Ellery Eskelin/Andrea Parkins/Jim Black: It's A Samba


It's A Samba


Ellery Eskelin (tenor sax), Andrea Parkins (piano, accordion, sampler), and Jim Black (drums)


Arcanum Moderne (hatOLOGY 588)

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Ellery Eskelin (tenor sax), Andrea Parkins (piano, accordion, sampler), Jim Black (drums).

Composed by Ellery Eskelin


Recorded: New York, May 31, 2002


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

The title is truth in advertising, but with some intriguing twists. Black seems to be able to slip a heavy rock backbeat into most any material he's presented with, even within this samba. In the first phase of the song, he's given ample room to accentuate the rhythm as a response to the melody statements. The chord progressions presented by Eskelin and Parkins seem innocuous, even mirthful at first, and then grow more discordant. While Parkins's accordion moves to more dissonant territory, Eskelin holds onto traditional saxophone phrasing, eventually cutting loose and culminating in a single chord blurted out in pairs in lockstep with Parkins. That signals a return to the original drum solo/head pattern of the first section, then a brief coda by a single chord from Parkins's accordion. The Eskelin/Parkins/Black trio excels at taking a familiar, safe musical concept and subverting it. "It's A Samba," all right, but it's a samba turned on its head.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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