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By a Thread

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Album Review

John Ellis is best known for being the saxophonist with guitarist Charlie Hunter, although his own solo career has been going well. On By a Thread, Ellis' music (all nine selections are his originals) has its own quirky logic, like that of Wayne Shorter, although his compositions are also reminiscent of the Keith Jarrett Quintet of the '70s when it featured tenor-saxophonist Dewey Redman. The music is part blues and part gospel but also utilizes unusual structures and is consistently unpredictable. Aaron Goldberg (mostly on electric piano) and guitarist Mike Moreno have their solo spots, but John Ellis is the main star, both in his writing and in his distinctive playing. Recommended.

Customer Reviews

Desert island pick, for sure!

This album has two of my favorite songs on it: Tall Drink of Water and Moore's Alphabet. John Ellis has an amazing tone and his solos are absolutely beautiful. More people need to hear this!


Genre: Jazz

Saxophonist John Ellis is a forward-thinking jazz musician with a bent toward mixing New Orleans jazz, R&B, and funk into his sound. Born in North Carolina, Ellis studied piano growing up and also played the clarinet. Eventually, Ellis spent time living in New Orleans and later earned a degree in music from the New School in N.Y.C. Ellis has performed with a variety of musicians including pianist Ellis Marsalis, and was a longtime member of guitarist Charlie Hunter's band. Ellis released his debut...
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By a Thread, John Ellis
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