Album Review: Feel Again from Elena Maque
Album: Feel Again
Artist: Elena Maque
The confluence of soul and cool jazz is illustrated beautifully and meaningfully on vocalist-saxophonist Elena Maque’s latest release Feel Again. Diametrically different, the two styles of music have a true pathfinder in St. Petersburg, Russia born and Seattle, Washington based Maque whose tender vocal resonance can beguile a baby to sleep and equally brandish steamy vibrations that stir uplifting moods in listeners.
Her remake of “And I Love Her” by the Beatles emotes a hypnotic sensuality that brings out a feminine allure, wrapped in the smoky mist of Leonardo Amuedo’s guitar and the soft rustle of Brad Dutz’s percussion, adding a bossa nova texture to the melody. Amuedo’s guitar solo ignites a poignant, fiery blaze whose sinewy flame is slowly doused in the closing of the tune. The sensual swerves of Maque’s saxophone cruising along her original track “Weightless” project a cool jazz glow, bolstered by the delicate flickers of Darin Clendenin’s piano keys, as Michael Glynn’s bass and D’Vonne Lewis’s drumming deftly trolley lulling swells along the melodic progressions.
The soulful lilt of Maque’s vocals illuminates “Autumn Rain” with a surge of optimism as the lyrics lament, “I’m sorry darling, you are too late / when we had something… you say you’re sorry, just didn’t know / who writes the story of someone’s soul / one day you love me, one day you don’t.” The glistening sparks communicated by Scott Kinsey’s piano keys compose a monologue that sonically expresses the sorrow and optimism spoken in the lyrics.
The mood switches to a exuberant pitch along “Like A Song,” powered by an uplifting Latin rhythm. And unforgettable is her reimagining of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s perennial hit “Girl From Ipanema,” laden in warm and breezy passages from guitarist Amuedo and supplemented by the pulsating beats of Gary Novak’s drums and Hadrien Feraud’s bass. Sung in Portuguese and English, Maque’s timbres infuse the track with a passionate luster.
Produced by her keyboardist Scott Kinsey, Maque’s offering is gilded in her refined, soulful vocals and supplemented by cozy, cool jazz atmospherics. A university-trained musician, she has spent years honing her craft and enchanting audiences throughout Russia, Europe, and the United States. She succeeds again in enchanting audiences with Feel Again.
Elena Maque – saxophones, vocal, and executive producer
Scott Kinsey – piano, Rhodes, music producer
Hadrien Feraud – bass,
Gary Novak – drums
Leonardo Amuedo – guitar
Brad Dutz – percussion
Katisse: flute (“Like A Song”)
Alexey Nikolaev: tenor sax (“Hey Friend”)
Logan Kane: bass (“Lover Man”)
Darin Clendenin: piano (“Weightless”)
D’Vonne Lewis: drums (“Weightless”)
Michael Glynn: bass (“Weightless”)
Darrius Willrich: back vocal (“Autumn Rain”)
Dan Marcus: trombone (“Like A Song”)