Essence (Don Ellis album)

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Essence (Don Ellis album).jpg
Studio album by Don Ellis
Released 1962
Recorded July 15–17, 1962
Los Angeles, California
Genre Jazz
Length 45:07
Label Pacific Jazz
Producer Richard Bock
Don Ellis chronology
New Ideas
(1961)New Ideas1961
Jazz Jamboree 1962
(1962)Jazz Jamboree 19621962

Essence is an album by trumpeter Don Ellis recorded in 1962 and released on the Pacific Jazz label.[1][2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Down Beat 4.5/5 stars[3]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz 3.5/4 stars[5]

Reviewed in the January 3, 1963 issue of Down Beat magazine, jazz critic Richard B. Hadlock said that "Over and over throughout the 44 remarkable minutes of this recording the force of Ellis' extraordinary musicianship makes itself felt. Indeed, at times his complete mastery of the horn almost seems to get in the way. But this is a brilliant young musician with original ideas to offer..."[3]

The Allmusic site awarded the album 4 stars stating "Ellis, who sought during this period to transfer ideas and concepts from modern classical music into adventurous jazz, often experimented with time, tempos and the use of space while still swinging... This is thought-provoking music that was certainly way overdue to be reissued."[4] The Penguin Guide to Jazz said "The group is a fine one; even the little-known drummers play with authority and seem equal to Ellis's developing rhythmic obsessions. ...Bley is fascinating and Peacock his usual authoritative self."[5]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Don Ellis except as indicated

  1. "Johnny Come Lately" (Billy Strayhorn) - 4:57
  2. "Slow Space" - 4:36
  3. "Ostinato" - 7:35
  4. "Donkey" (Carla Bley) - 4:39
  5. "Form" - 10:15
  6. "Angel Eyes" (Earl Brent, Matt Dennis) - 4:26
  7. "Irony" - 5:16
  8. "Lover" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) - 3:23



  1. ^ Edwards, D., Eyries, P. & Callahan, M. Pacific Jazz/Pacifica Album Discography accessed May 27, 2013
  2. ^ Don Ellis discography accessed May 27, 2013
  3. ^ a b Down Beat:Down Beat: January 3, 1963 Vol. 30, No. 1
  4. ^ a b Yanow, S. Allmusic Review, accessed May 27, 2013
  5. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.). London: Penguin. p. 408. ISBN 0141023279.