Mark Elf: Liftoff




Mark Elf (guitar)


Liftoff (Jen Bay Records 0011)

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Mark Elf (guitar),

David Hazeltine (piano), Peter Washington (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)


Composed by Mark Elf


Recorded: New York, November 21, 2005


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Aural astronaut "Mach" Elf gracefully defies the gravity of these heavy changes. Like Mark's "Elfin's Pace" (a nod to Coltrane's "Giant Steps"), this Elf composition is based on Trane's "Countdown." Bop may be the propellant, but Mark's melocity equals his velocity; his speed-of-sound solo is stunning yet sing-able by an agile singer. With the celestial crew of Hazeltine, Washington and Nash, who all walked into the session cold yet ascended into orbital velocity from launch point, this mission burns from start to fission. If only the flight had lasted long enough for a piano solo; the track lands at under 3:00, but there's an alternate take in which Hazeltine's prime comping modifies the vibe. In case you can't get enough of Mark propelling through this supersonic progression, check out the YouTube clip of him test-flying the tune at his home studio.

Reviewer: Marissa Dodge

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In Conversation with Mark Elf by Marissa Dodge

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