In an art form awash with ingenues and shiny singers newly minted from music school, Ellen Robinson’s emergence is a breath of fresh air. With her new album Don’t Wait Too Long, the Oakland jazz vocalist makes a convincing case for the value of life experience as a template for reimagining American Songbook standards and more contemporary fare. Displaying impressive skills as a songwriter, she also infuses hard-won wisdom in original tunes. Like her two previous releases, Don’t Wait Too Long was produced by the sure hand of drummer and veteran DJ Bud Spangler. It’s the work of a late-blooming artist with a clear, heartfelt vision, exquisite taste, and lovely voice that lingers in your ear long after the music has finished.
Recorded live at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley CA, the album captures the vivacious singer with her highly sympathetic band featuring the articulate bassist Sam Bevan, versatile drummer Dan Foltz, the unabashedly lyrical saxophonist Kristen Strom, and pianist Murray Low, one of the region’s most sought after accompanists. Focusing on ballads with sinuous melodies, Robinson sustains a dreamy mood with a deceptively unadorned style, eschewing vocal acrobatics and scat solos in favor of close attention to melodies and emotionally insightful phrasing. Exploring a program laden with unexpected treasures, she distills the essence of each song. “I have to feel connected to the lyrics,” says Robinson. “I’m not a gymnastic singer in terms of scatting. I do like taking a straight ahead jazz tune or a pop tune and making it my own.”
Hers is a white chocolate sound, intense and pure, swinging
Mercy! Ellen Robinson Live
showcases the West
Coast singer in a
beautifully balanced program of standards and fresh material.
Ellen Robinson is blessed with great pipes. Jazz Improv
Ellen Robinson knows how to connect with an audience.
Each song has a story
to tell and she does so with clarity and warmth. All About
Voice / vocals
Willing to teach
Beginner to advanced
Bachelor of Music: Ithaca College
Graduate Education: Bank Street College of Education,
Hofstra University, C.W. Post.
Teaching since 1971.
Vocal teacher Jazzschoool Berkeley CA
Member of NATS
Director of vocal groups in the San Francisco Bay
The Anything Goes Chorus - mixed chorus for men & women
Women's ensemble - Swingshift Singers
Vocal Instructor at U.C. Berkeley Extension, Berkeley CA.
Choral Director at Oakland Youth Chorus, Oakland CA