Jihn Ellis: Morning Light
Although one of the tunes is a tribute to Chet Baker, the influence of Davis permeates this album. Ellis uses a similar minimalist technique with lots of space between phrases, although not as pronounced as Davis. This influence is heard on "Bittersweet Horne" where Ellis picks up his flugelhorn and we hear snippets of measures similar to those on Davis' seminal Sketches of Spain.
In addition to the presence of Simon's piano, the modern tenor sax of Michael Brecker creates the mood implied by the title of the tunes he's on. On "So Much Sorrow" Brecker's tenor and Ellis' trumpet are brushes dipped into a pallette where a mixture of languor and melancholy are used to sketch a musical landscape. The heavy sonority of Gomez's bass contributes to the darkness of the picture. This is moving stuff. Gomez is joined by another venerable jazz man, Al Foster, who together form a rhythm whose role goes far beyond the mere keeping of time. Matters turn bright by a happy "Isla Verde (Green Island) "with Ellis playing a matador like trumpet in contrast to Chris Potter's probing, hard bop tenor.
This is Ellis' second album after a hiatus of 20 years from performing. He has returned with renewed creativity that has been poured into this album. Recommended.
Track Listing: Morning Light*%; So Much Sorrow*; Isla Verde (Green Island)#; Ballad for Chet (for Chet Baker)#; One Last Tune; Bittersweet Love#; Tout Droit (Straight Ahead)#; Blues Shuffle#; Darkness Falls#
Personnel: John Ellis - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Edward Simon - Piano; Eddie Gomez - Bass; Al Foster - Drums; Michael Brecker*, Chris Potter# - Tenor Saxophone; Ron Reuben - Bass Clarinet%
Record Label: Fizzywater Records