DON ELLIS
Progressive Big Band / Post Bop / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Exotica / Soul Jazz • United States

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Don Ellis played trumpet in big bands and orchestras before leading his own bands and recording his own compositions. He experimented with odd time signatures and unusual instrumentations, and his Eastern-influenced jazz gained popularity during the psychedelic 1960s. Ellis also invented a four-valve trumpet and developed a slide/valve trombone called a "superbone."

Ellis won a Grammy for his soundtrack to The French Connection.

Biography Overview Donald Johnson Ellis 1934-1978, the Man... his Times and most importantly his Music is explored in the Feature Length Documentary Film, ELECTRIC HEART -don ellis. (status: Post Production)

The Story of the one of the most innovative Composer, Arranger, Writer and Musicians' of all time, Ellis was the first to create a fusion between Jazz-Rock & Classical music.

Pultizer winning Composer Gunther Schuller appears explaining Ellis as the advent of his own coined phrase "The Third Stream".

Ellis took the genre to greater heights and
read more...
Thanks to silent way, snobb for the updates

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Tears of Joy / ConnectionTears of Joy / Connection
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$11.16
$11.16 (used)
Six Classic Albums / Don EllisSix Classic Albums / Don Ellis
Import · Remastered
real Gone Music 2017
Audio CD$9.28
$9.29 (used)
HaikuHaiku
PROMISING MUSIC 2010
Audio CD$22.00
Don Ellis: SoaringDon Ellis: Soaring
Import
MPS-Jazz 2017
Audio CD$9.44
$10.95 (used)
The New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground/Don Ellis At Fillmore /  Don EllisThe New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground/Don Ellis At Fillmore / Don Ellis
Import
Bgo 2017
Audio CD$11.82
$11.81 (used)
EssenceEssence
Mighty Quinn 2005
Audio CD$19.70
$9.95 (used)
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At Fillmore by Don Ellis (CD, Jul-2005, 2 Discs, Wounded Bird) At Fillmore by Don Ellis (CD, Jul-2005, 2 Discs, Wounded Bird) USD $15.00 (0 bids)
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Don Ellis - Eli’s Comin - Rare Northern Soul/funk USA Import Promo Don Ellis - Eli’s Comin - Rare Northern Soul/funk USA Import Promo USD $6.30 (0 bids)
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Darryl & Don Ellis Day In The Sun (1993 CD) L N Darryl & Don Ellis Day In The Sun (1993 CD) L N USD $8.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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DON ELLIS - Connection - CD - Import - **Excellent Condition** - RARE DON ELLIS - Connection - CD - Import - **Excellent Condition** - RARE USD $60.49 Buy It Now 4 days
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4 days
DON ELLIS - Ellis, Don - Shock Treatment - CD - **Mint Condition** DON ELLIS - Ellis, Don - Shock Treatment - CD - **Mint Condition** USD $35.49 Buy It Now 5 days
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DON ELLIS/THE DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA - ELECTRIC BATH [BONUS TRACKS] [REMASTER] USED DON ELLIS/THE DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA - ELECTRIC BATH [BONUS TRACKS] [REMASTER] USED USD $5.06 Buy It Now 5 days
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Don Ellis - Autumn LP CS 9721 Stereo Vinyl 1969 Record partially sealed C1 Don Ellis - Autumn LP CS 9721 Stereo Vinyl 1969 Record partially sealed C1 USD $24.98 Buy It Now 5 days
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Shock Treatment Don Ellis vinyl LP album record Japanese SONP50025 CBS / SONY Shock Treatment Don Ellis vinyl LP album record Japanese SONP50025 CBS / SONY USD $54.55 Buy It Now 5 days
DON ELLIS - Tears Of Joy - CD    RARE DON ELLIS - Tears Of Joy - CD RARE USD $42.70 Buy It Now 5 days
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DON ELLIS - OUT OF NOWHERE NEW CD DON ELLIS - OUT OF NOWHERE NEW CD USD $14.00 Buy It Now 6 days
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Tears of Joy by Don Ellis (CD, Jan-2005, 2 Discs, Wounded Bird) Tears of Joy by Don Ellis (CD, Jan-2005, 2 Discs, Wounded Bird) USD $44.99 Buy It Now 6 days
DON ELLIS - TEARS OF JOY/CONNECTION  2 CD NEW+ DON ELLIS - TEARS OF JOY/CONNECTION 2 CD NEW+ USD $29.90 Buy It Now 6 days
DON ELLIS - How Time Passes (CD, Candid, West Germany) CCD 9004 DON ELLIS - How Time Passes (CD, Candid, West Germany) CCD 9004 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Don Ellis Tommy Tedesco MPS/BASF LP 1973 Don Ellis Tommy Tedesco MPS/BASF LP 1973 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Columbia CS-9889 The New Don Ellis Band - Goes Underground 1969 12 Columbia CS-9889 The New Don Ellis Band - Goes Underground 1969 12" 33 RPM USD $11.98 Buy It Now 6 days
DON ELLIS WITH THE OHIO STATE JAZZ ENSEMBLE 1977 CD DON ELLIS WITH THE OHIO STATE JAZZ ENSEMBLE 1977 CD USD $15.99 Buy It Now 6 days
DON ELLIS-DON ELLIS SINGS SWING, BALLADS & BLUES-JAZZ-RARE SEALED LP DON ELLIS-DON ELLIS SINGS SWING, BALLADS & BLUES-JAZZ-RARE SEALED LP USD $50.00 Buy It Now 6 days
VINTAGE ROCKABILLY 45rpm BEE RECORDS READING PA DON ELLIS YAH YAH  Blue Fire VINTAGE ROCKABILLY 45rpm BEE RECORDS READING PA DON ELLIS YAH YAH Blue Fire USD $14.99 (0 bids)
6 days
Don Ellis Orchestra ‎– 'Live' At Monterey VINYL LP Don Ellis Orchestra ‎– 'Live' At Monterey VINYL LP USD $1.11 (0 bids)
6 days
DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA ELECTRIC BATH 1968 CBS RARE GERMAN PRESSING ORIGINAL STEREO DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA ELECTRIC BATH 1968 CBS RARE GERMAN PRESSING ORIGINAL STEREO USD $23.00 Buy It Now 6 days
DON ELLIS New Ideas LP NEW JAZZ NJLP 8257 US 1961 RVG DG MONO Ron Carter DON ELLIS New Ideas LP NEW JAZZ NJLP 8257 US 1961 RVG DG MONO Ron Carter USD $43.34 Buy It Now 6 days
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DON ELLIS/THE DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA - ELECTRIC BATH [BONUS TRACKS] [REMASTER] NEW DON ELLIS/THE DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA - ELECTRIC BATH [BONUS TRACKS] [REMASTER] NEW USD $15.80 Buy It Now 7 days
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DON ELLIS OUT OF NOWHERE CD WITH STEVE SWALLOW PAUL BLEY DON ELLIS OUT OF NOWHERE CD WITH STEVE SWALLOW PAUL BLEY USD $5.56 Buy It Now 7 days
Out Of Nowhere - Don Ellis (CD New) 031397903223 Out Of Nowhere - Don Ellis (CD New) 031397903223 USD $18.98 Buy It Now 7 days
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DON ELLIS Discography

DON ELLIS albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.90 | 2 ratings
How Time Passes (aka A Simplex One)
Post Bop 1961
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
New Ideas
Post Bop 1961
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Essence
Post Bop 1962
.. Album Cover 4.45 | 5 ratings
Electric Bath
Progressive Big Band 1967
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Shock Treatment
Progressive Big Band 1968
.. Album Cover 4.67 | 7 ratings
Autumn
Progressive Big Band 1968
.. Album Cover 4.24 | 4 ratings
The New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground (featuring Patti Allen)
Soul Jazz 1969
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Connection
Exotica 1972
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New Rhythms
Post Bop 1972
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Soaring
Progressive Big Band 1973
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Haiku
Progressive Big Band 1973
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Music From Other Galaxies And Planets
Progressive Big Band 1977
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Out of Nowhere
Post Bop 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The French Connection / The French Connection II
Jazz Related Soundtracks 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Seven-Ups / The Verdict
Jazz Related Soundtracks 2007

DON ELLIS EPs & splits

DON ELLIS live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Jamboree 1962 [No. 1] (aka Don Ellis / Wojciech Karolak Trio)
Post Bop 1963
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Live in 3 2/3/4 Time
Progressive Big Band 1966
.. Album Cover 4.71 | 5 ratings
Live at Monterrey
Progressive Big Band 1966
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
At Fillmore
Progressive Big Band 1970
.. Album Cover 4.90 | 2 ratings
Tears of Joy
Progressive Big Band 1971
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Live at Montreux
Progressive Big Band 1978
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Pieces Of Eight,Live At UCLA
Progressive Big Band 2006
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live In India 1978
Exotica 2010

DON ELLIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don Ellis Band Live In Doelen, Rotterdam
Progressive Big Band 2005

DON ELLIS re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground/Don Ellis At Fillmore
Progressive Big Band 2014
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don Ellis & Brad Fiedel : The French Connection Collection
Jazz Related Soundtracks 2016
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tears Of Joy / Connection
Progressive Big Band 2017

DON ELLIS singles (0)

DON ELLIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Electric Heart
Progressive Big Band 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Electric Heart (2014 edition)
Progressive Big Band 2014

DON ELLIS Reviews

DON ELLIS Soaring

Album · 1973 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

DON ELLIS Shock Treatment

Album · 1968 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
In 1966 Don Ellis turned the world of jazz, and particularly big band jazz, upside down with his concert and recording at The Monterey Jazz Festival that featured exotic instrumentation, internationally flavored odd-metered rhythms and psychedelic sounds and sensibilities. The follow up album, 'Electric Bath', continued in a similar vein, but unfortunately on 'Shock Treatment' Ellis falls off the beam slightly and delivers something a little more conventional. This isn't a bad album, but compared to 'Live at Monterey' there is a definite fall off in bold experimentation and exotic flavors. What I miss most about the earlier albums are the breakdown sections where Ellis would play trumpet against a backdrop of percussionists and the band would vary the texture per song in general. Instead, on 'Shock Treatment' the full ensemble is more persistent and the horn section blares away at times when some more sparse instrumentation would be nice for a change.

There are two songs on here that stand out. 'Star Children' is 60s psychedelic ambience with exotica Gregorian vocals, twinkling echoed celeste, sitar (of course) and a Spanish tinged Phrygian trumpet melody that recalls 'Sketches of Spain'. 'Zim', written by woodwinds player Jay Magruder, is just an excellent melody that fits well in a big band format. On both tunes though, as is the case on most of this album, Ellis can't help himself from breaking out the big horn buildups.

For aficionados of modern big band music, this album is superb. The playing, orchestrations, recording and production are outstanding, but for those looking for Ellis' contribution to the formative years of progressive fusion, this is not the best one to go with.

DON ELLIS Live at Montreux

Live album · 1978 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Released in 1978, 'Live at Montreux' is Don Ellis' last record before his untimely death due to heart problems. This isn't Ellis' best album, but it's still excellent modern big band music, just not as progressive or psychedelic as some of his other releases. Early in his career Ellis presented an innovative big band jazz music that featured odd-metered rhythms and exotic instrumentation that proved to be a blueprint for artists such as King Crimson, Frank Zappa and The Soft Machine. Fast forward to the late 70s and times have changed. Due to the new found popularity of commercialized jazz fusion, as well as an increase in excellent high profile college big band programs, big band music was back, but with a new late 70s fusion flavor. Thad Jones, Chuck Mangione, Quincey Jones and Maynard Ferguson were reaching a whole new crowd of college aged jazz fans, as well as the new post-hippie yuppie crowd that wanted to put away their boogie rock and dig something a little more urban and grown-up. All of this was certainly having an impact on Ellis at this point in his career.

Two songs on here stand out above the rest. 'Future Feature' hit's a classic prog rock fusion Oberheim odd-metered bass line that drives solos from the horns, saxes and violins leading to many complicated arrangement change-ups and the final big buildup from the full horn and string section that recalls Mahavishnu Orchestra's album with an additional 'orchestra'. 'Sporting Dance' is hard driving and intense hippie acid jazz with film noir melodies and a long solo(s) between two battling trombones against a Cobham/Bitches Brew inspired manic drum section.

Elsewhere we get sophisticated and slightly avant-garde takes on popular late 70s music such as disco and Brazilian dance rhythms, as well late 70s styled slick intelligent big band music. If you are a fan of Don Ellis, there is much to like here. If you are looking for an introduction to some of his more progressive material, you may want to look elsewhere.

DON ELLIS Live at Monterrey

Live album · 1966 · Progressive Big Band
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Released in mid 1966, is 'Don Ellis Orchestra Live at Monterey' the first progressive jazz-rock fusion album? Could be. After laying dormant as a recording artist for four years, Don Ellis turned the jazz world upside down with this very left coast concert that fused rock energy, odd-metered time signatures from around the world, and a unique take on big band orchestration that threw tradition out the window. Throughout this album/concert we are treated to sounds and genre combinations that will become common place under the guiding hands of King Crimson, Frank Zappa, The Soft Machine, Miles Davis and others, but this was all brand new when Don Ellis took the stage in Monterrey and unleashed his unique musical vision on the world. The album opens with heavy bowed strings playing an odd-metered grinding diminished scale riff, it's that 'crime-jazz' sound that will be used to great effect by Robert Fripp on tunes like '21st Century Schizoid Man' and 'Pictures of a City'. As the horns, percussion and drums build the intensity we are treated to blistering solos on saxophone and trumpet. The second half of side one is taken up by 'Concerto for Trumpe't, a complicated brassy jazz arrangement that enters into proto-psychedelic territory in the middle section when the band drops out and the bass strings play an ominous drone behind a spacey trumpet soliloquy.

Side two opens with 'Passacaglia and Fugue', a mixture of classical forms with big band swing. Despite the classical pretensions and complicated fugal sections, the band swings hard on this one and features more hot solos on sax and trumpet. This track is probably the closest to big band jazz as it was known at the time. On the other hand, album closer 'New Nine' is probably the furthest. This one is a wild experimental number with many contrasting sections including tense crime-jazz horn build-ups, crazy psychedelic B3 solos, and odd- metered rhythmic breakdowns in which congas and tablas drive frenetic trumpet solos. Very modern and intense, this is a great way to close out this revolutionary concert.

I used to think Don Ellis' old school 'big bandisms' would be a turn off to young folks, but as I notice the rise in popularity of artists such as Mr Bungle and Diablo Swing Orchestra, It seems the lexicon of big band jazz has found a permanent niche in youth culture, and not just in an ironic or kitsch way either. If you like big band progressive rock fusion such as early 70s Frank Zappa, then you will probably enjoy this. Although this was released in 1966, it is one of Ellis' most modern and progressive works, and probably one of the most accessible to a fusion fan.

DON ELLIS The New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground (featuring Patti Allen)

Album · 1969 · Soul Jazz
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The music of Don Ellis and his big band tends to come in one, or in a combination, of three different flavors; 1) odd-metered progressive exotic proto-fusion, 2) cutting edge current styles of the competitive collegiate big-band scene, or, 3) All out lounge-shark tongue-in- cheek Vegas cheeeze. This album, 'Don Ellis Goes Underground', is almost all the third option and none of the other two, but that doesnt mean this isnt a great album. All the playing, arranging, writing and production on here is top notch. As much as I like Ellis' progressive material, when he decides to go for the lounge-core sound he is one of the very best. The ensemble playing on here is incredibly tight and very high energy, and despite the more commercial direction of this album, you still get some of Ellis trademark progressive tendencies. The song Bulgarian Bulge, midway through side one, is furiously paced odd-metered Bulgarian party music played with flawless precision. This song showcases Dons interest at that time in Bulgarian music, an interest that lead him to bring several Bulgarian fusion artists to the states. This migration eventually led to Milcho Levievs brilliant keyboard work with Billy Cobham. Elsewhere on this side Ellis and his band play the high energy pop classic, 'Elis Comin', straight ahead without any sign of irony for a sonic blast of pure big band euphoria.

This album proudly advertises that it features RnB vocalist Patty Allen, but she only shows up on a couple cuts, mostly for good effect though. Her vocals on 'Higher' recreates a 60s kitsch soul vibe that recalls cult musical time capsules like 'Hair' and 'JC Superstar'. This album also features the ultimate session lizard faux psychedelic-soul wannabe guitarist Jay Graydon and his always eager and hyper wah-wah pedal which adds so much to Ellis albums in this style.

This album opens with a huge wall of metallic ring-modulated tones from Ellis trumpet that sounds like the ultimate Armageddon between Stockhausen and Sun Ra and then immediately shifts into a groovy big band groove made for a 60s GTO commercial. Some people get musical style and irony, David Bowies gets it, so did Miles Davis. God bless you Don Ellis.

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