Half Notes: The Elements of Jazz – The Elements of Jazz (2011)

Share this:

The Elements of Jazz is a quartet from Miami bills themselves as “The New Sound of Miami,” with its clean and lean jazzy grooves that sharply contrast with the “new sound of Miami” from the 80s, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. The one common element is that both evoke the sights and sounds of South Florida; in the case of TEOJ, it’s light, organic funk infused with jazz elements that feels like a breeze coming in from the Atlantic. Starting out as a big band, the group dwindled down to founders Bennet Davis (drums) and Jerry Nelson (bass), adding Yohan McGlashan (sax) and a former sax player in the big band, Brandon Janvion (guitar). Everyone plays a part in forming the band’s signature sound. McGlashan’s tenor carries the primary lead role, and Janvion fills out the overall sonic footprint nicely with some rich rhythm guitar work that fits in where you might expect a keyboard. Davis is of course integral as the main rhythm maker, and Nelson wrote all the songs in addition to supplying occasional bass leads. Their self-titled album, released last month, is their first one, introducing this band that’s easy on the ears, but doesn’t forget the purpose behind its name. Though there’s plenty of danceable tunes, there’s also variety in the form of bossa nova (“Midnight Conversation”), reggae (“Release”), waltz (“Cloud 9”) and dynamic, modern jazz overtones in the 5/4 pattern of “Arisen.” The Elements of Jazz may be more crossover than the name implies, but it’s the frills-free kind of crossover that can make new fans of the real jazz, and give real jazz fans some worthy chill-out music without all the guilt.

Click here for The Elements of Jazz’s website.

Half Notes is a quick-take music feature on Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B004JVX6VQ” /]

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
Share this:
Close