A Perfect Blend of Technical Proficiency and Artistic Skill
Robert J. Ament | Ballwin, MO United States | 02/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Normally, I don't care that much for solo piano.......perhaps because it takes a special talent to capture and maintain the interest of a listener for a whole set without at least a rhythm section. This occasion was a "farewell" concert in 1986 marking Ellis' relocation from New Orleans to Richmond, VA. From the initial selection, Bud Powell's "Hallucinations", you are aware that you are listening to a formidable pianist. You can't have any arthritis and do this! Wow!! He follows that with a great treatment of the almost classical "Django" by John Lewis. Ellis makes a really thoughtful departure from the style usually associated with Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz" and using some beautiful fills leads us into an exploration of a gorgeous melody.The rest of the program is as varied; selections from Horace Silver and Cole Porter and concluding with two of his own compositions, one displaying his touch with a ballad and closing out with a blues. Anyone who appreciates a skilled and talented pianist, enjoys piano jazz, or is familiar with Ellis Marsalis, will want this in their collection."