It's You I Like (John Ellis CD)
||Criss Cross Jazz
According to the liner notes:
In childhood, Ellis was not a devotee of the Mister Rogers show. His "aha" moment came some years ago, when he happened upon an episode with the song You Are Special. "I was impressed with both the intent of the language and how fearlessly earnest he is, which I see as a sign of incredible courage," Ellis says. "In this era, a clever, ironic outlook is ascendent among artists and musicians, which in some ways is less courageous than being earnest, which can set you up for accusations of being naive of corny.
"It also resonates that he was an ordained Presbyterian minister, and was religious, although he was quiet and didn't proselytize. I come from a long line of Presbyterian ministers -- my dad is one and so was my grandfather. But most important is that he was a songwriter and singer and piano player. He wrote kid songs, but they feel like part of the American jazz tradition, with quirky forms. Early on, he sang them live, playing the piano and looking to the side at the camera, the way you'd see Nat Cole do it on his show; towards the end, you'd hear Johnny Costa improvise. Mr. Rogers was exposing an American audience to jazz."
John Ellis: Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet
Mike Moreno: Guitar
Aaron Goldberg: Piano
Matt Penman: Bass
Rodney Green: Drums
Produced by Gerry Teekens
Recording Engineer: Michael Marciano
Mixing: Michael Marciano
Mastering: Michael Marciano
Recorded: October 25, 2011
© 2012 Criss Cross Jazz
Recorded at Systems Two Recording Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Photography: Govert Driessen
Cover Design: Gerry Teekens/Bloemendaal in Vorm
Content copyright © The Fred Rogers Company. Used with permission.