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Don Ellis at Fillmore


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Audio CD, August 23, 2005
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$16.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Don Ellis at Fillmore + Tears of Joy + Electric Bath
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 23, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Wounded Bird Records
  • ASIN: B0009RQRLU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,950 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Final Analysis (Live) (Disc 01)
2. Excursion LL (Live)
3. The Magic Bus Ate My Doughnut (Live)
4. The Blues (Live)
5. Salvatore Sam (Live)
6. Rock Odyssey (Live)
7. Hey Jude (Live) (Disc 02)
8. Antea (Live)
9. Old Man's Mear (Live)
10. Great Divide (Live)
11. Pussy Wiggle Stomp (Live)

Editorial Reviews

This great 2 CD set of 'Don Ellis at Fillmore' was originally released in 1970. The album was recorded Live in June 1970 at Bill Graham's Fillmore West. One of the highlights of this album is a 10 minute version of the Beatles' 'Hey Jude'. The great jazz saxaphonist John Klemmer also makes an appearance. Wounded Bird. 2005.

Customer Reviews

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See all 19 customer reviews
It's timely, but still a very viable album of big band jazz.
Ray in Chicago
Don and his band absolutely tore the Fillmore up and this recording provides the audio evidence.
Harry Temple
I originally owned this live album set on vinyl and now have two copies of the CD set as well.
J. Waggoner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Peter Xander on September 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
As a budding classical and jazz musician in the late 60s and early 70s, I played in jazz festivals with my junior high and high school jazz ensembles. As part of those festivals, I was able to meet, sight-read with, and hear some of the greatest jazz legends. The most memorable, though, was Don Ellis.

I had several of his albums, most notably the live recording at Fillmore, "Autumn," and "Electric Bath." All were lost, however, when my home and possessions were destroyed in the tragic fire that swept through the San Bernardino Mountains in late October, 2003. I eventually found copies on-line at a record store in Vancouver, B.C., but now the Don Ellis at Fillmore recordings have been released on CD!

I was fascinated with the Don Ellis Orchestra's wildly offbeat (literally!) meters, hot arrangements, and incredibly talented musicians. When Don passed away in the late 70s from a congenital heart condition at the age of 42, the music world lost one of its greatest geniuses, regardless of genre. The Fillmore CD represent perhaps the pinnacle of success of the orchestra and is not to be missed by even a casual lover of jazz or music.

The Don Ellis version of "Hey Jude" took me years to appreciate. It's much like the pine-pitch-flavored Greek wine Retsina -- people either love it or hate it. The psychedelic trumpet cadenza at the beginning, powered by a ring modulator and echo effects, almost strains one's patience until the tune finally gets into the swing of things . . . only to be shattered by a fingernails-on-a-chalkboard pseudo-German Oom Pah Pah band segment, replete with wheezing out-of-tune clarinets -- truly a crack-up -- then blasting away in a big-band funk styling.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tooey on September 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I remember, vividly, blasting the paint off the walls, listening to this fabulous and experimental album through my oversized Polk Audio speakers. And, just as fondly I recall the quizical look it would produce on my mothers face as she tried to understand the sounds of the odd meter, the quarter tone trumpet, the ring modulator and the speaker in the guitar players mouth.

This is simply the gretest jazz album I ever owned, and maybe the best one ever produced. Ellis and his exquisite band romp through the music with a presence, exuberance and accuarcy that still amazes.

The album altered big bands forever. Even now,the music is edgy, full of life and inspiring.Thank you Don Ellis.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Martin Hogan on March 19, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Too bad the seventies ended with disco; which crushed pioneering music types...and rising from the ashes comes Spyrogyra and Mannheim Steamroller (what are they on, their 57th Christmas album?). I apologize for the bleek beginnings of this review. But what else can I add? It is an absolutely unique moment in musical history that has been gifted onto CD. So ya wanna big band that knows Timothy Leary...here ya go! It has its avant-garde moments but retains musicality throughout. This should appeal to fans of Terry Kath stylings of guitar. Does anyone remember The Flock? Okay, anywho...just buy it before it goes out of print again; you shall not regret this purchase. (Why the thin-sounding mastering job? Does the mastering engineer use Behringer and Alesis products? The LP is much, much fuller.)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Fichera on February 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album (back when that's all we had) was my first real exposure to the music of Don Ellis, and I'm fairly sure I've never been the same since...

A gorgeously unique souvenier of jazz at a crucial moment in its history (as post-bop and free jazz were challenged by the emergence of rock/pop oriented sounds) "Fillmore" runs hot and heavy: big band charts turned up to eleven (thanks Nigel!) overlaid with Ellis's signature quarter-tone trumpet work further modified with WAY pre-digital effects. Guitar fans might want to take notice of later super-producer Jay Graydon's solo on "Final Analysis": 6 years before Peter Frampton stuck a tube in his mouth on "Do You Feel Like We Do" Graydon was there first...

Along the way the band engages in some flat-out stompers ("Final Analysis" "Rock Odyssey" "Great Divide"--a real burner in 13/8 that the band treats like a mere 4/4 walk in the park and features a thrilling solo from saxist Lonnie Shetter--) but if there's one track that truly exemplfies the spirit of this CD, it's Ellis's around-the-bend-down-the-road-and-into-the-next- county version of "Hey Jude." There's no middle-ground about this one. You either flee after the first 30 seconds of Ellis's ring-modulated, echoplexed trumpet solo or you sty and relish the frequently near-pomo deconstructionist take on the tune. (Hint: listen for the little flute/tuba duet in the middle section and prepare yourself for the answering statement of several clarinets tuned a quarter-tone apart: it's like Oktober Fest on mescaline!)

Wounded Bird has done us all a favor by restoring this album to general circulation. Along with "Tears of Joy" and "Soaring" this represents a heady sampling of Ellis at his most exuberant (if not always tasteful) best.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve on July 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album and Live at Montreux are my two favorite Don Ellis albums, and two of my favorite big band albums. Actually, I guess they're two of my favorite albums, period. The band is terrific, the charts are great, the recording is great.

When I first heard this album, I was floored by the band's ability to play in odd meters, and yet still swing hard. I also loved how the band expanded the styles and sounds of a big band. Don integrates rock, funk, and electronic sounds seamlessly into the traditional big band setup.

Favorite tunes include Final Analysis, Extreme Divide (nothin' like swingin' in 13/4!), and Pussy Wiggle Stomp (swing in 7/4, and it really does swing!).

The soloists are all tremendous; the rhythm section swings and cooks furiously; the horns blow full (kudos to lead trumpet Glenn Stuart, who sounds terrific on all of Ellis' albums).

If you want to hear a big band on the cutting edge of big band music (an edge which no one else has yet approached), then get this album, and get Don Ellis Live at Montreux. Two landmark recordings.
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