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Monday, October 3, 2011

Ehran Elisha & Roy Campbell - Watching Cartoons With Eddie (Outnowrecordings, 2011) ****

By Stef

Ehran Elisha is possibly one of the best unknown drummers around. I know - and have - his two albums on CIMP that were released some ten years ago. Now Elisha is back and how, again with Roy Campbell on trumpet, who performed on both previous albums too. And to my great joy, it is a duo album, like the great Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell album "Mu", a musical milestone in free jazz history.

The title of the album - "Watching Cartoons With Eddie" - refers to the great drummer, who was Elisha's teacher and who "forced" the student to watch cartoons on the video before taking on the serious stuff.

And even if both musicians continue the musical legacy of their two great role models, they make their own music, in the same spirit of openness, and musical joy, and creative mastery, and human warmth, and spiritual value. They add some more drama though, as on the long "Aesthetic Encounters", with tribal deep-toned toms and muted horn, longer developments and less playfulness as you get with Cherry-Blackwell, even if musical joy is quite present, as in the title track or in "The Dizzy Roach" - a reference to the duo album that Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach released ("Paris 1989" - also easy to recommend). Apart from the African polyrhythmic delight, there are also Middle-Eastern phrases and scales in "Faith Offers Free Refills", on which Campbell's somewhat hesitating flute intro quickly switches into exuberant trumpet playing.

Great stuff and fun stuff!

Listen and buy from Outnowrecordings.

© stef


Anonymous said...

You should also check out the "East of Jaffa" CD on OutNow recordings.
It's Elisha on drums, only this time joined by a great Israeli clarinetist Harold Rubin and Ehran's dad, Haim Elisha, on piano.
Great stuff.
Buy CD or files here: