ELLERY ESKELIN - Ten
[hathut,
www.hathut.com]

Maybe I just don't get it? Everybody else does, so why has the music of Ellery Eskelin eluded me? Critics and fans alike are praising the genius and creativity of tenor player Ellery Eskelin for the last decade or so. The voices have been getting louder since 1997 debut release "One Great Day" [hathut] by Eskelin's famed trio [with Andrea Parkins and Jim Black]. I guess what I never got from his music is any sort of emotional attachment In fact, I feel more drawn to his work as a "side man" [I know this sounds like an ugly word] with Gerry Hemingway and Gebhard Ullmann. It's the spark that was missing from his playing, which is why I didn't entirely "get" it. Ellery's new record "Ten" is a celebration of a decade of his trio. The playing from all members of the trio is still at a very high level. Jim Black's percussive mantra put together with the magic weaved by multi-instrumentalist Andrea Parkins still make for an enjoyable listen. It's the front man's work that doesn't grab me by the proverbial balls. I hear a hint of energy but I don't feel it. I sense unity in the trio, but I can't touch it. The inclusion of special guests on this release is a noble effort. Guitarist Marc Ribot and bassist Melvin Gibbs are both a spark of fresh air into Ellery's trio. Perhaps the most contentious choice is the inclusion of vocalist Jessica Constable. Her moans and spooky whimpers are a good fit [though an odd one, I must add] to the formation, though I can just imagine the sacrilegious cries from Ellery's fans as to her inclusion. Overall, "Ten" is not a bad record. It's just lacking a certain sense of gel and feeling, which is precisely the reason it doesn't crystallize for me.

Tom Sekowski


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+ OE GIARDULLO / SANGEETA MICHAEL BERARDI - Art Spirit
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+ CECIL TAYLOR UNIT - One Too Many Salty Swift And Not Goodbye
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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Music Is My Religion - John Tejada
+ Mistyka i technologia - wywiad z zespołem Robotobibok
+ Five Men Singing / Voices Quintet - foto z koncertu