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ALBUM REVIEWS

John Ellis: Evolution - Seeds and Streams

Read "Evolution - Seeds and Streams" reviewed by Phil Barnes

There's a temptation to assume with evolution that all of history has been leading to this point, that today's dominant species or situation will continue as such forever. Nonsense of course, think of the changes in the lifetimes of current generations and it's clear that evolution is not a defined end point but a dynamic, continuing process. If nothing else our planet has finite resources, so continuing on a fixed path is unlikely to work forever. Musically the risks are ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Ellis: Charm

Read "Charm" reviewed by Doug Collette

Through the course of more than a half dozen albums under his own name, increasingly less traditional with each successive release including Dance Like there's No Tomorrow (Hyena, 2008) Puppet Mischief (Oblique Sound, 2010), saxophonist/composer John Ellis has developed and refined his own sound, particularly through his continued work with his band Double Wide. Charm further distinguishes the unit and it isn't just the unusual instrumental alignment of five-piece ensemble, operating without a bassist that sets these musicians apart: their ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Ellis & Double Wide: Puppet Mischief

Read "Puppet Mischief" reviewed by Doug Collette

Saxophonist John Ellis is slowly but surely distinguishing himself as a notably singular figure in contemporary jazz. Establishing a firm foundation for himself as a tenured accompanist to 7-string guitarist Charlie Hunter, the North Carolina native and current resident of Brooklyn embarked on his solo career in authoritative style with One Foot in the Swamp (Hyena, 2005), and then conceived the ingenious Double Wide ensemble, the unusual lineup of which may not have wholly defined itself on its debut, but ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Ellis & Double-Wide: Puppet Mischief

Read "Puppet Mischief" reviewed by Russ Musto

This second outing by John Ellis & Double Wide, the versatile saxophonist/bass clarinetist's extraordinary New Orleans-based band, one ups the “serious fun" mentality by inviting a pair of guests--harmonica master Gregoire Maret and multifaceted trombonist Alan Ferber--to augment the unusual quartet of sousaphonist Matt Perrine, drummer Jason Marsalis and newcomer Brian Coogan (replacing Gary Versace) on organ. The result is an even more flavorful gumbo that spices up the homegrown roots of the Crescent City with the savory sounds of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Ellis & Double-Wide: Puppet Mischief

Read "Puppet Mischief" reviewed by Chris May

Brooklyn-based saxophonist John Ellis is a player who, whenever he puts his horn in his mouth, makes it seem like retro-modern is the only show in town. His style is part classic soul and funk, part modern jam band groove and part freewheeling improvisation. He has a particular affinity with New Orleans roots music and also references non-American folk and popular styles. He has a hipster sense of humor and an itch to experiment. It's a spellbinding combination and is ...

INTERVIEWS

John Ellis: Wide Angle

Read "John Ellis: Wide Angle" reviewed by Jason Crane

Saxophonist John Ellis is a hybrid of New Orleans funk, New York modernity, Presbyterian sanctification and good ol' performing skills. He blends all those things together on his new record, Dance Like There's No Tomorrow (Hyena, 2008), which features saxophone, sousaphone, organ and drums. Ellis celebrated the release of his new album with a two-night stand at the Jazz Standard in New York on May 13 and 14, 2008, participating in the following interview on May 14 just ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Ellis and Double-Wide: Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

Read "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" reviewed by Joel Roberts

That's the low roar of a sousaphone--courtesy of New Orleans' Matt Perrine--you hear on the opening notes of “All Up in the Aisles," the first tune on Brooklyn-based saxophonist John Ellis' soulful Dance Like There's No Tomorrow. A North Carolina preacher's son who spent his formative musical years in the Crescent City before moving up north, Ellis remains a devotee of the New Orleans sound, although he and his band Double-Wide put a decidedly New York twist on it here. ...


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