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Jose Reyes

Don Ellis’ “Electric Bath” will never get old

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Here’s a big band album by the very innovative Don Ellis, which introduced an array of electric instruments. The result was a funky avant-garde styled masterpiece. “Electric Bath” was recorded in 1967 and when Jazz musicians were developing new sounds that would interest the new demanding generation of the late 60’s. This album is very unique in so many ways because it has so many cultural influences associated with it. If you happened to be in your late teens in the late 60’s, then this album will be very well appreciated, as it reflects everything that was occurring around the world at the moment. If you are not from that generation, it doesn’t matter at all, because it is super charged with that certain optimistic effect of “discovery.” Another words, this album never gets old! ENJOY!

About the album:

The 1998 reissue of ELECTRIC BATH contains two bonus tracks that did not appear on the original release. All tracks have been digitally remastered using 20-bit technology. Years before the advent of jazz-rock, when BITCHES BREW was just a gleam in Miles Davis’s eye, young trumpet sensation Don Ellis was combining jazz with electric, rock-identified elements in an amalgam that somehow managed to be both adventurous and popular. Listening to ELECTRIC BATH today, some of the ’60s go-go-dance beats Ellis added to his forward-looking big band compositions sound a bit dated……Read More

DonEllisBiography

Don Ellis biography:

Born. 25 July 1934, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 17 December 1978, Hollywood, California, USA. Appreciation of Ellis’ work has increased since his death and he is now regarded by many as an important figure in jazz. From childhood he was fascinated with brass instruments and received a trumpet at the age of two. At junior high school he had his own quartet and at Boston university he was a member of the band. His first professional work was as a member of Ray McKinley’s Glenn Miller Orchestra. After his national service, Ellis formed a small group, playing coffee-houses in New York’s Greenwich Village. By the late 50s he was playing with many name bands including those of Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus and Maynard Ferguson. Ellis also worked in small groups, enjoying the greater freedom of expression this allowed. In 1961/2 he was a member of George Russell’s sextet.

In Atlantic City, Ellis took up a teaching fellowship and it was there that he developed and explored his interest in the complexities of Indian rhythm patterns. Ellis made a triumphant appearance at the 1966 Monterey Jazz festival with his 23-piece band. His completely original themes were scored using unbelievably complex notation. Customarily, most big band music was played at four beats to the bar but Ellis confidently and successfully experimented with 5-beat bars, then 9-, 11-, 14-, 17-, 19- and even 27-beat bars. Mixing metres created difficulties for his rhythm sections so he taught himself to play drums in order that he might properly instruct his drummers. He also experimented with brass instruments, introducing the four-valve flügelhorn and superbone.

During the late 60s the Don Ellis Orchestra was promoted as part of the great CBS Records progressive music campaign and he found himself performing at rock festivals and concerts. His music found favour with the Woodstock generation, who could also recognize him as an exciting pioneer. His CBS albums were all successful, his work being produced by both John Hammond and Al Kooper. Dubbed the ‘Father of the Time Revolution’ in jazz, Ellis’ music was much more than complex. It was also undeniably joyous. Tunes like the 7/4 romp ‘Pussy Wiggle Stomp’, ‘Barnum’s Revenge’ (a reworking of ‘Bill Bailey’) and ‘Scratt And Fluggs’ (a passing nod to country music’s Flatt And Scruggs), are played with zesty enthusiasm, extraordinary skill and enormous good humour. Ellis’ trumpet playing was remarkable, combining dazzling…….Read More

Check Wikipedia also, right HERE

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