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Catalog ID: 534
Squidco Product Code: 2716
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Kulak, in Berikon, Switzerland, on December 11th & 12th, 1998, by Peter Pfister.
Ellery Eskelin-tenor saxophone
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• Show Bio for Ellery Eskelin
"For the past thirty years Ellery Eskelin has been at the forefront of the global creative improvised music scene. Based in New York City, he has traveled widely performing, recording and amassing a very personal and iconoclastic body of work. And yet Ellery Eskelin has always remained deeply committed to the traditions of jazz and American music. Eskelin embodies this seeming contradiction with ease. He does not see jazz as a style or idiom but as a process. Further, a process of creative development that has great relevancy to our time. In this pursuit Eskelin consistently delivers to the listening public unadulterated, passionate music with no excuses and no apologies.
Ellery Eskelin (born 1959) was raised in Baltimore and began playing the tenor saxophone at age ten, inspired by his mother "Bobbie Lee" who played Hammond B3 organ professionally in the early sixties. In 1983 Eskelin moved to New York City and in 1987 began recording with the cooperative group Joint Venture which also began his exposure on the European international touring circuit. Soon after, Eskelin formed the first of many projects as a leader beginning with a trio comprised of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes followed by a short lived group featuring Joe Daley on tuba and Arto Tuncboyaciyan on bakdav drums and percussion. In 1992 Eskelin joined drummer Joey Baron's group, "Baron Down" (instrumentation of drums, trombone and saxophone), an experience that proved to be an important catalyst in his own work fostering an increased interest in new and unusual instrumentation. In 1994 Eskelin formed the group most often associated with him including accordionist Andrea Parkins and drummer Jim Black. To date he has written over 50 compositions for this group, each of which has been documented on a series of CD releases on the Swiss hatHUT record label. The band has toured regularly and performed hundreds of concerts in the US, Canada and throughout Europe during the past twenty years. Eskelin's most recent project is "Trio New York" featuring organist Gary Versace and drummer Gerald Cleaver. "Trio New York" takes a free approach to the great American songbook, bringing Eskelin full circle to his musical beginnings while addressing his varied musical journeys since then.
Along the way Eskelin has done a number of side projects including a group featuring guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Kenny Wollesen dedicated to the music of Gene Ammons, improvisatory duos with Dutch drummer Han Bennink, an improvising ensemble consisting of strings, vibraphone and saxophone and most recently a group featuring Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar and bassist Michael Formanek. Over the years Eskelin has developed a number of other important associations with musicians such as Gerry Hemingway, Mark Helias, Sylvie Courvoisier, and Bobby Previte. As a side-person Eskelin has worked with a broad cross section of jazz, avant-pop and new-music figures such as organist Brother Jack McDuff, composer Mikel Rouse, guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, oud player and composer Rabih Abou-Khalil, drummer Daniel Humair and the pseudo-group "The Grassy Knoll" among many others.
Eskelin's recordings as a leader and co-leader (there are currently twenty) have been named in Best of the Year critics' polls in the New York Times, The Village Voice , and major jazz magazines in the US and abroad. He also appears on over fifty recordings as a side person. DownBeat Magazine named Eskelin as one of the 25 Rising Stars for the Future in its January 2000 issue ("...players who not only insure the music's survival but promise to take it to the next level") as well as including him in their Annual Critics Polls nearly every year since then. Eskelin was a nominee for the prestigious Danish Jazzpar award in 2003 and was the recipient of a Chamber Music America French-American Exchange grant in 2007 and in 2014 as well as a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant in 2009."-Ellery Eskelin Website (http://home.earthlink.net/~eskelin/styled-5/)
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• Show Bio for Han Bennink
"Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Han Bennink was born in Zaandam near Amsterdam in 1942. His first percussion instrument was a kitchen chair. Later his father, an orchestra percussionist, supplied him with a more conventional outfit, but Han never lost his taste for coaxing sounds from unlikely objects he finds backstage at concerts. He is still very fond of playing chairs.
In Holland in the 1960s, Bennink was quickly recognized as an uncommonly versatile drummer. As a hard swinger in the tradition of his hero Kenny Clarke, he accompanied touring American jazz stars, including Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Griffin, Eric Dolphy and Dexter Gordon. He is heard with Gordon on the 1969 album "Live at Amsterdam Paradiso" (on the Affinity label) and with Dolphy on 1964s "Last Date" (PolyGram). At the same time, Bennink participated in the creation of a European improvised music which began to evolve a new identity, apart from its jazz roots. With fellow Dutch pioneers, pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Willem Breuker, he founded the musicians collective Instant Composers Pool in 1967. Bennink anchored various bands led by Mengelberg or Breuker, and appeared in their comic music-theater productions.
Bennink attended art school in the 1960s, and is also a successful visual artist in several media, often constructing sculpture from found objects, which may include broken drum heads and sticks. He has designed the covers for many LPs and CDs on which he appears. Bennink is represented by Amsterdam's Galerie Espace, and has been the subject of several one-man shows, including one at the Gemeente Museum in the Hague in 1995.
In 1966, Bennink played the US's Newport Jazz Festival with the Mengelberg quartet. From the late 1960s through the '70s Bennink collaborated frequently with Danish, German, English and Belgian musicians, notably saxophonists John Tchicai and Peter Broetzmann, guitarist Derek Bailey and pianist Fred van Hove. Bennink, Broetzmann and van Hove had a longstanding trio well documented on FMP Records. There Bennink also showcased his talents on clarinet, trombone, soprano saxophone and many other instruments, also featured in a series of solo albums he began in 1971.
Bennink's many recordings from the 1980s include sessions with Mengelberg's ICP Orchestra (where he remains), South African bassist Harry Miller, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonists Roswell Rudd and George Lewis, and big-bandleaders Sean Bergin and Andy Sheppard.
From 1988 to'98 Bennink's main vehicle was Clusone 3, with saxophonist and clarinetist Michael Moore and cellist Ernst Reijseger, a band noted for its free-wheeling mix of swinging jazz standards, wide-open improvising, and tender ballads. Clusone played Europe and North America, West Africa, China, Vietnam and Australia, and recorded five CDs for Gramavision, hat Art and Ramboy.
Nowadays he is frequently heard with tenor saxophonist Tobias Delius's quartet and in a trio with pianist/keyboardist Cor Fuhler and bassist Wilbert de Joode, and he still collaborates occasionally with jazz luminaries such as Johnny Griffin, Von Freeman and Ray Anderson.
A conspicuous feature of Bennink's musical life since the 1960s is the spontaneous duo concert with musicians of many nationalities and musical inclinations; in the '90s he recorded in duo with among others pianists Mengelberg, Irene Schweizer and Myra Melford, guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, trumpeter Dave Douglas and tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin.
Since 2008 Han Bennink has his own Han Bennink Trio consisting of Han Bennink, Joachim Badenhorst on clarinet and Simon Toldam on piano."-Han Bennink Website, Kevin Whitehead (http://www.hanbennink.com/music/biography/biography.php)
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1. Flutter 4:51
2. Dissonant Characters 7:35
3. Incontrario 5:00
4. Oloraz = (Barolo) 8:04
5. Alias 0:24
6. Bud + Shake 6:02
7. Slight Unseen/Brilliant Corners 9:44
8. No Pyrrhulla, Pyrrhulla (= Bullfinch) 8:01
9. Let's Cool One 3:46
10. Pro Tanto 5:16
descriptions, reviews, &c.
"And Han, to his audible pleasure, discovers a rare, fully equipped improviser he can't scare off, wear out, bury or give the slip." So says Kevin Whitehead in the liner notes to this little gem, which consists of ten tracks - ranging in time from twenty-four seconds to almost ten minutes - and all featuring an incredibly agile Ellery Eskelin, plus Han Bennink, as puckish and brilliant a drummer as ever. Take the first track, with Bennink's dramatically spare and heart-stopping opening. Take the second track, which is the title track. Although it's the first track, not the second, that's called "Flutter," it's the second where Eskelin pours out flurries of notes, building to tremendous tension, rising and falling in closely related melodic bursts as dissonant as Evan Parker's tenor growlings but somewhat sweeter, while Bennink keeps up Max Roach flutters behind him, or punctuates phrases with single crashing notes. It "sounds like chasing and being chased," says Whitehead, and he's right again. The third track, "Incontrario," features Eskelin more exposed, with Bennink leaving these querulous phrases unanswered for longer periods - although he always knows when to underline, or italicize, or tack on an exclamation point, a question mark, or even a comma. And the drummer is never far from his humor, as when Eskelin hangs on a long multiphonic screech, only to be answered by bells a-ringing as cheerily as Santa rings them in front of Macy's. Then it's off to the races again. "Oloraz = (Barolo)" is a slippery melodic figure articulated by Eskelin, strolling this way and that. This track and the briefest of brief tracks, "Alias," show how much improvising drummers like Paul Lytton and Paul Lovens owe to Bennink. "Bud + Shake" resumes the chase, but more furiously, and ends in a draw. "Sight Unseen/Brilliant Corners" picks up around the same hard-fought and loquacious place but ends, surprise, in Monkville, where Eskelin plays it sure-handedly straight around the trickiest of themes, using it as a springboard for some artfully chosen "inside" improvisations, while Bennink keeps joyful time. Later, on Monk's "Let's Cool One," the duo slides out as straight-faced as on "Brilliant Corners." "No Pyrrhula, Pyrrhula (=Bullfinch)" picks up another steady beat, this one Caribbean-tinged and serpentine; but Eskelin cannot be shaken! Nor can he on the closing railroad pastiche "Pro Tanto." The music ranges from tranquil to frenzied, and steadily rhythmic to utterly arhythmic, but these two are together at every point. Highly recommended."-Robert Spencer, allaboutjazz.com
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Woodwinds, Brass & Other Horns
Percussion & Drums
Saxophone & Drummer / Percussionist Duos
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