Acoustic Sounds

Elan Mehler

There is a Dance



Label: Newvelle

Produced By: Elan Mehler, JC Morriseau

Engineered By: Marc Urselli

Mixed By: Marc Urselli

Mastered By: Josh Bonati

Lacquers Cut By: Josh Bonati

By: Michael Fremer

November 28th, 2022





Newvelle Records Co-Founder, Pianist Elan Mehler Steps Out of the Producer's Booth

thoughtful, late night listening

With eleven previous album releases to his credit as leader, recording with some of the best known names in contemporary jazz, it's not as if Elan Mehler is new to this, but if you didn't know and relied solely on his very personal annotation, you might think otherwise.

He dedicates the album—the music—to his late mother who was a religious adventurer and traveler who he describes as "a mystic" whose collection of Sufi Mystical Islamic texts he inherited from her. He describes visiting her grave on the first anniversary of her death.

"Love is the only dance there is," she frequently said, he writes—a clue to the album title's origins. He opens the notes saying he's not from a musical family and then gets to describing his late mother. He ends the annotation describing his connection to "the music": listening to it, his struggles with it, and "welcoming its arrival from the quietest place in my heart".

At age 42 he concludes the annotation, by writing "What a thrill to realize it now; I was raised in a musical family." His mother's music has been in him all along.

The music he wrote and performs with bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Francisco Mela is mostly contemplative and introspective, very sure of itself, occasionally going off on a tangent and threatening to lose itself within itself, though sometimes, as on "When You Were Blind" and "East Side Blues" as "southern style landscape" tuneful and melodic as all get up.

While most of the music is inward-looking, it's never dreary, though it is very personal and filled with heart. Most importantly, neither the compositions nor the playing register as self-indulgent or flashy. I go for long periods of time ending the evening's listening with the same record or at least a side of it. For a while it was a digital file of Fishmans "Long Season" but lately it's been side one of this album (part of side two is a bit "out there" for late night), in part because of the sound. Newvelle's "house engineer" the always reliably good Marc Urselli, outdoes himself with the piano sound on this record. Spatially, timbrally, texturally and dynamically, it's just right. It's a digital recording that will turn the ears of diehard digiphobes.

The Gotta Groove 180g pressing was flat and perfectly quiet, though slightly less than 100% concentric (in that Gotta Groove is not alone). Gatefold jacket, with digital download. Costs $75.00 on the Newvelle website

Music Specifications

Catalog No: NV031

Pressing Plant: Gotta Groove


Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Weight: 180 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Source: 96/24 digital file

Presentation: Single LP