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Some intriguing and pastoral moods are created by guitarist and leader Liberty Ellman with his slightly unorthodox cast of Jose Davila on tuba with alto saxist Steve Lehman, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Damian Reid on this latest album. Davila’s tuba is a clever addition, switching between bass tempo and frontline support as on the two “Last Desert” pieces that go from a minstrel mood to an impressionistic strut. Ellman’s tone is relaxed and reclining, floating along with Crump while Reid’s brushes coax along Lehman and Finlayson on the melancholic “The Sip” while the team gets boppy on “Rubber Flowers”. The horns create puffy dots and dashes on a Monkish staccato “Doppler” and the elliptical “Liquid” while Ellman veers through the clutter of “Portals”. Morning mists.
Recorded in New York, June 28 and 29, 2019