Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Chain Reaction Track Justifies the Entire Recording
Sean Fenlon | Baltimore, MD | 02/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Connection (1972) features several arrangements of popular rock songs forced into meters different than the original - none of which were arranged by Ellis. Based on Ellis's success of his film score to the movie The French Connection, the popular "Theme from the French Connection" was included on this release. Also included on the release was Hank Levy's "Chain Reaction," a piece Levy considered to be his finest effort for the Ellis ensemble (5+ stars). The scope and sophistication of Levy's composition makes it stand apart from the rest of the pop-influenced selections on the recording. Connection was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1972."
Better than you may think
Nick DiScala | San Francisco, CA USA | 02/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even though I work with the Don Ellis estate in many capacities and have done so for many years, I will be the first to admit that this album does not represent the Don Ellis Orchestra at its best. However, there are still several things about it worth recommending.
Hank Levy's "Chain Reaction" and Don's arrangement of his own "French Connection" theme are exceptional and worthy of inclusion on any of the acknowledged better albums. They are worth the price all by themselves. The rest of the album consists of covers by various members of the band of pop tunes of the day. Some very good in their own right. While obviously a marketing crossover attempt, many of these arrangements are infused with the traditional Ellis trademarks that make you either love or hate the band: odd time signatures, creative use of electronics and orchestration, humor, and high energy performances. The solos, though often brief, are fully engaged. Very little of the album feels compromised or phoned in.
I also happen to like the engineering and recording quality on this recording probably more than on any other Ellis album. It has good balance and presence from top to bottom. The band sounds at its most "electric" here and, for me, that's a good thing. It reminds me of the very first time I heard the band live and the lasting impression it had upon me. No other band sounded like this before or since.
There are certainly "better" Ellis albums available and it definitely wouldn't be at the top of my desert island list. With that caveat, there are worse ways to spend your listening time and there are definite pleasures to be had-and not of the guilty variety.
Don Ellis: "Tears of Joy"
Nick DiScala | 07/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most beautiful innovative jazz masterpieces I have ever heard. Don Ellis died at an early age. The jazz world lost a giant. Thanks to Amazon, he still lives. Thank you,
Paul G. Bogosian, DC