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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 2021

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13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Friday, October 13, 2017

CD Review: Joy Ellis - Life on Land.

Joy Ellis (voice/piano/rhodes/compositions); Rob Luft (guitar); Henrik Jensen (bass); Adam Osmianski (drums) + James Copus (flugel on tks 4 & 10); Binker Golding (tenor on tks 2 & 8).
(Review by Lance).
Ellis, a London based singer, makes an impressive debut with this F-IRE Presents album finding inspiration for her compositions from her native Haringey via photos, street art, architecture and London in general. The cultural diversity, the hectic tempo, the harshness, the loneliness, the neighbourhoods. I suppose we all could find similar inspiration in our own hometown but, with the possible exception of New York, nowhere in such varied abundance as in our capital city.
Russell actually previewed the album back in May when Ellis appeared at the Jazz Café. However, this is the finished product and it's the biz.
The voice is appealing, it's not a Summertime or Funny Valentine voice, although I'm sure it could and can be when the gig demands it, rather it's a storytelling voice and, though Norma Winstone, Annie Ross and Shirley Horn are fleetingly suggested, Ellis is none of these. She's her own woman.
As a pianist, her classical training comes through although she can still knock out the jazz - in this company it would be a case of 'put up or shut up!'
Rob Luft continues to make an impact on the guitar scene with solos that add a shaft of light to the sometimes sombre surrounds. Jensen and Osmianski give the essential support as do the Special Guests!
Special indeed! I'd intended to hold fire on this release for a couple of days but, coming on the back of last night's gig by Binker and Moses at Gosforth, I felt it was right to draw attention to Binker's presence on a couple of tracks.
The Jazzman sees Binker living the title role with his extended solo whilst, on Ellington Said, he blows another long one that many tenor players would have had to live to be a hundred to match.
Copus adds his distinctive flugel sound to a couple of tracks - I wished he'd been on more.
Where can I hear this lady?
Well, it just so happens that on Sunday, October 29 Joy Ellis is at the Empty Shop in Durham, on Tuesday, November 14, Joy is at The Fox in Hexham! Then, on Saturday, November 18, she's at The Old Fire Station in Carlisle!
As for the actual CD Launch, that takes place on November 5 (easy date to remember) at Pizza Express down in Soho.
Nice one.
Lance.

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