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Ellen Honert's previous recording, Breath of the Soul (Mill Station, 2006), was a well-balanced affair accented by Honert's precise and sensitive singing. Hummingville, the recording and the title piece are something else altogether. There is a sea breeze in this recording and song, but it is not so much Caribbean as Mediterranean, but in either case, the Latin influence cannot be denied.
"Hummingville" is a Honert original, composed with pianist Frank Martin. It is a very tactile piece with layers of percussive acoustic instrumentation. The song is all about motion and kinetics captured in Honert's pleasing, well-balanced alto. Pedro Eustache's flute foils well with Honert's crisp vocals in a melodic duet interlude preceding Eustache's soaring solo. Alex Acuna is well employed on percussion. Honert flexes considerable compositional muscle on Hummingville.
Personnel: Ellen Honert: vocals; Frank Martin: keyboards; Jose Neto: guitar; Pedro
Eustache: flute; John Pena: bass; Alex Acuna: drums, percussion.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.