Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

137

Don Ellis: Essence

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Originally released in 1962 on Pacific Jazz as P-55, this reissue has been a long time coming. It reveals the kernel of Don Ellis that later blossomed into a broad-based big bandleader who straddled the fence between mainstream jazz and free jazz. His intellectually complex compositions have always knocked the socks off listeners and performers alike.

Ellis wrote "Ostinato" in 1957 for the Seventh Army Jazz II orchestra in Germany. Its opening 7/8 meter, followed by simultaneous 5/8 and 4/4 meters and an 11/8 piano accompaniment for Ellis' creative trumpet solo, foretell the rhythmic storms that would follow his career.

Ellis, who had appeared on Charles Mingus' Mingus Dynasty and paid his dues in the ensembles of Ray McKinley, Charlie Barnet, Claude Thornhill, Maynard Ferguson, and George Russell, gave this quartet the creative juice that it wanted. Paul Bley and Gary Peacock continued in the same spirit long after Ellis' death in 1978.

You can feel the animated trademark Ellis trumpet soloing on "Form" and "Ostinato," where he syncopates with bebop authority and revitalizes with a virtuoso's thrills. "Irony" strolls through free jazz territory with substantial experimentation on board. "Angel Eyes" moves lyrically with a lush texture and deeply felt emotional stirrings, while "Lover" closes the session with a blazing-fast show of dexterity from all four artists. These guys could do everything. Between recording dates for this album, they performed a spiritual piece in church.

Highly recommended and essential, Essence opens the doors of your imagination and introduces the listener to a whole new ball game.

Track Listing: Johnny Come Lately; Slow Space; Ostinato; Donkey; Form; Angel Eyes; Irony; Lover.

Personnel: Don Ellis: trumpet; Paul Bley: piano; Gary Peacock: acoustic bass; Gene Stone: drums (1-3,6-8); Nick Martinis: drums (3,5).

Title: Essence | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Mighty Quinn Productions

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Late Night Thoughts on Jazz
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

Don Ellis

Nonesuch
2013

buy
 

Live In India

Southport Records
2010

buy
Haiku

Haiku

Promising Music/MPS
2010

buy
Essence

Essence

Mighty Quinn Productions
2005

buy
Connection

Connection

Wounded Bird Records
2005

buy
Don Ellis at Fillmore

Don Ellis at Fillmore

Wounded Bird Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You Album Reviews
Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You
By Dan McClenaghan
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019