Bruce Von Stiers
A lot of really good music has come out of Chicago. From rock to blues to pop and beyond, Chicago seems to be a place that sprouts talent. One such talent is contemporary pop artist Elle Casazza. She has played at some of Chicago's top venues such as Martyes, Mayne Stage and the Concord Music Hall.
In 2013 Elle released the EP For Your Pleasure that was well received. She followed up with three singles that got quite a bit of airplay and accolades from several publications.
Now Elle is back with a whole new set of songs. They can be found in Elle's new album, Proof. The album contains nine songs and has a play time of thirty-five minutes.
Elle wrote all of the songs on the album and produced it as well. Jeff Breakey did the mixing and engineering. He's worked on albums by Steve Cole and Anita Wilson among others. The mastering wad done by James Auwarter, whose credits include albums by Jay Z and Kanye West.
Besides playing the keyboards on this album, Julian Chin has also worked with several other artists. He is also on the staff of the Chicago High School For The Arts. Jon Gould plays guitar on the album. Besides working with Elle, Jon also plays with Honey & the 45's, Meagan Hickman and Ruben Alvarez's Sun Sounds. On drums is Jarad Kleinstein. He's also played with Honey & the 45's, along with Jamie Lono and the jazz/ funk band Genome. Kyle Madsen is also a member of Genome. He plays the alto and tenor sax for Elle on this album. On bass and synthesizer is Ben McFadden. He has recorded with Glass Animals and has his own solo gig as McFabulous. Besides playing trumpet for Elle on this album, Caleb Mitchell also plays for The Right Now. On trombone is Xavier Galdon. He too is a member of the band Genome. Ryan Tedder plays baritone sax on the album. Allison Tutton plays the French horn. Allison is also a member of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Jessica Ondracek is a member of the Sveltezza Ensemble. She plays the cello on this album. Sarah Blickensderfer is half of the duo Sugar Still. She plays the violin here for Elle. On viola is Kevin Lin.
The title of the first song is Hey. It is a song that will take you back to the pop soul sound of the ‘60's. It kind of made me thing of Amy Winehouse. Which is not surprising as Elle counts Amy Winehouse as one of her major influences.
Then there is Save Me. It has a bit of funk and a bit of blues layered in a groove laden track.
Too Bad is a light groove that will have you bopping your head rather quickly,
Cooking mixes R & B and ‘60's girl group pop.
I Listed is another song that made me think of Amy Winehouse. It is light but with a certain amount of angst.
Last Word is kind of a pop / rock song. It might remind you of Gwen Stefani and No Doubt, who Elle also counts as influences.
The Body Knows is a smoky, sultry R & B love lament.
You is a love song with an R & B flavoring. Mellow, yet with some angst.
The final song on the album is Isn't It Good. As I was listening to this song, I couldn't help but think about girl group songs from back in the day that people slow danced to.
People have been saying a lot of good things about Elle Casazza. There is a reason for that. Elle has captured the essence of soul and pop from the ‘60's, taken stock of influences like Stevie Wonder, Gwen Stefani and Amy Winehouse and mixed it with her own modern styling. Proof is an apt title for the album. As with the songs on this album, Elle Casazza gives proof that she is a top notch singer/ songwriter.
Proof is available at major online and traditional music retailers.
To learn more about Elle Casazza, visit her official web site at http://www.ellecasazza.com/
Elle also has a Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/ellecasazza/
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© 2017 Bruce E Von Stiers