Rare Don Ellis Videos


Senior Member
As some of you may know, I had the great honor and joy of playing with jazz trumpeter, big band leader and odd meter pioneer, Don Ellis early in my career. But beyond that, I was and have been a huge fan of his music since first hearing it when I was 12 years old. It was definitely one of my biggest inspirations for pursuing a life in music.

Anyway, beyond the problem of Don's original recordings being out of print, for many, many years not having been reissued on CD, there has also been a real dearth of video footage of Don available. And the handful clips that have circulated have been almost entirely from the first half of his career (pre-1970)... that is until now.

I'm thrilled to see that a big chunk of Don's performance at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival has been posted on YouTube. And while there is obviously a self-serving element to this - since I played this concert - I'm mainly just glad that folks that never got to see the band of the pioneering musician can now finally check it out.


(and sorry for all the cross (multiple-forum) postings - like I said I'm pretty excited about this) :)








Senior Member
Fantastic, thanks for sharing this!
No problem - glad to do it. And again sorry for the flaming self-promotion aspect. For me, it's just great to see some footage of Don's performances available for folks to check out - regardless of whose playing drums on them. Personally I'd kill to see video of the band with Ralph Humphrey from '71-'72 period of time. Luckily for me - living in Los Angeles - I got to see the band a number of times during that period. But it'd still be cool to relive now, many years later.



Platinum Member
Uh oh...Go No Go, Loneliness, Eros, and Niner Two got pulled on a copyright dispute. Cross fingers on the rest staying put.

Dave a couple of questions. Since you got to watch him up close, what were your impressions of Ellis the drummer? I've always really liked his playing on the albums.

Then...you were with Ellis during the last performing period of his life, after he had already been diagnosed that very serious heart condition. But still he played both the trumpet and the drums with big time serious aggression until close to the end. Why do you suppose he at least didn't stop playing trumpet? After all, the way he played, the pressure on his heart must have been very damaging. Besides, he still had his body of music and alot more to where at least for him the trumpet wouldn't have been the deal breaker it would have been for someone else.