Edge

Alumna’s CD a scat-talkin’ time

If there ever was a city to fully appreciate Elin (pronounced Ee-ah-LEEN), it would be Miami. Not only is Elin a graduate of UM’s School of Music, but with her mix of English, Spanish and Portugese lyrics, she appeals to the diverse cultures of South Florida. On her debut album Lazy Afternoon, Elin takes traditional jazz and adds a dash of her personalized flavor, replete with influences from South America and Europe.

The best example of Elin’s experimentalism is her album opener, “Fascinating Rhythm.” This well-known Gershwin classic, usually performed at a casual lilt, becomes Elin’s own as she kicks up the tempo, adds Latin rhythm and slips into Portugese after the first verse. With a catchy end result, Elin makes her rendition worthy of its title.

For most of the disc’s remainder, Elin slows down to create a leisurely mood, beginning with her title track, “Lazy Afternoon.” While her soothing, languid lyrics and fluid instrumentals succeed in setting the tone, at times Elin’s vocals err a bit on a clean, crisp side. Her talent is undeniable, but such a sweet voice seems better suited to pop.

More so than other genres, jazz emphasizes its instruments; Elin’s band follows suit by enriching the album with constantly rolling notes, especially effective when coupled with the frequent flow of Spanish lyrics. But simply put, Elin will not convert those with jazz-aversions to fandom. Her use of typical jazz techniques like scat talking (the nonsense syllabic utterances that many singers use to aversions to fandom. Her use of typical jazz techniques like scat talking (the nonsense syllabic utterances that many singers use to fill in lyrical gaps) may raise eyebrows among those unfamiliar with the genre.

For those that don’t already hate jazz, Lazy Afternoon makes for a pleasant listen, suitable for classy background music at a dinner party or the soundtrack to a study session. Like a good cup of coffee, Lazy Afternoon goes down smooth; quite a feat, considering Elin’s risky, innovative style.

Hannah Bae can be contacted at h.bae@umiami.edu.

September 22, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.