Elle Casazza – Proof
Contemporary pop singer-songwriter Elle Casazza attracts audiences from the jazz, soul, funk and pop scene by creating cohesively blended music, fusing all of these genres into one. Her newest album is entitled Proof, and it proves a lot about Elle Casazza and who she’s working with. This is a big band, consisting of herself on vocals, along with keys – Julian Chin, guitar – Jon Gould, drums – Jarad Kleinstein, bass & synthesizer – Ben McFadden. With a full horn section including tenor sax – Kyle Madsen, trumpet – Caleb Mitchell, trombone – Xavier Galdon, baritone sax – Ryan Tedder, french horn – Allison Tutton. Topped off by the string section including cello – Jessica Ondracek, violins – Sarah Blickensderfer, viola – Kevin Lin. If that isn’t impressive, than I don’t know what is. This isn’t just any kind of pop music, it’s retro-pop in a fantastic way.
There’s too much soul to call it just one thing anyway, her musicians get plenty of stretching out time throughout the diverse collection of songs. There really couldn’t be a better vehicle to drive an album. It kicks off with a bang on the killer opening monster “Hey” which comes on like singers of the past did, like Whitney Houston. That is a strong statement to make, but balance it with Cyndi Lauper and you get where I’m going. You can even taste a little bit of bands like Missing Persons, The Motels and even The Pretenders on this. It’s an eclectic mix of rock and synth-pop.
She turns around and finds herself a different animal of sophistication on “Save Me” and it can be exemplified along with the previous track to describe the diversity going on. A track anyone can like is the result, as it sits right up there with the rest of the songs that showcase the finest musicianship on the Proof. “You” is yet another one that displays some influences of the eighties that she obviously embodies. Stevie Wonder is one of those who shines through, but never takes away from the originality Elle possesses. There are many points where she nails her influences and then includes her own originality in one flash, and that others may not as easily pick up on.
This has a type of magic in every direction, no matter how you slice it, with my picks being “The Body Knows” with its spine shivering vocal and “Last Word” with its fun-loving pace and witty lyrics. It has a chugging guitar rhythm with synth and fast beats to make it reach out and grab you. But if you don’t like dance music with rock and soul all over it, you won’t find this to be a highlight. But different strokes for different folks is not a term that falls far from her tree of talent. Especially since Elle comes loaded with tons of diverse talent to spare, and so does her album, Proof.