John Ehlis Ensemble: San Carlos (2002)
The sound is often thick and dense, like on "Sana De La Noche," which is propelled by twin drummers and percussion. Layered on top is a searing Mclaughlenesque guitar. The bass bubbles funkily as things move in and out of the mix. The rhythmic "D.C." is dedicated to the late Don Cherry. A guitar loop/arpeggio is set up with percussion and atmospheric guitar. The horn/guitar/voice melody floats on top. "Path Of Hope" features a repetitive acoustic guitar riff with a unison guitar/horn melody. Again, the Miles feeling is there, as you sense the music was more or less conducted in the studio out of a very open structure. Jon Birdsong delivers a beautiful muted cornet solo. "Thumbalina" has slide guitar over percussion and cornet. "The Whistler" is just that - a short track of whistling over an atmospheric background.
Even through the music is sometimes dark, there is an energy, a sense of joy that permeates it. You can tell that this is a working band and not just a studio project. Highly recommended.
Visit John Ehlis on the web at www.johnehlis.com .
Track Listing: Sana, Sana; Cosmic Soup; Excuintla; Flap Jacket; D.C.; Sana Manana; Sana De La Noche; Path of Hope; Thumbalina; The Whistler.
Personnel: John Ehlis, acoustic and electric guitar, mbira, ocarina, percussion; with David Lofton, Jon Birdsong, John Tchicai, Chuck Ehlis. Ray McNamara, Dave Mihaly, Horacio Altan & Denise Fraga.
Record Label: Sivac Records
Style: Modern Jazz