I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed Track Notes
I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed
The snappy “I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed” highlights most of the elements found throughout Garrison Elliott’s thoughtful restyling of American jazz and swing classics. Tammy Hines and Colette Simpson feed Elliott an assortment of sassy backing vocals. This track also introduces Elliott’s remarkable horn section featuring himself, Rick Denton and Bob Lewis. And Keith Runfola’s drum work, as it does throughout the CD, fits the track like a favorite sneaker. Rick Denton does double duty on this one, laying down a superb piano track. . And take note of the bass work of George Sessum. George establishes the foundation on each and every track of the CD and allows all the players to shine throughout.
“Baby Brown” is often Garrison Elliott’s opener for live performances and well it should be. It’s solid groove and wonderfully cozy feel wrapped around a great Alex Hill lyric make this tune a great listen. The back and forth interaction between Elliott and the backing voices sound so necessary to the track, it’s surprising they never existed in earlier recordings.
I Fall In Love Too Easily
Elliott admits that “I Fall In Love Too Easily” is a fair reflection of his own love life. The most intimate tune in the collection, this track marks Earl Klugh’s first appearance on the CD. Along with the very solid rhythm track, Klugh’s signature guitar work and Christian Tamburr’s ethereal vibes provide the perfect framework for Elliott’s somewhat melancholy vocal.
How Ya Baby
Ready to dance? If not, “How Ya Baby” will put you in the mood. In addition to his usual vocal duties, Elliott breaks out the tenor sax for a good-natured duel with Bob Lewis on trombone and Rick Denton on piano. All three shine. Tammy Hines and Colette Simpson join in on the fun, shining a light on this Fats Waller/J.C. Johnson lyric with some great back-and-forth with Elliott.
Whose Honey Are You?
One of the strongest lyrics on the CD, “Whose Honey Are You?” also offers the horn section an opportunity to strut. You’ll notice the unusual voicings in the backing horns… the absence of roots, 3rds and 5ths gives the impression of a larger section than the actual three. As usual, the rhythm tracks are so strong and fit the track so well that they almost disappear, leaving plenty of room for the soloists.
I Want A Little Girl
This mellow tune gives Elliott another chance to demonstrate his characteristically honest vocal delivery, and gives us another opportunity to savor the guitar wizardry of Earl Klugh. Plus, there’s another treat waiting for the listener… Steve Carey on the Hammond B-3. This is his only appearance on the CD, so kick back and enjoy!
Have You Met Miss Jones?
The unusual intro to “Have You Met Miss Jones” was a happy accident, captured by Elliott while Earl Klugh was fooling around in the studio, learning the song prior to recording the track. During the mixing of the song, Elliott popped Klugh’s noodling in front of the full mix and never looked back. In the heart of the song, Klugh solos thru one chorus and then turns up the heat and shares a second, accenting Bob Lewis playing the melody on trombone. Nice! This track is well worth a careful listen.
Don’t Let It Bother You
Another reprise of an original Fats Waller recording, “Don’t Let It Bother You” is a classic, latter day predecessor to Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. You simply can’t listen to this song and stay down. More polished than the original, Elliott’s version remains true to Waller’s carefree spirit in this, the most lighthearted track of the project.
Exactly Like You
“Exactly Like You” may be the most recognizable song on the CD. It also has a more “live” feel than the other tracks because of the solo horn/section interplay, and because of the extraordinary piano work of Clarence “CB” Bell. Bell finds and fills holes that lesser players simply wouldn’t hear, and his influence is key to the track’s authentic flavor. Regrettably, Bell moved away from Atlanta before the project was completed, so he is only heard on this track, “I Can’t Believe It”, and “Baby Brown”. Elliott, himself, is a standout on soprano sax, forsaking his usual tenor instrument and sharing lead duties with talented guitarist, Dave Frackenpohl.
Once again, Earl Klugh’s guitar and Christian Tamburr’s vibes provide the perfect framework and highlights for Elliott’s vocal. This group of very talented musicians accomplishes the impossible on this one… a song that’s simple and honest, yet highly polished. Usually there’s a trade-off, but not in “Foolin’ Myself”.
On “Taint Good”, you’ll note a decidedly Dixieland feel when the three solo horns join forces. As always, the solid rhythm tracks are the firm foundation that give the solo players the freedom to stretch, and the backing vocals seem to pop up at exactly the right moments in this goodtime swinger.
I Can’t Believe It
And now for something completely different. “I Can’t Believe It” is the only original track on the CD. Written by Elliott and Martin Kappelman, it seems appropriate as part of this collection. The horns once again push the boundaries of musical tension, exploring alternative voicings with abandon! Solid piano, sparkling vibes and tasty horn riffs all contribute to making this track a terrific ensemble performance. All in all, “I Can’t Believe It” is a great tease for Elliott’s next project, which will consist of only original tracks.