Ellynne Plotnick

I Walk Alone

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The sophomore release from songstress Ellynne Plotnick shows off some interesting phrasing, some nice vocals, and some very impressive composing abilities. The album opens with "Small Day Tomorrow," a nice showcase for Plotnick's phrasing, which is very nearly spoken word in its approach. The tone of her voice is excellent, and the way she chooses a note is also good. The delivery comes out reminiscent of the great disaffected singers and songs, normally related to a broken heart. Here, it's applied to happiness and loneliness alike. This nearly flat delivery continues for much of the album, but disappears from time to time on a mix of old songs and new. When Plotnick moves to her own songs (written in combination with able pianist Dan Furman), the ability to craft a fine verse becomes apparent. There is a reverence for the old bop masters (along with some basic scat from time to time, there are references to Salt Peanuts, among other things), and a tendency to play with the lines a bit. A similar approach is taken to the classics of the songbook (Cole Porter, Ned Washington/Victor Young). Overall, Plotnick proves that she has some fine skills here. The songs can come out a bit flat, but the package in its entirety (composition and performance) is relatively original. Just wait to hear her "Free-Jazz Afro-Cuban Freakout" in "Get out of Town."

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