What do you get when you mix three of the world's most accomplished improvisers recording on the hippest record label in jazz? You get Ellery Eskelin, Jim Black, and Andrea Parkins redefining the frequently shifting scene known as "new music". Their music is certainly new, but more importantly, it's fresh and true to itself. No needless noodling and misplaced dissonances, just serious music played by some seriously sympathetic interpreters. Eskelin's sax reminds one of the power and beauty of late Coltrane peppered with just the right amount Bird's technique. Parkin's accordion and miscellaneous noise makers/samplers tilt the group just far enough off earth's axis to make gravity a moot point. And Black's battery of percussive clanks and bangs are always precisely placed to set the music in a deep groove.
OFAM's presentation of the trio on January 9, 2003 as a part of our Now Hear This series will be their first trip to Eugene. Portland and Seattle audiences are very familiar with their work, but this is a special chance for hard core jazz fans to experience a rare treat. The Shedd's acoustics were made for groups like this. You'll hear every breath and nuance of this almost other worldly ensemble.
"Ellery Eskelin is a gifted tenor saxophonist whose bold, pungent tone, remarkable range and unacnny facility on the instrument should naturally rank him right up there with the leading lights of today's jazz scene. And yet, his experimental streak often places him well beyond the walls of the jazz establishment. Hence, Eskelin is an outcast, a Herulean player with an extremely fertile imagination who remains keen on collaborating with musical upstarts who also defy convention." -- Jazz Times
In 1994 Eskelin formed his current working band, which includes kindred spirits Andrea Parkins (avant-gard sampler and accordion player) and the superb drummer/percussionist Jim Black. His conceptual efforts have focused greatly with this ensemble, resulting in a music that while containing some jazz elements may not be jazz in any strict sense. An amalgamted approach to playing and composing is employed, drawing inspiration from many sources.
The ensemble's recordings include Jazz Trash (1995), One Great Day... (1996), Kulak 29 & 30 (1997), Five Other Pieces (+2) (1998), The Secret Museum (2000), and 12 (+1) Imaginary Views (2001).