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Don Ellis - How Time Passes LP


Candid Records

A fascinating blend of jazz and contemporary classical influences, How Time Passes is the debut album from the envelope pushing trumpeter and composer Don Ellis.

Known for his extensive musical experimentation, particularly in the area of time signatures, Ellis began his long career in the New York City’s post bop and avant-garde jazz scenes of late 1950s. Most notably he appeared on Charles Mingus’ Mingus Dynasty, and albums by George Russell and Maynard Feguson. But he also worked with, among others, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, and Woody Herman.

On subsequent albums, Ellis would take an even wilder direction. Here, on his first recording date as a band leader, the experimentation begins. Ellis stretches the boundaries of bop-based jazz playing with time, tempo and meter. It is the start of his exploration of Third Stream - a fusion of jazz and contemporary classical music. The album title itself - How Time Passes - was taken from an article written by the controversial German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen on the “function of time.”

The exceptional section features Ron Carter on bass, the underrated Jaki Byard on piano and saxophone, and Charlie Persip on drums.

The LP includes extraordinary liner notes by Candid A&R man and producer Nat Hentoff, and noted musician, historian and writer Gunther Schuller - the originator of the term “Third Stream” - giving a context and insight that adds to the experience of hearing these extraordinary performances.