Brian Ellis is an multi-instrumentalist from San Diego, California. He has released several albums in the last few years under multiple monikers and is perhaps better known as lead guitarist for the progressive rock group, ASTRA.
By playing guitar, bass, drums, various synthesizers and keyboards, saxophone, trumpet, sitar, xylophone, kalimba, etc., Brian creates the illusion of a large live band jamming all together. After releasing 2 albums in 2007 for the now defunct label, Benbecula Records, Brian found himself straying away from the programmed/sequenced elements and wanted to make an album where all the instruments were played live. "Quipu" takes Brian Ellis' jazz/fusion/funk sound from his previous solo works to the next level. The opening track "Birth" sets a deep atmosphere of delayed trumpets and saxophones with a slow beat and funky bass before exploding into an odd-timing heavy fusion workout harkening back to the days of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Whereas later tracks like "Psaw" (featuring David Hurley of Astra on drums) take on much more of a free jazz sound similar to Miles Davis "Bitches Brew" era, full of dissonance and surprising elements. The final track "Walomendem" is a 14 minute progressive rock epic hailing as a tribute to the great french band Magma.
Artwork by Jessica Planter & Sean Painter.