Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

118

Jihn Ellis: Morning Light

By

Sign in to view read count
Morning Light celebrates John Ellis' achievements as a composer as much as it does his artistry on trumpet and flugelhorn. His work commands and demands attention, filled with mysterious beauty and touches of the Spanish motif. Even the up tempo pieces are not there just to show the group can swing. They have structure and purpose. This play list of new Ellis material is modal in the sense that Miles Davis popularized this form with his "Milestones". Edward Simon's piano assumes the Red Garland role with his presence strong throughout. Given the amount of playing space he gets, at times one can forget this is Ellis' session.

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%

Title: Morning Light | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Fizzywater Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "New Angle" CD/LP/Track Review New Angle
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "The Good Life" CD/LP/Track Review The Good Life
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "Ara" CD/LP/Track Review Ara
by Don Phipps
Published: January 4, 2018