Personnel: Don Ellis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Paula Hochhalter, Laurie Badessa, Pam Tompkins, Paula Hochhalger, Jimbo Ross (strings); Ann Patterson, Ted Nash, Jim Snodgrass (woodwinds, saxophone, wind); James Coile (woodwinds, saxophone); Jim Coile (saxophone, wind); Gil Rathel, Glenn Stuart, Jack Coan (trumpet); Sidney Muldrow (French horn); Alan Kaplan, Richard Bullock (trombone); Jim Self (tuba); Randy Kerber (piano, electric piano, Clavinet, synthesizer); Dave Crigger, Mike Englander (drums); Chino Valdes, Ruth Ritchie (percussion).
Recording information: A & M Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Unknown Contributor Role: George Doering.
This LP is the only complete misfire of Don Ellis' career. The trumpeter-bandleader had the distinction of being the first jazz musician to record the theme from Star Wars, but his forgettable version was soon greatly overshadowed by Maynard Ferguson's hit record. In addition to "Star Wars" and "Princess Leia's Theme" (also from the film), Ellis performs eight rather lightweight originals, all of which were given outer space names to try to capitalize on the movie's success. Ellis' big band has little to do other than play mundane ensembles and take occasional short solos. This is the one Don Ellis record that should be skipped. ~ Scott Yanow