136

Ellen Weller: Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Ellen Weller: Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations San Diego's Ellen Weller took time out from the remarkable Trummerflora Collective to create and record Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations, a compelling suite based on medieval Jewish possession myths extrapolated to consider the channeling of musical flow by improvising musicians. Her research team includes Vinny Golia and George Lewis, plus Trummerflora's Marcos Fernandes, Nathan Hubbard, and Lisle Ellis. The seventeen tracks feature different configurations ranging from duos to septets.

The first of six trios featuring Fernandes, Hubbard, and Weller starts the program. Using percussion and wind to hearken to humankind's earliest music, Weller plays evocative clarinet with variegated percussive support. On "Dybbuk Lewis plays vocal trombone with Golia's searching clarinet. Weller swoops on flute as Ellis freely plucks. Bob Weller's piano comes apart under his right hand.

Playing a small flute, Weller returns to the trio on "Elemental 1-3 amid glittering percussion. "The Rebbe's Premonition draws on Weller's klezmer background by unfolding rife with harmonic minors as the reedist engages in a two-clarinet duet with Robert Zelickman, while Bertram Turetzky bows deep drones and slashes on bass. Fernandes lays down whispering electronics with found sound and Weller echo effects her flute on "Grandma Rose's Dreml.

"Elemental 1-2 features all percussion, while "Inner Struggle gives Weller a wild soprano ride in duet with Turetzky. Golia races on clarinet while Lewis and Weller orbit on "Council of the Elders. "Peering in From the Other Side utilizes unusual electronics and acoustics for an interdimensional effect. "Celebration, Transfiguration, and Release into the Ether joyously returns to earth with fiery flute dance by Weller. Golia strides in on tenor to play with Ellis and assorted percussion. Weller returns on soprano to close it out with the group improv.

Even with its ambitious philosophical blueprint Spirits, Little Dreams, and Improvisations provides a pleasurable, if too rare glimpse of some of Southern California's best improvising talent.


Track Listing: Elemental 1-1; Dybbuk; Dialogic #2; Unfinished Business; Elemental 1-3; the Rebbe’s Premonition; Grandma Rose’s Dreml; Elemental 3-1; Possession/Corruption of the Vulnerable; Elemental 1-2; Inner Struggle; Council of the Elders; Elemental 2-2; Dialogic #1; Peering in from the other side; Celebration, Transfiguration, and Release into the Ether; Elemental 1-5

Personnel: Ellen Weller (flute, soprano sax, Bb clarinet, piccolo, fife, windrum, misc. jangles); Marcos Fernandes (percussion, field recordings, talking drum, electronics); Nathan Hubbard (percussion, electronics, congas, berimbau, tuning pipe, whistling); Vinny Golia (sopranino and tenor sax, Bb clarinet, contrabass clarinet); George Lewis (trombone); Charlie Weller (drum kit); Bob Weller (piano, drum kit); Bertram Turetzky, Scott Walton (contrabass); Lisle Ellis (electro-acoustic bass); Robert Zelickman (Bb clarinet)

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Circumvention Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Harmonicus Rex" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonicus Rex
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "Kjølvatn" CD/LP/Track Review Kjølvatn
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!