136

Ellen Weller: Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
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 (5:37), Dybbuk (4:09), Dialogic #2 (2:06), Unfinished Business (2:33), Elemental 1-3 (3:12), The Rebbe's Premonition (Doina) (5:04), Grandma Rose's Dreml (Little Dream) (11:21), Elemental 3-1 (3:47), Possession/Corruption of the Vulnerable (6:08), Elemental 1-2 (1:19), Inner Struggle (4:42), Council of the Elders (1:57), Elemental 2-2 (2:49), Dialogic #1 (3:58), Peering In From The Other Side (2:13), Celebration, Transfiguration, And Release Into The Ether (12:00), Elemental 1-5 (1:37)

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

Title: Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Circumvention Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Life Compass On!" CD/LP/Track Review Life Compass On!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Love Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Petite Afrique" CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 29, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.