Roddy Ellias Free Spirit Ensemble feat. Kellylee Evans – Not This Room

Roddy Ellias Free Spirit Ensemble feat. Kellylee Evans – Not This Room

November 15, 2021

Roddy Ellias: acoustic steel string guitar
Kellylee Evans: voice
Marc Copland: piano
Justin Orok: nylon string guitar
Chris Pond: bass
Jose Garcia: percussion
Petr Cancura: soprano & tenor sax, clarinet, mandolin
Guy Pelletier: bass flute, C flute
Richard Page: bass clarinet
Pierre-Yves Martel: viola da gamba

When music transcends the notes, it connects our inner and our outer lives, and takes us to another place. It’s a place you’ll want to inhabit for a while, and Not This Room will get you there. These nine songs combine the unique melodic artistry of composer and guitarist Roddy Ellias with unforgettable lyrics by Canadian writer Sandra Nicholls. Sung by Juno award- winning vocalist Kellyee Evans, with the help of eight other musicians, the songs are a stirring testament to the power of creativity in the face of isolation, a musical light from the darkest days of the pandemic, a jazz-infused message of hope. 

Ellias is a composer whose work defies a simple definition, and his musical journey has taken him from his early roots in pop and R&B bands, to the improvised world of jazz, through African and other world beats all the way to the classical world, even writing an opera, and everything in between. The songs on this latest album move seamlessly through different moods and styles, echoing the shifting experience of the pandemic itself. From the simple folky power of Prayer to the hypnotic beat of The Street, from the haunting, melancholy lyricism of the title track, Not This Room, to the luminous harmonies of Draw Me a Circle, the songs on this album linger on long after you first hear them. 

This is not his first collaboration with Nicholls, an award-winning poet and novelist, but they consider it their most important, with songs they hope will connect people in a time of profound disconnection. In addition to Ellias and Evans, the album features New York pianist Marc Copland, Juno-winner Petr Cancura, Richard Page, Pierre-Yves Martel, Guy Pelletier, Justin Orok, Chris Pond and Jose Garcia. It was recorded in the beautiful ambient setting of Mackay United Church in Ottawa.

Release Date: Friday, December 17th 2021