Mark Elf (guitar)

He has played and or recorded with the Jazz Giants: Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath & the Heath Bros., Wynton Marsalis & Jon Hendricks just to name a few. His first professional Jazz performance occurred around 1971 as a sideman at the Club Barron in Harlem, New York with Gloria Coleman and Etta Jones. This performance was a double bill with the George Benson Quintet.

During the 1970?s he toured with Lou Donaldson, Jimmy McGriff, Groove Holmes & Charles Earland and recorded a number of albums with them. He recorded his first album as a sideman with Jimmy McGriff & Groove Holmes in 1973 on the Groove Merchant Record label called ?Giants of the Organ Come Together?. In the late 1970?s Mark worked with Junior Cook and Bill Hardman in New York City and also recorded with them on the Muse Label.

In the 1980?s he toured Europe with Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and other Jazz Luminaries and also recorded his first album as a leader in 1986 called the Mark Elf Trio Volume 1.

In 1988 he recorded his second album as a leader ?The Eternal Triangle with Hank Jones, Jimmy Heath, Ray Drummond and Ben Riley. This album would be released in 1996 on Mark?s Jen Bay Record Label.

1993 brought Mark his first overseas record deal with The Alerce Record Label and ?The Mark Elf Trio? was recorded in Santiago, Chile. This recording was marketed to radio in 1996 and went to #7 on The Gavin Jazz Chart.

1995 found Mark recording for Telarc on the Jon Hendricks CD, ?Boppin’ at The Blue Note? with, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, Al Grey & Red Holloway. This recording went to #1 and opened up some radio doors just before the Alerce recording released in 1996.

After forming his own record company in 1995, Jen Bay Records, he stunned the record industry with hit recordings on Jazz Radio. From 1996 to 2004 all 10 of his recordings had finished in the top ten on National Jazz Radio with eight of them going to #1 consecutively from 1997 to 2004!!

In 1996 he joined the Jimmy Heath band and also worked with the Heath Bros. During this time the Eternal Triangle was released and it went to #4 on The Gavin Jazz Chart. He recorded ?As We Were Saying? with the Heath Bros. for Concord in 1997. This same year Mark?s third recording as a leader, ?A Minor Scramble? was released. This was the second for his own company and it hit #1 on The Gavin Jazz Chart. This was the first of 8 consecutive Chart Toppers!! The other seven were 1998 – Trickynometry #1, 1999 – New York Cats #1, 2000 – Over The Airwaves & Live At Smalls #1 – 2001 – Swingin’ #1, 2002 – Dream Steppin’ #1, 2003 – Glad To Be Back #1, 2004