Don Elliott

…was a terrific jazz musician who played the mellophone, a rare instrument usually used in marching bands.  I love jazz and tried to use as many jazzmen as possible when I first started doing commercials.  I had a lot of freedom then, because I could do stuff cheap and good.  I was lucky to be able to use Gary McFarland and Chico Hamilton in those days and I loved a technique that Elliott used by using his voice as a double to his playing of the mellophone.  It was a technique that was akin to Gary McFarland’s whistling along with the flute.

I met with Elliott and discussed a score for a commercial with him using the parallel voicing technique.  When he heard that the commercial would only run in Pittsburgh, he said that he was saving that technique for ‘something good.’

End of meeting.