New ideas were Don Ellis's forte for all of his drastically curtailed career. A restless experimenter and innovator as well as a formidable trumpeter, Ellis was able to introduce radical ideas into his music and maintain the basic jazz values. Here, relatively early in his career, he used tone clusters, shifting rhythmic patterns, and unconventional chord progression without making the music inaccessible. In pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Charlie Persip, and vibraharpist Al Francis, Ellis had colleagues with the technical master and the spiritual understanding to improvise in such unorthodox settings. This 1960 session has intimations of the radical notions Ellis was to introduce in his iconoclastic big band of the later Sixties and the 1970s.
with Al Francis, Jaki Byard, Ron Carter, Charlie Persip