Reviews

Ellen is a veteran vocalist who has performed with many jazz legends. She took a brief hiatus to raise her daughter and is now back on the scene in the NY/NJ area. It is good to have LaFurn back. The program for C’est La-Furn includes a wide range of classics including “Summer Samba”, “Cherokee” and “Girl Talk”. LaFurn rolls through these pieces effortlessly and with poise.


Leading with her offbeat but captivating voice, LaFurn tackles the great American songbook, but she isn’t afraid to take it on from a broad’s perspective. Coming on like gangbusters in the classic, swinging thrush mode, she does a great job of re-roasting the chestnuts while adding some special sauce of her own to keep them moist and fresh — just right for the classic jazz vocal fan that needs some softer food these days but doesn’t want to give up any of the taste along the way. A solidly swinging date that gives you all you want and more. Check it out.


Ellen LaFurn is both a flautist by training and a jazz singer by instinct. Her instrumental training gives her that important sensitivity to pitch and dynamics, but her creamy voice is more than just perfect In intonation-she has that grasp for the words and the message of the songs she sings down pat.


Perhaps I might be forgiven for this singer being new to me because this is Ellen LaFurn’s debut album although she is far from being a newcomer to the music scene. Ellen worked in music as a teenager, singing backup and singing and playing flute in several bands, which is where she met her late husband, trumpet player Gerry LaFurn, who was co-leader with Charlie Persip of Superband. She then raised her family, taught for some years and now, after retiring, has returned to her first love — music. Ellen has an expressive sound and good diction that helps in her understanding interpretations of lyrics. The songs she has chosen come mostly from that same endless and enduring Songbook, mingled with some that have become known for their performance in a jazz context. Among the songs heard here are I remember You, I’ve Got The World On A String, Cherokee, Girl Talk, Watch What Happens, and I’m Old Fashioned. Accompanied by Rave Tesar, piano, Vic Cenicola, guitar, both well-featured in solos, Ron Naspo, bass and Patrick Cuttitta, drums. Ellen delivers pleasing performances that many will enjoy.