When she was offering dazzling violin solos and playing vintage Western swing and hot jazz with the Hot Club of Cowtown, Elana James made quite an impression. She also made two tours with Bob Dylan that she terms ‘incredible on every level,’ with one of those stints featuring Willie Nelson. She also joined one of her idols, the Texas violin legend Johnny Gimble on a Nelson disc. But now she’s taking the next step with the release this week of her self-titled CD, and a series of forthcoming appearances (including one coming up March 5 at Douglas Corner, 2106 8th Ave. s., call 298-1688 for cover charge and starting times). ‘One thing that I want to do with this new CD is try some things that I didn’t or couldn’t do in the Hot Club,’ James said. ‘I love both hot jazz and Western swing, but there’s a lot of other musical styles that I enjoy as well, and I wanted to try those.’ The range of tunes includes a Duke Ellington gem (‘I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good),’ a country number from Carson Robison (‘The Little Green Valley,’), and a pair of reunion pieces with Gimble, ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Goodbye Liza Jane,’ with Gimble switching to electric mandolin. There’s also the emphatic ‘All The World and I,’ another composition whose sensibility seems far away from the Hot Club of Cowtown.
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