John Ellis & Double-Wide: Tattooed Teen Waltzes With Grandma


Tattooed Teen Waltzes With Grandma


John Ellis & Double-Wide


Dance Like There's No Tomorrow (Hyena HYN 9365)

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John Ellis (tenor sax),

Matt Perrine (sousaphone), Gary Versace (organ), Jason Marsalis (drums)


Composed by John Ellis


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, February 28-March 1, 2007


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

While listening to this track, you may not visualize a tattooed young man dancing a waltz with his grand- mother, but you will be charmed nonetheless. After a church-organ intro by Versace, Ellis plays the sweet, nostalgic theme, a waltz that possesses a rather quaint, small-town America flavoring. Perrine's sousaphone takes the first part of the bridge and Ellis the rest, before the leader begins his soulful, heartfelt solo, the tenor's vibrant tone enhancing his soothingly flowing lines. Organ, sousaphone and drums provide a perfect foundation for Ellis's musings. Versace solos gracefully and nimbly, with an attractively subdued sound. After the reprise, the waltz tempo is slowed to a crawl as Ellis bows out, and Versace, Perrine and Marsalis together create an effectively understated closing interlude. This is a beautifully arranged and performed piece.

The delightful John Ellis & Double-Wide has the unusual kind of instrumentation you might expect on a stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and indeed that's where the band performed this past May. Ellis first played with polished Perrine in New Orleans in the mid-'90's, and first hooked up with the distinctive Versace in New York. Marsalis completed the group that played together for the first time while recording this CD. Hopefully they can remain a working unit for some time to come, as they certainly deserve to be heard.

Reviewer: Scott Albin


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