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--- Jan 05 2013 Go to category
Subject: Don Ellis
Category: Early Experiences
From: Skip  Perkins

What influence did Don Ellis have on you if any? Are there any tunes of yours from the early 80's or later that he may have influenced?. What tunes of yours has odd-meter or divisions of time that I can listen to? I am finishing my Ph.D at UCLA and would like to include references to your music in my dissertation. Thanks- Skip

Pat’s Answer:

Hi Skip, I was a big fan of Don Ellis. In a lot of ways he is slightly overlooked in the evolution of things - I rarely hear people talking about him and his pretty amazing and innovative bands of the late 60's and early 70's. Pre- Mahavishu and pre-these days where everyone seems to want to play in odd meters, he was kind of all over it. And the thing that he was doing with quarter tones with his special horn has not really been taken up by much of anyone and it still seems to have potential. The echoplex thing he was doing pre- dated Bitches Brew by about 4 years and he was way there in the so-called "jazz-rock" thing in an organic way pretty much before anyone really had an official name for it. I am not sure I would call him a huge influence, but I always admired and followed his thing, even from the early George Russell stuff.