Ellister van der Molen’s trumpet makes you forget the trumpet. You just hear music, good music with a lot of heart. Notes, weightless and yet confident, dancing on Eric Ineke’s brushes or sticks, creating melodies and intelligent variations on the spot.
As if blowing a trumpet with a warm sound, going through every chord change imaginable and swinging hard are no big deal at all. She’s a poet on her horn and reminds one of other lyrical trumpeters; Chet Baker and Kenny Wheeler in particular.
(Up in jazz heaven, Chet will be proud to hear someone continuing his tradition of lyricism with a rhythm section he would have hired immediately, and a band as a whole who knows how to handle Gnid, one of his favourite Dameron-tunes. Wheeler, who is still very much with us, is honoured with his own ‘Everybody’s song but my own’.)
There is also a touch of swing trumpet in her playing. While visiting her website, I wasn’t surprised noticing she collaborates also with Dixieland veteran Dim Kesber.
In any style, Ellister is herself – a wonderful musician who, hopefully, will continue recording as a leader after this impressive debut.