There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin’s “One Great Day…” would be a fine tune for playing musical chairs to. The song’s soul-scorching main theme is variously discarded and retrieved throughout its nine-minute span, providing the sound of surprise that both musical-chairists and jazzbos demand. Actually, “One Fine Day…,” the title track to Eskelin’s excellent new CD, is a microcosm of his full-gamut style. He’s a player who speeds down the road like a musical motorcyclist, winding around every harmonic turn with grace and precision; then, just as you feel comfortable riding sidesaddle, he cuts you loose on a hairpin turn. One Great Day… is composed mostly of Eskelin originals, but his willful deconstruction of Roland Kirk’s “The Inflated Tear” is the perfect companion to his own work. (Eskelin takes Kirk’s melody and submerges it, almost literally, in a quiet sea of sound making its center into an aquatic tone poem.) Eskelin’s bandmates, Andrea Parkins (accordion and sampler, pictured at left) and Jim Black (percussion, pictured at right) are masterful sound painters, providing the unique tonal colors his music demands. Grab a chair—fast—when Eskelin’s trio plays at 9 p.m. at Food for Thought, 1738 Connecticut Ave. NW. $10. (202) 797-1095. (Christopher Porter)