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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Things They Said About Don Ellis

The only number they play in 4/4 is "Take Five"..... Unknown critic on the Don Ellis Band. ----- Don Ellis had some bizarre ideas e.g: At a rehearsal he told the band to do everything opposite to what he, as the conductor, asked for. So, when he indicated pianissimo they played forté and vice versa. Rallentandos became accelerando etc. etc. It all went well with some interesting results. Where it fell down however was when Don directed the band to the coda -- some of them ain't reached it yet! ---- At a gig in Sweden in 1963, at the end of his solo, the pianist leapt up and poured salt into the piano. On another night;"We 'played' a tune called 'The Death,' said Don. "Nothing happened, we stood in silence around the piano for six minutes and listened to the audience." Down Beat report June 20, 1963. -----

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