EMP Project
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EMP Project

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The best kept secret in music


Review by Stewart Mason, All Music Guide
The debut album by Nashville's E.M.P. Project shows a young jazz trio doing solid and original work without particularly expanding the boundaries of its chosen style. Drummer William Ellis, bassist Joseph Patrick Moore, and guitarist Shawn Perkinson (the E, M, and P of the name) share a gently swinging interplay and fair mastery of their instruments, but most of the ten originals on this album sound pretty much exactly like dozens of similar post-bop compositions on dozens of similar albums. The main exception is the excellent "Blues Blown Bye," which marries a peculiar, almost martial shuffle rhythm to an interesting and unique lead guitar line; together, they recall mid-period Steely Dan on a bossa nova trip more than they do early George Benson, which at least suggests a wider range of influences than the rest of the album does. While it's nice to hear a young jazz trio that isn't aping Medeski, Martin & Wood, the E.M.P. Project is, at least on this album, more pleasant than exciting. - All Music Guide

Review: The EMP Project is a fresh sounding trio made up of drummer William Ellis, bassist Joseph Patrick Moore and guitarist Shawn Perkinson. The first letters of their surnames add up to EMP. The trio came together while attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

William Ellis makes his home in Nashville and plays regularly with the band Blue Merle. Shawn Perkinson lives in Chattanooga and teaches guitar at Lee University. Bassist Joseph Patrick Moore leads his own combo in Atlanta, Georgia. While the trio is not geographically together, they are musically “one.”

All compositions on EMP’s second CD are penned by group individual members and two are products of the group as a whole. One of the latter is the burning piece titled “Fused.” Shawn Perkinson’s guitar passages are both inventive and delightful. Perkinson’s composition “Chances,” is a great moody piece incorporating a bowed double bass by Moore and cymbal work reminiscent of Connie Kay and the Modern Jazz Quartet. William Ellis is a truly tasteful drummer.

The title tune, “Wherever We Go” is a winner in every way and offers each of the players a chance to show their stuff. The trio’s website even offers a free MP3 to visitors. Take a moment to enjoy the EMP Project. It’s fine jazz! - JazzReview.com

The EMP Project takes its name from the initials of the last names of the group's principal members William Ellis (drums), Joseph Patrick Moore (bass) and Shawn Perkinson (guitar) but we could understand if they were going for Electro Magnetic Propulsion instead. On their second release EMP Project is electric, magnetic and they propel the listener forward. This CD features 8 jazzy and improvisational jams that lift and move at the same time. The opening title track of 'Wherever We Go' is a nice little traditional jazz trio journey that introduces the listener to just where this project can take them! This Atlanta-based trio explores the boundaries of modern post bop jazz with adept skills, quality production and enough musical twists and turns that guarantee wherever they lead you can be sure you'll be in for a surprise. Highlights of the trip include the frantic bass and guitar build-up on 'Chances', the explosive opening to 'The Day that Never Was', and the climatic way the music all comes together during the closing track, 'Synergy'. Check out this Kweevak.com recommended 2005 release on Blue Canoe Records today! - Kweevak.com

This exceptionally skilled jazz trio from Atlanta Ga., performs in a fiery post-bop style. With an instrumental lineup of guitar, bass, and drums, each player brings a unique voice to the compositions, recalling the interaction within innovative groups led by the likes of Miles Davis, Jack DeJohnette, and John McLaughlin during the late '60s and early '70s. - Cnet.com


EMP Project - "Wherever We Go" (Blue Canoe Record 05)
EMP Project - "EMP Project" (Blue Canoe Record 03)


Feeling a bit camera shy


William Ellis, Joseph Patrick Moore and Shawn Perkinson first met while attending the University of Tennessee in Knoxville between the years of 1989-1994. They each studied privately with:

Jerry Coker (Pat Methany, Jaco Pastorius, R. Brecker)

Donald Brown (Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard)

Rusty Holloway (Woody Herman)

Mark Boling (Billy Higgins, TS Monk)

Keith Brown (Mose Allison, Tommy Flannigan)
and many other important teachers and mentors.

While attending U.T.K., William Ellis, Joseph Patrick Moore and Shawn Perkinson would play regularly together in a variety of settings. Upon graduating U.T.K. their opportunities and talents would lead each of them to different parts of the United States and abroad. While they would keep in touch, they wouldn’t play together again for many years. That all changed in 2002, when EMP Project assembled together for the first time in more than a decade. They captured this magical meeting on their self-titled debut CD,"E.M.P. Project" released in 2003.

With the success of their debut release, EMP Project reassembled to embark on another CD recording project. This outing, now dubbed "Wherever we Go", is an explorative and adventurous recording from this original jazz trio.