Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Guitarist Liberty Ellman blends highly advanced post-bop jazz with elements of funk and hip-hop. His music falls roughly within the M-Base subculture birthed by alto saxophonist Steve Coleman. Born in London in 1971, but raised in the States, Ellman became an active member of the Bay Area's artistic community, playing with like-minded musicians Vijay Iyer and Eric Crystal, working with hip-hop groups the Coup and Midnight Voices, and composing music for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a political theater company. In early 1997, Ellman founded Red Giant Records, which released his debut album, Orthodoxy, as well as discs by Iyer, Crystal, and Midnight Voices. Relocating to New York in late 1998, Ellman recorded for dance music producers Spiritual Life and began playing with saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. He also performed regularly with his own trio and gained auspicious employment in the touring band of M-Base prophet Greg Osby.