Don Ellis

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About Don Ellis

Trumpeter/composer/arranger/bandleader Don Ellis began his career playing with the likes of Glenn Miller, Charles Mingus, and George Russell in the 1950s. In the early ‘60s he formed his first groups, which explored novel avant-garde textures with such excellent players as Jaki Byard, Ron Carter, and Steve Swallow. At the same time, Ellis also showed a keen interest in Third Stream and Indian music, which he pursued with his Hindustani Jazz Sextet. But Ellis’s true métier was the big band. With the Don Ellis Orchestra, formed in 1965, the leader created his most memorable works, all of which reflected his adventurous--experimenting with radical time signatures, unusual instrumentation, electronics, and non-jazz genre elements. Ellis is also famous for writing the theme to the film THE FRENCH CONNECTION. He died of heart complications in 1978.

Los Angeles, CA, United States of America
July 25, 1934