pack.

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