MICHAEL DOHERTY’S MUSIC LOG
Elena Maque: “Feel Again” – Elena Maque is a singer, saxophonist and composer who adds elements of pop and funk to jazz on her debut album, Feel Again. The album features mostly original material, along with Elena Maque’s own interpretations of three very well-known covers. Joining her on this release are Scott Kinsey on piano and organ, Hadrien Feraud on bass, Gary Novak on drums, Leonardo Amuedo on guitar, and Brad Dutz on percussion, along with guests on various tracks. The album opens with an original song, “Hey Friend,” which begins with some cool, kind of funky work on guitar, and a strong, prominent groove. There is a friendly, bright vibe to her voice that is appealing. Then partway through, we get some good stuff on saxophone. That’s followed by a wonderful rendition of “Lover Man,” featuring an excellent vocal performance that is sexy and yet contains that element of longing. And I dig that work on keys. The album also includes covers of Jobim’s “The Girl From Ipanema” and The Beatles’ “And I Love Her” (though she does change the gender of the loved one to male in the latter song’s lyrics). The album’s title track is a fun number with something of a pop style and energy, and some cool work on bass. “Because every time I hear your voice/I realize I have no choice/But let your love take over me.” But it is that great work on saxophone that really stands out. A highlight for me is “Weightless,” even though it doesn’t feature Elena Maque’s voice. This instrumental track is beautiful and contains some moving and expressive work on saxophone. I also love “Chance,” the way it begins as a lullaby, then suddenly springs to life, and with David Lange’s work on accordion, takes on a European flavor. This album was released on November 19, 2021.