Review: Elise Roth – 2nd Swing EP

Elise Roth’s Elise Roth – 2nd Swing EP was remotely in the autumn of 2020 and spring of 2021. Living in London, Elise wanted to connect musically with her friends and collaborators in the US. So she put together this album of favourite tunes to do something a little normal that year. Elise Roth sung in the traditional pop style of Judy Garland over a vintage jazz soundtrack on this EP. Elise’s 2nd EP features the Harvard Squares, 7 instrumentalists in New York and Massachusetts who make up her regular dance band when in the United States. All songs on the album have been arranged by past or present members of the band.

Will You Still Be Mine? was a witty humourous cover of the charming song Matt Dennis and Tom Adair – Will You Still Be Mine?. The song was a rewrite to Tom Adair’s 1940 lyrics to reflect the year 2020.

Ever since Elise’s heart took such a tumble, she wondered if her man’s love for her would last. When landmarks fall and institutions crumble, will it be just a memory of the past?

When love no longer conquers all. When winter doesn’t follow fall. Instead of text, they’d rather call, will he still be Elise’s? When terms of service are one page, healthcare for all is all the rage, and when women earn an equal wage, will he still be Elise’s?

When fondest memories are not so fleeting and when handshakes are once more a normal greeting. When they can fold a fitted sheet. When Donald Trump admits defeat, will he still be Elise’s? When CNN breaks no more news. When Bezos finally pays his dues. When anybody likes Ted Cruz, will he still be Elise’s? When TikTok trends last years or more. When climate change can’t be ignored, will he still be Elise’s? When we no longer feel so isolated. When anti vaxxers get inoculated. When jazz like this is dead for good, will he still be Elise’s?

Massachusetts was a witty humourous cover of the 1956 song Maxine Sullivan – Massachusetts. These lyrics were pulled from the Maxine Sullivan recording from 1956. This cover uses the original sheet music and notes in the Andy Razaf collection at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

When the porter yells, Elise will be there with bells on her toes. She is as homesick as she can be because the only place for her is Massachusetts. Elise has got a special date with that New England State. Her heart will knock to see Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. Elise wants to roam around in Nantucket, Massachusetts. She can hardly wait. She hopes the train ain’t late. You can’t guess how much it means for her to be there. There are childhood friends and childhood scenes for her to see there. She missed Cambridge where they have that Harvard air. Home of books and bards. Famous boulevards. Rich in history. The heart of liberty. And where Aunt meets Aunt in Massachusetts. Where they speak with ee’s.

Elise can picture herself sitting beneath blue skies above with the one she loves in Massachusetts. Just like Jack and Jill, they will climb Bunker Hill. Spread the news around. Elise Roth is Massachusetts bound.

As she walks to Lexington, she thinks of glory. When those minute men were done, they left a story. Narrow winding streets. That’s where culture meets. Where they bake beans with pride. Beans are bonafide.

I rate this EP 5/5*****!

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