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Don Ellis - Live at Monterey (Don Ellis Orchestra) CD (album) cover


Don Ellis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.40 | 10 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars An amazingly intimate and accessible recording of this genre-bending modern big band ensemble on a large stage at a large outdoor concert in 1966. Several writers I've come across cite this performance--the Don Ellis Orchestra performance at the 1966 Monterey Jazz Festival- -as one that blew people away, and inspired many, many musician-performers into wildly radical changes to their approaches to music and performance. Reputedly, Don Ellis never wrote or played a song in straight time (4/4) and this is certainly true for this concert. At Monterey Ellis was expressing his recent enchantment/obsession with Eastern musics, particularly Indian. In my own journey to become familiar with this album I have been intensely aware of the rhythm section. The three bassists, the three drummers and the handful of percussionists on stage during the performance are all impressively tight and attention-attractingly skilled. One of these drummers, a very young Ralph Humphrey, (read: "Ralph Humphrey--The Legend of Odd Meters" in DRUM! magazine) later played with Frank Zappa, Chick Corea, and for a while. Another drummer, also young, Steve Bohannon, has received mention from several writers with respect to his short-lived legacy as a fearless (Steve would say na´ve) musician despite his few years (he died in a automobile accident in 1969 at age 19). Here we are treated to some very clear recordings of these drummers' exceptional prowesses. Apparently it was this performance and recording that propelled Ellis into the world's view. For the next thirteen years his music, recordings, performances, and books would stir controversy in the jazz and music world. What continues to amaze me about this album is how well it has preserved the passion and energy of the performances of that day--and how much I enjoy all of the songs and the light-heartedness of the performances.

A five star masterpiece of progressive music from a VERY serious envelope-pusher. This album is also a treasure that we are very lucky to have.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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