Song of the Day: Elise Morris – “Dancin’ with the Boys’

Elise Morris, “Dancin’ With the Boys” Dancin’ With the Boys (Jazzbo)

Making the best of the COVID-19 lockdown, vocalist Elise Morris and her musician husband Doug Katsaros converted their living room into a makeshift film studio. With the aid of green-screen technology, they were able to insert Morris into footage from W.C. Fields’ 1915 movie, Pool Sharks, the results of which serve as a very entertaining video for Morris’ slinky kiss-off tune “Dancin’ With the Boys.” The backdrop, a raucous pool-room brawl, proves the perfect visual for the title track to Morris’ 2020 release. “Dancin’ with the boys in the back of the room/Playin’ a little pool,” she sings with gleeful schadenfreude. “Dancin’ with the boys in the back of the room/Not thinkin’ about you.”

Bright horns (orchestrated by Katsaros) punch up the piece, as does the heated blues riffery of guitarist Frank Burrows, which rides along a bouncy rhythm provided by bassist Chistopher Bishop and drummer Warren Odze. Morris’ rippling blues piano also captures the mood perfectly, and she scats exuberantly during the song’s rhythmic break, cresting Bishop’s swiftly walking bass. A session and stage musician, Morris has worked with the diverse likes of Joe Jackson and Ronnie Spector, and recently collaborated with musicians from Mali. In 2019, her  song “Mardi Gras” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Digital Sales Charts.

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