4 Horns & What

4 Horns & What?
Open Minds 2402
Ellery Eskelin, tenor saxophone; Paul Smoker, trumpet; Andy Laster, flute, alto/baritione saxophones; Joe Daley, low brass





The group [4 Horns & What?]. . . used neither a bassist nor a pianist, and either would have destroyed the debut of an extremely promising band . . . an ideal band.

– Peter Watrous, The New York Times


In addition to displaying as much taste as another drummer named [Roy] Haynes, Phil turns in such varied and colorful scores that nothing here sounds like a percussion concerto, except the gorgeous “Ballad for Heike,” which is supposed to.   A

– Francis Davis, The Village Voice





Ballad for Heike

(available on Continuum and 4 Horns & What?)


When the breath of life divines a kin,
one finds and kneads moist rhymes, a creed,
from eyes so keen, yet calm.
As our journey bends through fresh love’s door
these days slide fast and then cry flight.
Spinning seasons change, choice retires,
there’s no rebirth in time, less fire.
As we join to play,
claiming blue happiness,
it’s time to change our mourn.
Should the seeds of May re-strike our core,
there shall only be subtle lines of free blossoms,
fragrant with lore.

~pah lyric, April, 1997

 Hayphil Music, BMI


Ballad for Heike, lyric sung by Nicholas Horner