Pi Recordings is proud to release Tactiles, the second album by Liberty Ellman, one of New York's most imaginative and unorthodox guitarist/composers. Tactiles follows up the critically acclaimed Orthodoxy, which Ellman released in 1998 on his own Red Giant label. Featuring Mark Shim on tenor saxophone, Stephan Crump on bass, and Eric Harland on drums, Tactiles documents sounds and concepts that have been gestating since Ellman returned to his native New York from the Bay Area in 1998.
Tactiles is Ellman's second appearance on Seth Rosner's innovative Pi label - the first being Up Popped the Two Lips by Henry Threadgill's acoustic band ZOOID. With Tactiles, Ellman joins such esteemed innovators as Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, and Wadada Leo Smith as a Pi recording artist.
Since relocating to New York, Ellman has performed extensively with his own trio and quartet, with Crump and Shim as charter members. He has also gained wide-ranging experience as a sideman with some of jazz's most adventurous and least categorizable thinkers, including Greg Osby, Henry Threadgill, Steven Bernstein, and Lawrence Butch Morris. On Tactiles we feel the pull of these diverse influences in Ellman's spiky, unpredictable lines, his arid and suggestive harmonies, and his complex yet infectious rhythms. We also hear Osby's distinctive alto sax on three tracks: the majestic ballad Temporary Aid, the midtempo funk riddle How Many Texts, and the furiously swinging Ultraviolet.