10% discount on your next order!

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a personal discount code for 10% discount on a album of your choice! After subscribing, you will receive the code in your email. This code is only valid for 10 days!

The code is valid one time and valid for a 10 days after receiving the promotioncode. Your emailaddress will only be used by Challenge Records International and will not be given to 3rd party advertisers. If you have any questions please contact us.

Liberty Ellman

Ophiuchus Butterfly

  • Type CD
  • Label Pi Recordings
  • UPC 0808713001921
  • Catalog number PI 19
  • Release date 15 December 2008
Physical (CD)

€ 19.95
Add to cart
Product is on stock

Get the album digitally

High resolution download Spirit of Turtle iTunes

About the album

Guitarist/composer Liberty Ellman’s second Pi recording as a leader, Ophiuchus Butterfly, is an initially striking and ultimately deeply satisfying set chronicling six musicians, ten pieces and one ambitious, personal and utterly mature sensibility. Ellman’s guitar ability and style are undeniable here, but this isn’t a “guitar” album.

“I’m interested in making a solid album from start to finish with regards to the writing, ensemble and the quality of the recording. It’s more than just a document of the moment in this case. To me, guitar chops are only a piece of the puzzle. However many guitar solos fit into the larger scheme is just determined by what the music requires.”

The music, in any case, is remarkable. Whether it’s the tight ensemble playing, rigorous writing, dazzling counterpoint and dauntingly propulsive no, make that just plain funky grooves of “Tarmacadam”, or “Ophiuchus Butterfly”, the rich, eerie harmonies of the postmodern blues ballad “Aestivation”, or the electronic/acoustic hybrid sound experiments of “Snow Lips” or “Borealis”, this are bracingly original, detailed compositions performed by a sextet that’s more than equal to their technical and emotional demands.

“I’ve been trying some music that has a more ambitious, composed element to it, and I wanted to expand the ensemble a bit to achieve certain textures,” Ellman recalls, “including having a really thick low end, which can emphasize the groove. The bass and the tuba are sometimes doubling and other times complementing each other underneath what’s happening with the horns and guitar. The alto, tenor and guitar play these interlocking melodies and create this rich, contrapuntal fabric.”

While this is quite definitely ensemble music, it’s still music that lets the individual players express their personalities in its roiling, shifting structures — Ellman and saxophonists Steve Lehman and Mark Shim passing melodies back and forth, tuba player Jose Davila and bassist Stephan Crump doubling low-end lines or playing complementary but discrete parts, and drummer Gerald Cleaver acting as the fulcrum around which the pieces effervesce.

And everywhere that remarkable marriage of demanding compositional harmony and body-moving rhythm. “What I would hope to capture in some of this music is the presence of a really powerful and hypnotic rhythm with this exploratory and informed harmonic and melodic structure on top,” says Ellman. “There’s an intellectual feed but also a groove you could dance to.”

“Music,” he smiles, “that can bob your head and raise your eyebrow at the same time.”

  • 1
    Ophiuchus Butterfly
  • 1
  • 1
    Snow Lips
  • 1
    You Have Ears
  • 1
    The Naturalists
  • 1
    Pretty Words, Like Blades
  • 1
  • 1
    Looking Up
  • 1
  • 1

Add a comment

We need to make sure that you are really an human, please enter the code below.