DON ELLIS — Soaring

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4.05 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1973

Tracklist

A1 Whiplash 4:25
A2 Sladka Pitka 6:40
A3 Devil Made Me Write This Piece 6:00
A4 Go Back Home 3:15
B1 Invincible 6:43
B2 Image Of Maria 3:03
B3 Sidonie 6:37
B4 Nicole 5:29

Total Time: 42:12

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Dave McDaniel
Cello [Electric] – Pat Kudzia
Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Saxophone [Soprano, Baritone] – Gary Herbig
Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone [Tenor] – Sam Falzone
Congas – Lee Pastora
Drums – Ralph Humphrey
Flute, Flute [Alto], Piccolo Flute, Saxophone [Alto, Soprano, Tenor] – Fred Selden
Flute, Piccolo Flute, Saxophone [Alto, Soprano, Tenor] – Vince Denham
French Horn – Sidney Muldrow
Guitar – Jay Graydon
Organ, Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Clavinet – Milcho Leviev
Percussion, Drums – Ron Dunn
Trombone – Mike Jamieson
Trombone [Bass] – Ken Sawhill
Trumpet, Drums, Flugelhorn – Don Ellis
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Bruce Mackay, Gil Rathel, Jack Caudill
Tuba – Doug Bixby
Viola [Electric] – Renita Koven
Violin [Electric] – Earle Corry, Joel Quivey

About this release

MPS Records ‎– MB 25123(US)

Thanks to snobb, dreadpirateroberts for the updates

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dreadpirateroberts
One of his last studio recordings, Soaring brings together a wide range of elements from Ellis’ past to create an accessible big band album with its share of fusion and even pop sensibilities. The record certainly still has its tricky moments, where it seems like half the players are hard at work doing different things, but it does retain a sense of completeness.

Ellis essentially has a small orchestra to utilise but doesn’t crowd his arrangements. There’s also a focus on more ‘riff-based’ playing for some of the rhythm sections – take ‘Go Back Home’ or ‘The Devil Made Me Write This Piece’ for instance and it’s generally a set of exciting tunes, opener ‘Whiplash’ not least among them. There’s still room for a couple of slower numbers – of which the brief ‘Image of Maria’ is perhaps the more heartfelt, while ‘Nicole’ is a bit cooler.

‘Sladka Pitka’ written by organ and piano player Milcho Leviev possesses perhaps the most varied arrangement, melding CTI-sounding light funk with what could be described as a car-chase horn arrangement, and passages that evoke some sort of bad trip. The most expressive song, even the most direct, has to be ‘Invincible’ with its coy beginning and explosive middle section – the stand out piece for me.

Fans of his earlier work may not enjoy this album, but if you already own ‘Haiku’ ‘Connection’ or ‘Tears of Joy’ and don’t have Soaring yet, it’s definitely worth a look.

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