Saxman John Ellis is probably best known for his nearly six-year stint with guitarist Charlie Hunter. Last summer, Ellis commanded my attention when I saw him play with Texas jazz vocalist Kat Edmonson at the Tanglewood Jazz Weekend. But Double-Wide is a different animal altogether, not particularly akin to either of those projects.
First, there’s the rather unique line-up: In addition to Ellis on tenor sax and bass clarinet, the band features organist Brian Coogan, drummer Jason Marsalis and sousaphonist Matt Perrine. And the special guests who make impressive contributions to “Puppet Mischief” are trombonist Alan Ferber and harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret. Obviously not your typical jazz combo…