Don Ellis Orchestra

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Don Ellis Orchestra

Post by Musicgate on Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:27 am

Don Ellis Orchestra - Tears Of Joy - 1971

Recording Date: May 20, 1971-May 23, 1971
Release Date: originally released 1971 as Columbia G 30927
2005 Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Wounded Bird WOU 927
Genre: Modern Big Band, Progressive Jazz, Post-Bop

About albume (Thom Jurek):
Recorded in 1971, Tears of Joy is a Don Ellis classic. The sheer musical strength of this ensemble is pretty much unparalleled in his career. The trumpeter/leader had backed off -- a bit -- from some of his outlandish and beautifully excessive use of strange and unconventional time signatures, though there is no lack of pioneering experimentalism in tone, color, arrangement, or style. This double LP/CD features a string quartet, a brass octet (four trumpets, tuba, bass trombone, trombone, and French horn), four winds, and a rhythm section boasting two drummers, a percussionist, a bassist, and the Bulgarian jazz piano wizard Milcho Leviev. This is a sprawling album. Disc one is made up of short- to mid-length pieces, the most notable of which are the intense adrenaline surge of "5/4 Getaway" (with a killer string arrangement by Hank Levy, one of three arrangers on this set) and the blazing Eastern European klezmer meets Bulgarian wedding music meets hard bop blues of "Bulgarian Bulge." Leviev's solo on the latter comes right out of the knotty, full-on bore of the tune's melody (written by Ellis, who scored all but three selections), and cites everyone from Wynton Kelly to Scott Joplin to Mal Waldron. Elsewhere, such as on "Quiet Longing," the strings are utilized as the base and texture of color. One can hear Gil Evans' influence here, and in the restrained tenderness of this short work one can also hear Ellis' profound lyricism in his flügelhorn solo. The second disc's first moment, "How's This for Openers?," is a knotty composition that touches on bolero, Aaron Copland, and operatic overture. Levy's "Samba Bajada" is a swinging opus that uses tropes from early Deodato in his bossa years, Sergio Mendes, and Jobim, and weaves them through with an elegant, punchy sense of hard bop and the American theater. On the 17-plus minute "Strawberry Soup" (with a vocal quartet in the background), Ellis gets to show what his band is capable of in its different formations. Full of both subtle and garish colors, timbral grace and vulgarity, elegant and roughly hewn textures, and a controlled yet wildly divergent set of dynamics, this tune is one of the most adventurous and most brilliantly composed, arranged, and executed works to come out of the modern big band literature. It is virtually a big-band concerto. Ultimately, Tears of Joy stands as a singular achievement in a career full of them by a musical auteur whose creativity seemingly knew few if any bounds.

Tracks info:
Disc one
1. Tears Of Joy 2.59 (Ellis)
2. 5/4 Getaway 7:49 (Ellis)
3. Bulgarian Bulge 4.55 (Ellis)
4. Get It Together 5:15 (Falzone)
5. Quiet Longing 3:49 (Ellis)
6. Blues In Elf 6:41 (Ellis)
7. LOSS 8:22 (Ellis)
Disc two
1. How's This For Openers? 8:38 (Ellis)
2. Samba Bajada n:32 (Levy)
з. Strawberry Soup 17:36 (Ellis)
4. Euphoric Acid 425 (Selden)

Personel info:
Doug Bixby - Trombone, Tuba, Contrabass Trombone
Paul G. Bogosian - Trumpet
Jack Caudill - Trumpet
Jon Clarke - Woodwind
Earle Correy - Violin, Photography
Ron Dunn - Drums
Alfredo Ebat - Violin
Don Ellis - Trumpet, Arranger, Drums, Flugelhorn, Producer, Liner Notes
Christine Ermacoff - Cello
Sam Falzone - Arranger, Woodwind
Ralph Humphrey - Drums
Milcho Leviev - Piano, Keyboards
Hank Levy - Arranger
Bruce Mackay - Trumpet
Phil Macy - Mixing, Sound Supervision
Kenneth Nelson - French Horn
Dennis Parker - Bass
Lee Pastora - Conga
Ken Sawhill - Trombone (Bass)
Jim Sawyers - Trombone
Fred Selden - Arranger, Woodwind, Photography
Lonnie Shetter - Woodwind
Ellen Smith - Viola

Releases info:
LP Columbia - G 30927
LP [33 rpm], [Gatefold], [Live] CBS S 67216
CD Wounded Bird WOU 927


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