A New York-based jazz saxophonist, Ellis once released an album titled One Foot in the Swamp, alluding to the New Orleans influences that put the juke in his bop. The other foot is planted firmly in New York jazz lofts, as Ellis work stands at the vanguard of modern improvisational players who blend bop and greasy funk. A member of Charlie Hunters band for seven years, Ellis established his bandleader credentials by creating groove-based songs that have drawn praise from the hardcore jazz crowd yet reach those attracted to bayou rhythms, as heard on the outstanding 2008 album Dance Like Theres No Tomorrow. He brings an accomplished band, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Alan Hampton, guitarist Mike Moreno and drummer Derek Phillips (a Nashville resident and former member of Charlie Hunters band).
Fri., May 1, 6 p.m.; Sat., May 2, 8:30 p.m., 2009