THE BATTERY PARK CITY BROADSHEET
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Elli Fordyce: Press
Elli Fordyce/Something Still Cool: Elli Fordyce is not exactly the Grandma Moses of female jazz singers, but releasing her first album at the age of 70 does require some explanation. In her case, long absences to raise a family and recover from an auto accident prevented her from ever putting together a body of work before now, though she has been singing off and on over the years. This collection of 13 standards, culminating with the June Christy signature piece alluded to in the title, shows that Fordyce plans to make up for lost time, and how. As Scott Yanow remarks in the liner notes, Fordyce excels at phrasing and giving the lyrics a knowing, personal touch. She won't blow you away with the technique of an Ella Fitzgerald, but she always maintains complete control and possesses a mature, slightly smoky tone that reinforces the personal twist she adds to the lyrics. Fordyce is at her best on the slower ballads, like "Dindi" (#2), "Don't Blame Me" (#5), "Imagination" (#8), and "Something Cool" (#13), where her stretching and relaxing the melodic tempo further emphasizes the lyrics. The program also includes five duets with Jim Malloy, most of which swing slightly, though on "Almost Like Being in Love" (#7) the pace almost gets a little too rambunctious. The solo "They Can't Take That Away From Me" (#10) also swings ever so slightly and sounds great doing it, proving that perhaps Fordyce swings best when she swings alone. However she chooses to swing, though, let's hope it doesn't take as long to crank out her next effort.
DJ Responses: "Something Still Cool":
Dick Crockett, Voice" 88.7FM: "the "There's no rush, no hurry, let lovely waves of Elli Fordyce tempo and interpretive lyrics, overcome you."
Dick Hughes, Community Radio, Jazz Action, Productions: "Hello [from] Sydney, Australia. Thank you [Kate Smith Promotions] again for your generosity and supporting our public radio here. I am very impressed with the musicianship displayed on Something Still Cool ... the CD ... what an impressive singer Elli Fordyce is, at such a mature age to be debuting in the recording world."
Bruno Pollacci, www.animajazz.it: "It's been a real pleasure to receive and to listen [to] your voice that I appreciate very much. I'll promote with passion your CD [on] my 'A Voice, A Soul,' a specific program dedicated to International Jazz Voices.... The listeners of 'Animajazz' and 'A Voice, A Soul' are from all Continents, weekly promotion is international to thousands of Jazz organizers, Labels, Owners of Jazz Clubs, Promoters, Associations, Critics, Musicians and Passionists, so it's real publicity for the artists in my programs.... "
Joost van Steen, The Netherlands, www.jazzbluestour.nl: "And again, a great CD from a 'Jazz-Diva,' at least that's my opinion listening [to] Elli's great CD!!! She has that full, mature vocal style which most young vocalists cannot bring (yet), so I really like what I hear and the CD will be an asset to my program. Thanks so much! ... My pleasure [for my] reaction [to] your CD, already listened to it 3 times and it will be the utmost pleasure to airplay it on my program [starting] February 5.... Respect for the album and your skills and lots of good luck."
Mark Robinson, New Zealand, www.georgefm.co.nz/jazz: I listened to Elli Fordyce this morning as I opened [Kate Smith Promotions'] packages. My notes on the CD read most favorably and as I speak it is being ripped to be loaded onto George Jazz -- Fav track on the CD being 'It Could Happen To You' but only 'cos I do like my jazz up-tempo as a rule. Very cool and classy CD release. Great work on there by the rest of the band with Joe Magnarelli playing beautifully. Elli does indeed have a smooth rich voice. I too heard Anita O'Day in there and perhaps a tiny bit of Blossom Dearie, but as the liner notes say, Elli has a wonderful voice of her own."
Bob Collins, The Jazz Café, WRHU: "Elli's new CD is first rate, nice mix of songs with stylish singing and great musical accompaniment."
Dr. Michael E. Matheny, IO Real JAZZ, RadioIO.com: "I will tell you what is sweet, the [release] I am writing you about, 'Something Still Cool,' which I received yesterday by post ... have added these tracks to radioIO Vocal Jazz for immediate play, look at dis! Almost Like Being In Love (w/ Jim Malloy), Dindi Don't Blame Me, Hey There (w/ Jim Malloy, I Thought About You (w/ Jim Malloy, Imagination, It Could Happen To You, Love Is Here To Stay (w/ Jim Malloy, One Note Samba (w/ Jim Malloy, Something Cool, They Can't Take That Away From Me, When Sunny Gets Blue, Wouldn't It Be Loverly? Elli? Ella? What's the difference! Ha! Elli is seventy? ... Phew. cut me a break here, she sounds like a 23-year old. Now THAT is sweet." And: "Hello Elli. Greetings from drmike: I am enjoying your music so much! Your CD was a great surprise for me. I always [love] discovering great talent for our audience. I am spinning live now and have just loaded a back-to-back coming up soon with 'Almost Like Being in Love' and 'Dindi.' I also like the team of your voice and Jim's. Please let Jim know my appreciation. Our audience is very lucky to have your new tracks for their enjoyment at RadioIO.com."
Paul Borelli, Music Director, KOOP.com: "Elli Fordyce 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' -- "Something Still Cool" is added. I am a BIG fan of classic jazz female vocals and I don't hear too many singers today who measure up to the greats. Your CD does -- reminds me of Annie Ross in a way. Glad that you finally got to get that first album under your belt. Now don't wait another 70 years for the next one -- I doubt I'll be around.'