Ellynne Plotnick – Life is Beautiful

Ellynne Plotnick
Life is Beautiful
Princess Monkey – 2010

Life is Beautiful, the culmination of a year and a half of writing, will transport you sonically through time and space. Every track on this album is a destination, its own musical point of departure and return. Each song will take you to a new exciting undiscovered place.

Ellynne Plotnick, has been garnering respect and admiration among musicians and vocalists for being a highly capable songwriter with something unique and memorable to say. Her melodies are distinctive. Her harmonies are complex and sophisticated.

Her music has plenty of rhythmic variety and she writes meaningful intelligent lyrics.

Essentially anchored in modern jazz, “Life is Beautiful” is an infusion of many other musical genres. This title track (both the first and last song on the album) subtly switches it up, going from 6/8 to 4/4 and back. This upbeat anthem has tinges of reggae and the underpinnings of an American spiritual.

“Changing Voices/Changing Beauty,” a slightly dark a nd mysterious tune without words, is a loosely influenced tribute to Chick Corea and Flora Purim. The musicians go in and out of double time samba during their solos, which dramatically build in intensity before returning to the theme.

“A House Abandoned,” about parental desertion in a small town around the time of the Great Depression, contains unusual intervals not commonly written for singers. “Song for Barbara” is a dedication to Barbara Winfield, (now deceased), who went on the road with Duke Ellington at the age of seventeen. “Midnight Shades of Blue,” an atmospheric bossa nova, is richly peppered with textures and sounds. Rain sticks, woodblocks, and other percussive elements create a lush tropical rainforest backdrop for the vocals and instruments. “I Wonder” is groove oriented, rhythm driven, and soulful. It’s a “feel good” tune with traces of R & B. “Recurrence,” composed around a poem by Dorothy Parker, utilizes both classical and orchestral elements. “As Rare as You,” a whimsical “list song” (in the style of “You’re the top…”) Pianist Dan Furman wrote the music to suit Ellynne’s witty lyrics. This song made its successful debut at the famed Oak Room at the Algonquin during a special evening of song.

“When the Going Gets Too Tough,” an uptempo Latin song, features great lyrics and a tasty solo by bassist Tom Pietrycha.