Mark Elf


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This is a particularly interesting program by boppish guitarist Mark Elf. The date starts out strong (with "Trickynometry" and "Dot Com Blues"), featuring a quintet that includes trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and one regrets that Payton is only on one of the remaining ten numbers. In addition to Elf (who is in top form), the musicians include Bobby LaVell on tenor (for the same three songs as Payton), either Christian McBride or Neal Miner on bass and drummer Yoron Israel. Grady Tate and Miles Griffith take a vocal apiece, but most tunes feature Elf in a trio. The music is consistently excellent with other highlights including "Just In Time," "Milestones" and "Monk Like"; if only Payton (who sounds pretty fiery in spots) had been persuaded to stick around for the other songs too.

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