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...
Recorded 27 years ago, this album from the Don Ellis library contains all the rhythmic and polyphonic excitement that you’d expect from such a pioneer in modern big band jazz. With this CD release, the original LP has been augmented by the addition of three previously unreleased tracks that came from the same Montreux performance.
With his trumpet in hand, and an instrumentation that exceeds the norm, Ellis gave the world a remarkable sound. His compositions and arrangements left their mark. Performances such as this one have provided inspiration for all. Bass clarinet, French horn, oboe, tuba, congas and a string quartet combined to give his orchestra a unique collective timbre. Add to that his fascination with meter. “Future Feature,” for example, is in traditional 4/4, but its complex subdivision gives you that old Don Ellis magic: 223, 32, 223, 32, 3232, 223, 223, 3232, 33.
”Lyra,” “Eros,” and “Arcturus” appeared on another album for Atlantic, Music From Other Galaxies And Planets Featuring The Theme From Star Wars, which was created in a studio. Therefore, the inclusion here of live performances of these three pieces at Montreux was never considered. They make a sizable addition to the concert, however, and these arrangements fit in well. “Arcturus” was the concert’s encore.
This was Ellis’ final recording. He passed away the following year at age 44 from complications of an earlier heart attack. His farewell trumpet solo on “Niner Two” leaves a lasting impression.
Featuring stellar solo work from Ellis (on several instruments), Ted Nash, Jimbo Ross, Ann Patterson, Chino Valdes, Jim Snodgrass, and Alan Kaplan, the album has a significant place in the history of jazz. Ellis influenced many. His legacy continues to inspire.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!