May 1, 2016

Where to Start Your Don Ellis LP/CD Collection

Don Ellis could have been a household name

Don Ellis (1934-1978) is easily one of the most underrated musicians in jazz history. A gifted trumpeter and big band leader, as well as an in demand film score composer.

Don scored the music for the William Friedkin masterpiece The French Connection.

I discovered Don through a series of albums I happened on in a bargain bin at a local used book store.

As it turned out, Electric Bath and Tears of Joy still are the quintessential albums to start with in my mind.

Of course you'll want more Ellis music with out a doubt, most of the Pacific Jazz live albums are fantastic, and the albums from the 70's like Shock treatment, The Connection, and At the Fillmore are equally as good.

Connection is more of a cover album, meaning Don is basically forced to play Columbia back catalog stuff, so he can include his own material on the albums. Everything is expertly played though, might be good place for the rock fan to get their foot into progressive big band jazz.

There is very little known by the general public about Don Ellis, worse yet, outside of jazz Don is merely a blurb on the Internet Movie Database for the aforementioned French Connection soundtrack. 

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