Lazy Afternoon

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Elin's story is one of dogged determination. Born Kathleen Celia Elin Melgarejo, she's a Swede who fell in love with Brazilian music, then fell in love with jazz, decided she would learn Portuguese and immerse herself in Brazilian culture, and finally put it all together to become a singer of Brazilian jazz. Lazy Afternoon is the evidence that she succeeded beautifully in accomplishing her goal. Performing both original compositions and standards by George and Ira Gershwin (a swinging, upbeat "Fascinating Rhythm" opens the set), Milton Nascimento, Antonio Carlos Jobim and others, Elin proves a skillful improviser, a clever manipulator of melody, and a confident bandleader. Moving from sambas to more straightforward jazz, she possesses a genial tone and a skillful, imaginative delivery. The steady rolling of "I Love New York," her tribute to her adopted city (she worked at the World Trade Center), is sung in a spirited manner devoid of somberness, while the Brazilian-originated material -- including the deliciously breezy "Doralice," which she heard sung by João Gilberto, and the scatted "Casa Forte," borrowed from Elis Regina -- leave no doubt that this European with Brazil in her blood has thoroughly carried out her dream.

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