Elly Kouri is a singer, songwriter and lyricist. She began her music career writing lyrics for composer Heikki Sarmanto. Early in their partnership, Helen Merrill recorded two of their songs, Dreams Hide and Love is in the Air, and released them on the entitled CD Carousel, Finlandia Records. Overtime Elly's song writing expanded to include Rock and Roll, Pop, R & B and most recently Gospel.
As a writer, Elly studies songs of all different genres. She feels that every melody regardless of its style evokes a particular lyric, its own voice or essence of the song. She has been known to say, "I just need the hook. If I can come up with the hook, feel it, touch it, I then know that the rest of the song will come."
Vocally, Elly began with good old rock and roll. She was a lead singer in the rock and roll band Citizens, where she shared the stage with lead singer/songwriter and guitarist, the late Mark Lineberry, singer/songwriter/ pianist Benny Harrison, blues bassist Nikki Buzz and drummer Nir Z. Gaining vocal "chops," as only one could do singing in such clubs as CBGB's, The Bitter End and Don Hills, she released two CDs of original material. After ten years of touring she took a hiatus to raise her children.
As Elly began her singing career again, she sought out and fell in love with the older jazz songs. She was amazed by the simplicity of lyrics, the metaphors and the ability these songs had to speak across generations. Musically she was drawn to the vocal delicacy and exposed intimacy in the interpretation of these songs. She approached pianist/arranger David Pearl, who had been transcribing much of her work, to join her in this new project. Her debut jazz CD entitled, I Love You Too Much, is a rediscovery of the Song and its hold on the heart.
"I Love You Too Much" is a tribute to the many aspects of love. The songs describe the initial pining and longing stages of love, the different types of rejection and separation and the final reward. The set, with some humor, weaves in the direction of this reward, love's fulfillment while celebrating individual growth through relationship.
Can't We Friends, every lover's nightmare, or Weep No More, a rejected lover's struggle to heal, reveal that finding love has not changed much over the years.
The title track, I Love You Too Much, was a particularly appreciated discovery. Recorded by the Andrew Sisters in the 1940's, there is a light yet haunting quality that uncovers a danger in loving "...Too Much." Tomorrow is My Turn seemed a fitting way to balance or heal that obsession and If We Never Meet Again, became a rich and satisfying completion to love that has been lost, but deeply felt. Both the CD and the live presentation are stories of the exquisite ups and downs of Love.