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Album Review

A muscular and hard-blowing yet vulnerable tenorist whose influences range from Wayne Shorter to Grover Washington, Jr., Dave Ellis fluctuates between earthy soul-jazz and more intellectual hard bop and post-bop on his debut album, Raven. While the Bay Area native is no innovator, he's a highly enthusiastic and invigorating soloist whose playing has a certain immediacy to it. Raven isn't an outstanding album, but it's a solid, heartfelt and very satisfying one. Whether savoring all things funky on Ronnie Laws' addictive "Always There" or being more cerebral on Jackie McLean's "Little Melonae" and Woody Shaw's "A Rose for Rose," Ellis (who was 28 when this CD was recorded) is consistently confident and soulful.


Born: December 01, 1967

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A lifelong resident of northern California, Dave Ellis has been a visible part of the 1990s Bay Area jazz scene of the 1990s, but is also interested in R&B, funk and rock. The gritty tenor saxophonist played in a high school jazz band in Berkeley and studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston before graduating in 1992 with a B.A. in music production and engineering. That year, he returned to California and formed the Charlie Hunter Trio with guitarist Hunter and drummer Jay Lane. The group...
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Raven, Dave Ellis
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 1996

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