Don Ellis Quintet: Don Ellis (trumpet); Al Francis (vibraphone); Jaki Byard (piano); Ron Carter (bass); Charlie Persip (drums).
Recorded on May 11, 1961. Originally released on New Jazz (8257). Includes original release liner notes by Don Ellis.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley).
On this 1961 quintet set for Prestige (with vibraphonist Al Francis, pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Charlie Persip), Don Ellis experiments with time, new chord structures, and free improvisation; a highlight is his brief unaccompanied workout on the free-form "Solo." Ellis, who switches to piano during part of "Tragedy," already had a sound of his own, although he would change the direction of his music within a few years. Even over 40 years later, his thoughtful musical experiments of the early '60s are often quite fascinating to hear. ~ Scott Yanow