| Share

Don Ellis

Jazz Musician / Trumpeter

Born: 25 July 1934
Died: 17 December 1978 (heart attack)
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Best known as:

The experimental post-bop jazz musician who invented the "superbone"

Don Ellis played trumpet in big bands and orchestras before leading his own bands and recording his own compositions in the 1960s and 1970s. Early on he became known for his experiments with odd time signatures (like 9/8 or 15/16) and unusual instrumentations, and his Eastern-influenced jazz gained popularity during the psychedelic 1960s. Don Ellis also invented a four-valve trumpet and developed a slide/valve trombone called a "superbone." His albums included Essence (1962), Autumn (1968), Tears of Joy (1971), and Live at Montreaux (1977).  In later years Ellis had heart trouble, and he was only 44 when he died of a heart attack in 1978.

Extra credit:

Don Ellis won a Grammy Award for his soundtrack to the 1971 film The French Connection.

Copyright © 1998-2015 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.

More on Don Ellis from Infoplease:

  • Don Ellis - Biography of Don Ellis, The experimental post-bop jazz musician who invented the "superbone"
  • The Big Wedding - Starring Amanda Seyfried, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Robin Williams, Topher Grace
  • 1972 Grammy Awards - 1972 Grammy Awards Record of the Year “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” Roberta ...
  • Selected Biographies: E - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring