Don Ellis was a trumpet player in orchestras and big bands before he started his own bands and recorded his own compositions. His Eastern-influenced jazz became popular during the psychedelic 60s. He experimented with unusual time signatures and unusual instruments. Ellis invented the four-valve trumpet, and he also created a slide/valve trombone known as a “superbone.” Ellis was awarded a Grammy for the soundtrack to The French Connection. Biography Overview Donald Johnson Ellis 1934-1978. His Times and Music are explored in the Feature Length Documentary Film ELECTRIC HEART -don ellis. (status: In Production) Ellis, the Story of the innovative composer, arranger, writer and musician of all time. He was the first to combine Jazz-Rock with classical music.