PRESS

Press for 
Ophiuchus Butterfly:

Jazzman (France)

Birmingham Post (UK)

About.com

Dusted 8/13/06

Echoes (UK)

Jazziz 9/06

Gaz-Eta (Poland)

Pop Matters

UK Jazz Review July 06

Publico (Portugual) 7/22/06

Houston Chronicle 7/28/06

Illinos Times 7/27/06

The Absolute Sound August 06

ejazznews August 1, 06

DownBeat August 06

Signal To Noise Summer 06

Jazz (Italy) June 06

Time Out NY April 27, 06


All About Jazz May 20, 06

Capital Times May 11, 06

New York Times May 8, 2006

All About Jazz, April 27 2006
"At once highly controlled and recklessly inventive"
-Illinois Times


"This guys worth listening to through a ten dollar pocket radio."
-The Absolute Sound


"Butterfly boasts a bottom end carried in large part by a tuba, with Ellman's spare, subtle and sparkling guitar parts bubbling throughout". The whole mix is enchanting, sounding futuristic at times, without ever sacrificing the organic core hinted at in the scientific song titles."
-Houston Chronicle


"Ellman's music is quite original and subtle."
-All Music Guide


"his touch and vision are omnipresent: in the album's stuttering funk, its electronic interludes, and its general tone, which is jagged but somehow delicate, like eggshells in a careful pile."
-NY Times


"It's never chaotic, but never predictable, and always compelling."
-Nashville City Paper


"No obnoxious hot dog."
-Nashville City Paper



Other press:
Jazz Times July 19, 2005

The New York Times January 15, 2004

Jazzman (France) CHOC March 2004

Cadence Review March 2004

Jazzwise (UK) (October 2003)

Jazz Times (November 2003)

Guitar One (November 2003)

The Village Voice (November 19, 2003)

Down Beat (December 2003)

CMJ New Music Report (December 01 2003)

All About Jazz (November 2003)
All About Jazz (November 2003)



Press release for Ophiuchus Butterfly is here.

Press release for TACTILES:

Pi Recordings is proud to release Tactiles, the second album by Liberty Ellman, one of New York's most imaginative and unorthodox guitarist/composers. Tactiles follows up the critically acclaimed Orthodoxy, which Ellman released in 1998 on his own Red Giant label. Featuring Mark Shim on tenor saxophone, Stephan Crump on bass, and Eric Harland on drums, Tactiles documents sounds and concepts that have been gestating since Ellman returned to his native New York from the Bay Area in 1998.

Tactiles is Ellman's second appearance on Seth Rosner's innovative Pi label - the first being Up Popped the Two Lips by Henry Threadgill's acoustic band ZOOID. With Tactiles, Ellman joins the ranks of such esteemed innovators as Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, and Wadada Leo Smith as a Pi recording artist.

Since relocating to New York, Ellman has performed extensively with his own trio and quartet, with Crump and Shim as charter members. He has also gained wide-ranging experience as a sideman with some of jazz's most adventurous and least categorizable thinkers, including Greg Osby, Henry Threadgill, Steven Bernstein, and Lawrence "Butch" Morris. On Tactiles we feel the pull of these diverse influences in Ellman's spiky, unpredictable lines, his arid and suggestive harmonies, and his complex yet infectious rhythms. We also hear Osby's distinctive alto sax on three tracks: the majestic ballad "Temporary Aid," the midtempo funk riddle "How Many Texts," and the furiously swinging "Ultraviolet."

Ellman employs a clean, unadorned sound on Tactiles, achieving rich timbral contrasts and an alluring sonic blend with Mark Shim's weighty, gruff tenor sax. Interestingly, both Ellman and Shim make extensive use of the lower registers of their respective instruments. "I like a warm, clear sound," says Ellman, "one that allows you to hear the quality of the strings and the wood of the instrument, but not too pristine. I still prefer to hear the grit of a vintage tube amp."

Crump and Harland flourish within Ellman's intricate rhythmic frameworks on pieces such as "Excavation," "Helios," and "Post Approval." In these workouts, Ellman crafts a dense polyrhythmic language and focuses the heated interaction with his undulating single-note lines and cliché-free chording. "With this record," Ellman explains, "I wanted to be as direct as possible, making music that has a visceral, almost physical quality. Hence the title, Tactiles."

Born in London in 1971, Ellman lived his earliest years in New York but spent his adolescence and most of his 20s in the Bay Area, emerging with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the California State University at Sonoma. During his West Coast stint Ellman formed deep, lasting relationships with the celebrated pianist Vijay Iyer, the fiery altoist Rudresh Mahanthappa, and a close-knit circle of other like-minded players, most of whom have since moved to New York as well. Along the way Ellman founded Red Giant Records and released his debut recording, Orthodoxy, along with well-received albums by Iyer (Panoptic Modes, Architextures), Mahanthappa (Black Water), and other colleagues.

As a touring member of the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe and the hip-hop group Midnight Voices (featuring MC Will Power), Ellman has made significant contributions to artistic idioms beyond jazz. He has also performed and recorded with innovative koto artist Miya Masaoka, scored the 30th anniversary production of Sam Sheppard's "True West" at the Magic Theater, and participated in the first incarnation of Steve Coleman's Mystic Rhythm Society.

Ellman is influenced by an array of guitar greats: Grant Green, Wes Montgomery, Ali Farka Toure, and Jimi Hendrix, among others. His greatest musical inspiration comes from conceptual innovators, true artists like Monk, Miles, Bartók, or Björk, who search for themselves in their music, and find beautiful ways to prove their progress. Ultimately, Ellman seeks to broaden the already deep musical and social history of his instrument with an evocation of the creative streams of his generation. Tactiles, like Orthodoxy before it, is an important step toward that lofty but entirely realistic goal.
Quotes for Tactiles

"... absorbing, challenging music from a guitarist who, like his peers Jeff Parker and Ben Monder, is keen on avoiding cliche. Definitely a name to watch."

JAZZWISE  


"With his new CD 'Tactiles' Liberty Ellman emerges as one of the most intriguing, albeit unorthodox, guitarists on the New York scene today. An album of original, esoteric compositions marked by dense polyrhythms, dissonant, angular lines and an organic logic that ties the whole thing together in brilliant fashion..."
-- Bill Milkowski, JAZZ TIMES (November 2003)




"With a clear, sharp tone recalling Grant Green, Ellman forges an imaginative style that--in the tradition of such great innovators as Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk--is at once modern and classic."
Adam Pearlmutter - GUITAR ONE 

"A guitarist cut from neither of the cookie cutters that produced legions of note-happy virtuosos and techno-geek fusioneers, Ellman shows his stuff as player and composer on a new CD with Greg Osby and Mark Shim that could make a lot of year-end lists."
-- Gary Giddins, THE VILLAGE VOICE (October 15, 2003

"Guitarist Liberty Ellman is much enamored of intricate melodies, and it shows on his satisfying new disc, 'Tactiles.' His compositions are snaky without being impenetrable, which is why his quartet sounds so relaxed and traditional even as it tackles rhythms and soundscapes that move well beyond swing."
-- K. Leander Williams, TIME OUT NEW YORK (October 23, 2003)