Don Ellis / The Don Ellis Orchestra


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Don Ellis' Orchestra is heard at the peak of its powers on this Columbia LP. "Pussy Wiggle Stomp," a variation on "My dad's better than your dad" but performed in 7/4 time, became the band's theme song, and it has its riotous moments. The 19-and-a-half minute, six-part "Variations for Trumpet" is a major showcase for Ellis, "Scratt and Fluggs" is a brief bit of silliness, and the relatively straightforward "K.C. Blues" features altoist Frank Strozier, John Klemmer on tenor, and keyboardist Pete Robinson. However it is the 17-and-a-half minute "Indian Lady" (a live remake) that really finds the band going crazy. Ellis, trombonist Glen Ferris, and keyboardist Robinson play humorous solos before tenors John Klemmer and Sam Falzone engage in a long and nutty tradeoff that is often quite hilarious. The many false endings at the end of this performance add to the general atmosphere. This is a classic release.

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