NY Midnight Suite
Dennis González NY Quartet
Dennis González (t), Ellerry Eskelin (ts), Mark Helias (b), Mike Thompson (d),
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He is a plastic artist, a writer and still has time to teach Tejano, Mariachi, Latino Music Studies, Spanish, French and Jazz Studies, for 30 years, in Texas public schools. He leads, since 5 years, the trio “Yells at Eels” with his sons Aaron and Stephan and collaborates or leads various formations with whom he records regularly, the most recent being the ones he did in November 2003, in New York, with the “Dennis González NY Quartet” turning into the CD “NY Midnight Suite”.
Ellery Eskelin moved from Baltimore to New York in 1983 and is, since then, one of the most requested saxophone players in the Big Apple. He played and recorded with Mark Helias, Marc Ribot, Gerry Hemingway, Ray Anderson, Phil Haynes and Satoko Fuji. His visits to Europe are frequent, where he connects usually with Daniel Humair, Gebhard Ullman and Rabih Abou-Khalil. With Andrea Parkins and Jim Black he established his unorthodox eclectic trio in 1994. Eskelin has a very original and free approach, combining it with a narrow relation with the jazz tradition, inspired by the music of Lucky Thompson and, mostly, Gene Ammons. One can say that he likes to play free but respecting tradition and the concepts of harmony, time and shape.
Bass player Mark Helias concluded in 1976 his musical studies in the Yale University. The following year he formed, with trombonist Ray Anderson and drummer and percussionist Gerry Hemingway, the trio “BassDrumBone”. Since then he collaborated as a sidemen with first plan musicians like Anthony Braxton, Barry Altschul, Anthony Davis, Cecil Taylor, Oliver Lake, Muhal Richard Abrams, Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, Carlos Ward, Nana Vasconcelos or Dewey Redman. Right now he leads the trio “Open Loose”, where he plays with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey and performs with his homonym Mark Dresser in the project “Marks Brothers”.
Mike Thompson is the least famous of this all star band, but he is nonetheless an excellent musician and it’s not by chance that Dennis Gonzalez called upon him to join this group. He collaborates regularly with Joe McPhee and Roy Campbell, among others. Besides drums and percussion he also plays the piano.
Complex and highly structured compositions show the world a nostalgic view by Dennis Gonzalez inspired by the New York night. A beautiful and disturbing document, painted in warm tones that got recorded in “NY Midnight Suite”.