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Don Ellis

Biography

A talented trumpeter having a vivid music imagination as well as the willingness to try new things, Don Ellis led a few of the most colorful big rings from the 1965-75 period. After graduating from Boston University or college, Ellis played within the big rings of Ray McKinley, Charlie Barnet, and Maynard Ferguson (he was presented with the second option on “Three Even more Foxes”), documented with Charles Mingus, and used George Russell’s sextet (at exactly the same time as Eric Dolphy). Ellis led four quartet and trio classes during 1960-1962 for Candid, New Jazz, and Pacific Jazz, combining together bop, free of charge jazz, and his desire for modern traditional music. Nonetheless it is at 1965 when he come up with his 1st orchestra that he actually started to get that promotion in jazz. Ellis’s big rings were recognized by their uncommon instrumentation (which in its start had as much as three bassists and three drummers including Ellis himself), the leader’s desire to research unusual time adjustments (including 7/8, 9/8, and also 15/16), its sometimes wacky laughter (highlighted by an excessive amount of fake endings), and an openness towards using rock and roll rhythms and (in old age) consumer electronics. Ellis created the four-valve trumpet and used a band modulator and all sorts of wild gadgets by the past due ’60s. By 1971, his music group contains an eight-piece brass section (including French horn and tuba), a four-piece woodwind section, a string quartet, along with a two-drum tempo section. A afterwards unrecorded edition also added a vocal quartet. Among Don Ellis’s sidemen had been Glenn Ferris, Tom Scott, John Klemmer, Sam Falzone, Frank Strozier, Dave MacKay, as well as the excellent pianist (direct from Bulgaria) Milcho Leviev. The orchestra’s most remarkable recordings were Fall, Live on the Fillmore, and Tears of Pleasure (all for Columbia). After struggling a middle-’70s coronary attack, Ellis came back to live executing, playing the “superbone” along with a afterwards model of his big music group featured Artwork Pepper. Ellis’s last documenting was at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Celebration, per year before his center finally provided out.

Quick Facts


Date Of Birth July 25, 1934
Died December 17, 1978, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
Profession Trumpeter, Music Arranger, Film Score Composer
Education University of California, Los Angeles, Boston University
Nationality American
Awards Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella
Music Songs Indian Lady, Strawberry Soup, Sladka Pitka, Whiplash, Bulgarian Bulge, Pussy Wiggle Stomp, Hey Jude, Tears of Joy, Rock Odyssey, Theme From "The French Connection", Go Back Home, Image of Maria, The Devil Made Me Write This Piece, Open Wide, Variations For Trumpet, Niner Two, Sidonie, Great Divide, The Magic Bus Ate My Doughnut, Sporting Dance, Final Analysis, Excursion II, Old Man's Tear, Salvatore Sam, Child Of Ecstasy, A Simplex One, Antea, Freedom Jazz Dance, Good Feelin', Euphoric Acid, Blues in Elf, Acoustical Lass
Albums Don Ellis Orchestra 'Live' at Monterey!, Soaring, Don Ellis at Fillmore, New Ideas, Tears of Joy, The New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground, Shock Treatment, Don Ellis Live at Montreux, The French Connection / French Connection II, How Time Passes, Out of Nowhere, Music from Other Galaxies and Planets, Essence, Haiku, Autumn, Electric Bath, Connection, Pieces of Eight: Live at UCLA, Live In 3 2/3/4 Time, Jazz Jamboree 1962
Movies Natural Enemies, Ruby, The Deadly Tower, French Connection II, The Seven-Ups, Kansas City Bomber, The French Connection, Moon Zero Two


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#Fact
1 American jazz trumpeter and occasional film composer. Began professionally with the orchestras of Glenn Miller and Ray McKinley. After national service, he formed his own band which performed in New York's Greenwich Village. From the late 1950's, he played a more progressive style of jazz, working with smaller groups, including the George Russell Sextet. During the 1960's, he made a series of successful records for CBS, at which time he was called "the father of the time revolution" in jazz. He was also a huge hit at the 1966 Monterey Jazz Festival.


Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Ruby 1977 arranger / conductor
Doctors' Hospital 1975-1976 TV Series composer - 12 episodes
French Connection II 1975 conductor
The Seven-Ups 1973 conductor
The French Connection 1971 music conducted by
Bullitt 1968 musician: trumpet - uncredited
Mission: Impossible 1967 TV Series conductor - 1 episode
How I Spent My Summer Vacation 1967 TV Movie musician: trumpet
New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts 1964 TV Series musician - 1 episode

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Natural Enemies 1979
Ruby 1977
Assault in Paradise 1977
The Deadly Tower 1975 TV Movie
French Connection II 1975
Doctors' Hospital 1975 TV Series
Movin' On 1974 TV Series 2 episodes
Man Belongs to the Earth 1974 Documentary short
The Seven-Ups 1973
Kansas City Bomber 1972
The French Connection 1971 music composed by
The Soupy Sales Show 1970 TV Movie music by
Moon Zero Two 1969
Mission: Impossible 1967 TV Series 1 episode

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Priceless 2006 as D. Ellis, "Alone" / performer: "Alone"
The Boys of 2nd Street Park 2003 TV Movie documentary writer: "Soupy Sales Theme Music"
Making the Connection: Untold Stories of 'The French Connection' 2001 TV Movie documentary writer: "The French Connection Main Title", "Hotel Chase", "This Is It", "Subway", "The French Connection End Title"
Nothing About Robert 1999 writer: "Open Beauty"
Kansas City Bomber 1972 music: "Your Way Ain't My Way, Baby", "Rounds and Spheres" uncredited, "All Night Market" uncredited
New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts 1964 TV Series 1 episode

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Soupy Sales Show 1970 TV Movie Himself - bandleader, trumpeter (as Don Ellis and his Orchestra)
New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts 1964 TV Series Himself - Performer

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Electric Heart: Don Ellis 2007 Documentary Himself

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