colinmce

RIP Steve Ellington

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The drummer Steve Ellington, who worked with Sam Rivers, Roland Kirk, Dave Holland, Art Farmer, Hal Galper, Hampton Hawes & others has died.

Edited by colinmce

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Oh no, this is very sad news...sorry to hear this. I was a big fan of his work with Sam Rivers, and especially his work on Dave Holland's "Jumpin' In." Was also lucky enough to meet him and hear him in person when he came to the University of New Hampshire in the early 90s. A fantastic, underrated player.

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Sad news. Fine drummer; always tasteful.

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Sad news for sure.

"Jumpin' In" is where I first heard him ... and when opening up a huge Mosaic package and pulling out the Rivers, I was most pleased to find him there again. Still don't know much more.

Any informative obits around?

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According to the German WIKI entry, he was 71 years old. Here's a google translation of the entry:

Steve Ellington (* July 26 1941 in Atlanta ) is an American drummer of modern jazz , the important other drummers like Tony Williams , Billy Hart and Jack DeJohnette affected.

Ellington had as a child piano and singing lessons. From the age of nine he turned self-taught the drums too. He played rhythm and blues , among others with Ray Charles.
In 1961 he studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music. Since that time, he worked with Sam Rivers , on the albums he was involved several times, was another long-standing collaboration with Dave Holland . Ellington also worked with Donald Byrd , Freddie Hubbard , Billy Eckstine , Hampton Hawes , Rahsaan Roland Kirk , Michel Petrucciani and Maxine Sullivan . Only occasionally, he led his own groups. In the 1990s he worked primarily with the trio of Hal Galper , which on the album "Just Us" by Jerry Bergonzi was extended.
Edited by alankin

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RIP to a talented guy. He was back in Atlanta for awhile in the 1970s/80s. For whatever reasons, it seemed as if he never could quite capitalize on many of the opportunities he had; he played and recorded with some big names, but most of those associations didn't seem to last very long. Around 1980 Sam Rivers and Dave Holland did a duo show in Athens, Georgia, where I was in school. The next afternoon I attended a master class in which they were supposed to be joined by Ellington, driving over the 75 miles from Atlanta. He didn't show.

Around 15-20 years ago I was making one of my frequent trips to New Orleans. I got tired south of Montgomery, Alabama, and decided to spend the night in a small town - I think it was Greenville, about 60 miles south of Montgomery. As I was checking into the hotel, I was surprised to see a sign outside the bar advertising the Steve Ellington Trio, which played there every Friday and Saturday. This was on a Sunday or Monday, so I didn't get to see him, but I was puzzled by this middle-of-nowhere appearance. I later found that he had moved back to this area, where he apparently grew up. I read somewhere that he had been raised in the tiny town of Fort Deposit, just north of Greenville, and had moved back there. I hope that small town life agreed with him, and that he was happy.

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Sorry to hear this, RIP. Really liked his work on Sam Rivers' 'Dimensions and Extensions'.

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R.I.P.

The Sam Rivers date sidewinder mentioned was my first encounter with him, and then Dave Holland's Quintet. I always thought "Why isn't there more of this guy?" .... very interesting drummer. He had his own thing.

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He'll also always have a place in jazz history as the inspiration behind Duke Ellington's 'Stevie' from Duke Ellington & John Coltrane. RIP.

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