Hyena, 2006, CD
Jazz Ruler Type: Fusion
O’s Notes: John (sax, bass cl) leads a quintet through nine original compositions. The groove is really cool modern jazz. But is can also be classified as funky fusion on tracks like “Tall Drink of Water” that is anchored by the pronounced bass line of Reuben Rogers. Ellis leaves lots of space for the soloists to explode yet the pieces have enough complexity to keep even the toughest critics engaged. John opens with a subtle melody on “Old Man” that develops into a jamming tune with pianist Aaron Goldberg and then mike Morena (g) taking solos. We also liked “Lonnie” and “Moore Alphabet” with syncopated beats from drummer Terreon Gully. This is a very good session!