25 July 2006
DON ELLIS - SOARING
1973 - Don Ellis has moved his big band over to MPS from Columbia and this is the follow up to "Connection" (which you can still find posted in the archives of this blog).Dispensing with the interpretations of pop hits on the earlier lp all tracks on this are composed by either Don,Hank Levy,Sam Falzone or Milcho Leviev.
And it's a blinder going in straight for the jugular with Levy's "Whiplash" which is driven by some funky bass and clavinet with strings putting it into action movie soundtrack mode.Next up is Levievs "Sladka Pitka" which is based on his native Bulgarian folk rhythms and themes.Then for the real bomb of the album the super funky latin groover "The Devil Made Me Write This Piece"-how on earth this hasnt been picked up on any compilations is beyond me with its banging cowbell motif and rattling rhythm section.Catchy as hell too-try sitting still to this one!Begging to be sampled - or does anyone know if it has?Side 1 wraps with"Go Back Home"which was released as a single and was the the most requested encore number by the band which always had the audience on their feet.
Side 2 is a more reflective affair with a greater emphasis on the more mellow side of the band-if their could be such a thing with Don Ellis."Nicole" and "Image of Maria" point to the direction Don would go in on the next lp for MPS "Haiku"(a future post)while "Invincible"moves into sublime swinging mode after a fairly baroque start.It's left to the madly grooving and wonderfully hooked "Sidione" which combines jazz,rock,ragtime and Czechoslovakian music to hit the roof again and confirm just how fantastic this lp is.
Never released on cd this ones ripped from a nice US copy I picked up for $4 in Sacramento-what a bargain!!!