Monday, December 27, 2021

More from the Archives

I’ve just added eleven more live recordings to the archival series at Band Camp.  It’s been rewarding to listen back to these and renew my appreciation of the many musicians, audience members and club owners who sustain the artistic life of New York City, seemingly against all odds.  

In the previous post I mentioned what a “hustle” it is to gig in NYC and how I once had to rattle the audience at the 55 Bar to get them ready for action.  While that is true there is also another side, of which I encountered a reminder in my parting comments to the audience at the Cornelia Street Cafe finishing the weekend with Kris Davis and Billy Mintz in 2012.  At the time, in saying of the club “we’ve really come to love it”, I may not have realized how true that was given that the cafe (which opened in 1977) was to close on new year’s day 2019.  That’s almost exactly three years ago and it is certainly missed.  The cafe was home to many musicians, artists, poets and writers.  I’m happy to have been a part of that tradition and was very grateful for the license to do whatever we wanted musically.  

Most of these recordings are from NYC improv gigs and required a bit more work on the sound as they were recorded more casually at the time, hence their later addition.  While imperfect they do seem to capture that elusive quality of “live”.  I have worked to enhance the sound yet they remain the sonic artifacts that they are, fittingly.  As such they have a very wide dynamic range.  You may find the need to adjust the volume accordingly at times.  

These are the new additions.  I hope you enjoy listening.

Ellery Eskelin w/Andrea Parkins & Jim Black - Live in Reims, 2010
Trio New York (Eskelin, Versace, Waits) - Live in NYC at the Cornelia Street Cafe, 2010
Ellery Eskelin, Mary Halvorson, Mark Helias, Tyshawn Sorey - Live in NYC at The Stone, 2010
Ellery Eskelin, John Hébert,  Tyshawn Sorey - Live in NYC at the 55 Bar, 2010
Ellery Eskelin, Kris Davis, Billy Mintz - Live in NYC, Cornelia Street Cafe, 2012
Ellery Eskelin, Jacob Sacks, John Hébert, Tyshawn Sorey - Live in NYC at the Cornelia Street Cafe, 2012
Ellery Eskelin, Chris Lightcap, Billy Mintz - Live in NYC at the Cornelia Street Cafe, 2012
Ellery Eskelin, Jacob Sacks, Brad Jones, Tyshawn Sorey - Live in NYC at the Cornelia Street Cafe, 2013
Trio New York (Eskelin, Versace, Cleaver) - Live in Antwerp, 2013
Ellery Eskelin, John Hébert, Billy Mintz - Live in NYC at the Cornelia Street Cafe, 2014
Ellery Eskelin, Drew Gress, Billy Mintz - Live in NYC at Jack, 2014

In order to keep abreast of future additions please consider following the Band Camp Archive by clicking this icon.  I have a list of potential recordings to be included but it will take time to get these organized and sonically polished up.  Do stay tuned...





Sunday, December 12, 2021

From the Archives...

Having finally worked my way through thirty years worth of cassette tapes I recently set upon a large bin of CDRs, another twenty years worth of recordings mostly live from tours by many different groups, so as to transfer them all to hard drives.  It’s taken countless hours to go through and organize them but it’s satisfying to transform the contents of two heavy bins into a single hard drive that can be carried in one hand.  It’s also satisfying to have something to show for one’s work and so I’m pleased to present some choice selections.  

The majority of these recordings come from European concert tours.  While preparing them I had a chance to consider what it means to travel and play music for people around the world, particularly in Europe where the practicalities of touring are generally well managed by a network of experienced promoters across the continent.  There is a long tradition of cultural support for the arts and it’s reflected in the way that audiences turn out for concerts of all kinds of music, welcoming artists with warmth and appreciation.  I don’t like to make too much out of comparisons with the states as audiences are wonderful here as well.  But there is no way around the fact that in NYC, gigging is always a hustle.  A case in point was the Trio New York gig at the 55 Bar that is included here.  I don’t actually recall the particulars but it was amusing to hear my introductory comments when announcing the band.  New York audiences have a reputation for being jaded and in this case I made it clear from the start that I was in no mood for a lackluster response.  A little good-natured aggression got things off to a nice start and the gig went very well.  And for the record, this is in no way a complaint.  While it’s not always easy, I do love New York.

And on that note I’m hopeful that we can all come together again, more and more often.  But for now, I offer these recordings as a reminder of what that’s like.

“From the Archives” is a series of live recordings personally chosen from my personal collection and offered only on Band Camp.  

Have a Listen...

Included are:

Ellery Eskelin w/Andrea Parkins & Jim Black - Live in London 2003
Ellery Eskelin w/Andrea Parkins & Jim Black - Live in Lille 2010
Ellery Eskelin w/Andrea Parkins & Jim Black - Live in NYC, 2006 
Trio New York - Live in Montreal, 2012
Trio New York - Live in  Switzerland, 2012
Trio New York - Live in  New Haven, 2012
Trio New York - Live in  NYC, 2010
Ellery Eskelin, Antonin Rayon and Emmanuel Scarpa Live in Paris, 2010
Ellery Eskelin, Christian Weber and Michael Griener Live in Switzerland, 2011
Ellery Eskelin, Vincent Courtois, Sylvie Courvoisier - Live in NYC, 2007
Ellery Eskelin & Sylvie Courvoisier - Live in Ukiah, 2005
Different But The Same (Eskelin, Liebman, Marino, Black) Live in Switzerland, 2005