It's longtime ago that Elliot Levine toured with Wilson Pickett and Heatwave. But you can still attend his concerts at numerous festivals and venues. For a complete survey about his events visit his website.

His first solo project was With Light Images (1993), a jazz fusion album. On Urban Grooves (1997) Elliot entered the smooth jazz genre. Later he released Smash (2000), The Funk, The Whole Funk And Nothin' But The Funk (2004) and Live +7 (2008). I haven't include his releases.

Now he is back with 347 Live! (2013), in parts his second live album. The tracks 4,6 and 7 were recorded at Club 347, March 21, 2013.

The album features vocalists Brian Blunt and Koshka Raynelle. Brian Blunt sang backup for Bruce Springsteen at the Superbowl. Koshka Raynelle performed on America's Got Talent and American Idol. Further musicians are Bt Richardson (bass),  Bo Thomas (drums), Ernest Raheem (bass),  Earl Ivey (drums), and Jim Carney.

On the first tune Adorn Blunt's vocals and Elliot's melt into an irresistible ballade.  Ernest Raheem's Funky Bass Line is perfectly supported by Levine with a vintage organ sound. With Woodlawn Drive Elliot designs the sketch of a road that he brought to life with piano tones.

Elliot (organ) and Ernest (bass) met again to the stellar Ain't Leavin' Without You, on which both write improvisations in big letters. Bad Habits features anew singer Brian Blunt, who walks on the falsetto path of Philip Bailey. Sweet Thing is a revelation. Koshka Raynelle is an outstanding singer with a great range. Elliot's instrumentation perfectly fits to her interpretation.

This combination even works better on the cover of Ain't Nobody. She can oppose her own approach to Chaka Khan's vocal power. The Isley Brothers recorded Footsteps in the Dark in 1977. This rendition featuring Brian Blunt is very close to the original. Own compositions like Fenton Street or Urban Grooves speak for Elliot's writer skills.

But also the technical implementation of jazz classics like Miles Davis' So What succeeds regularly. When it comes to experimental as on Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, it sounds a little strange sometimes. Breathe was originally recorded by the French electronic music trio Télépopmusik. Even those influences come into play on Elliot's album.

Looked at in that light Elliot's music falls out of the ordinary, but makes them interesting.







Buy the album

Album Information

Title: 347 Live!
Artist: Elliot Levine & Urban Grooves
Year: 2013
Length: 0:59:11
Genre: General Jazz
Label: CDBaby


01 Adorn (Live) [feat. Brian Blunt, Bt Richardson & Bo Thomas] [3:31]
02 Funky Bass Line (Live) [feat. Ernest Raheem & Bo Thomas] [2:40]
03 Woodlawn Drive (Live) [feat. Bt Richardson & Bo Thomas] [4:12]
04 Ain't Le
avin' Without You (Live) [feat. Earl Ivey, Ernest Raheem & Jim Carney] [4:46]
05 Bad Habits (Live) [feat. Brian Blunt, BT Richardson & Bo Thomas] [9:40]
06 Sweet Thing (Live) [feat. Ernest Raheem, Jim Carney, Earl Ivey & Koshka Raynelle] [4:07]
07 Ain't Nobody (Live) [feat. Bt Richardson, Bo Thomas & Koshka Raenelle] [4:31]
08 Footsteps in the Dark(Live) [feat. Brian Blunt, BT Richardson & Bo Thomas] [5:36]
09 Fenton Street(Live) [feat. Bt Richardson & Bo Thomas] [3:42]
10 Urban Groove(Live) [feat. Bo Thomas & Bt Richardson] [4:39]
11 So What(Live) [feat. Bt Richardson & Bo Thomas] [3:03]
12 Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites(Live) [feat. Bt Richardson & Bo Thomas] [3:23]
13 Breathe(Live) [feat. BT Richardson, Brian Blunt & Bo Thomas] [5:22]

Further reviews:

The Funk, The Whole Funk and Nothin’ but the Funk


Urban Grooves