137

Don Ellis: Essence

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Don Ellis: Essence 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: bass; Gene Stone, Nick Martinis: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Mighty Quinn Productions | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Real Feels - Live Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Real Feels - Live Vol. 1
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "The River" CD/LP/Track Review The River
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Evolution - Seeds and Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution - Seeds and Streams
by Phil Barnes
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Jungle: Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Jungle: Live At Okuden
by John Sharpe
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Black Ice" CD/LP/Track Review Black Ice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!