Don Ellis no more gave a damn about the status quo in Jazz than the man in the moon did. He was not so much an iconoclast as a creative, happy-go-lucky creator of interesting music who was not so much out to make a point as to try something new and different and maybe make some descent music at the same time. Koch Jazz and re-released Ellis’ last recording, Live at Montreux, in an expanded edition, including three pieces previously unreleased. Ellis was to die a year later in December 1978 of a failing heart.
Ellis employed a very large orchestra (four reeds, eight brass, one keyboard, two bassists, two drummers, two percussionists, and a string quartet) to perform six of his original compositions that serve as fine vehicles for a series of excellent solos. The main players are trumpeter Ellis, multireedist Ted Nash, and trombonist Alan Kaplan. A great snapshot of edgy ‘70s jazz.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.