Years on the road and numerous recording for Swiss-based Hatology Records have generated a distinguished musical persona for tenor sax titan Ellery Eskelin and his band. Here, drummer Jim Black and accordionist/sampler Andrea Parkins assist with moving the torch forward. But the addition of vocalist Jessica Constable and French vocalist/keyboardist Philippe Gelda rein in a new stylistic vamp on this two-CD set produced for Eskelin's Prime Source label.
Intact are Parkins' quirky accordion passages and Black's offbeat rhythmic maneuvers. With Eskelin's circuitous and power-packed tenor lines, the band maintains a rolling and tumbling gait chock full of asymmetrically-designed, free form encounters. Yet Constable's wordless vocalizing instills either a sense of harrowing urgency or a sublime sequence of musical events that augment the ensemble's intersecting components. And they inject free improvisation type meltdowns, where the band seamlessly morphs a potpourri of calming effects into a robust group sound, enamored by the artists' acutely-placed dynamics.
On "Split The Difference the musicians render a medium-tempo swing vibe, spiced with a few bump and grind motifs as Parkins' accordion comping provides a rhythmic enhancer for Eskelin's blustery solo. The scenario changes a bit during "La Berceuse d'Angela, featuring Constable and Gelda's operatic vocals that set an archetype for a solemn diversion.
In sum, this recent outing transmits Eskelin's music in a prismatic manner. Not totally unrelated or distanced from previous endeavors, but more of a foray that expounds upon many principles iterated in the recent past. It's a recording that conveys an attractively slanted musical viewpoint amid a bevy of subtle surprises.
Track Listing: Disc One: Coordinated universal time; I should have known; 48 A & B; Read my mind; Instant counterpoint; How do I know; Quiet music; Disc Two: Split the difference; Cuarenta y neueve; The curve; Let
Personnel: Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone; Jessica Constable: voice; Andrea Parkins: piano, organ, accordion, sampler; Philippe Gelda: voice, piano, organ; Jim Black: drums, percussion.
I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St
I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St. Needless to say, Jazz and Blues were always on the stereo in our home. I was steeped in these exciting sounds, and they make up some of my earliest memories.