Duke Ellington recorded for Brunswick from 1926 to 1931, the period in which his great talent and great orchestra first flowered, whether the band was recording under his own name or such pseudonyms as the Washingtonians or the Jungle Band. The earliest recordings are highlighted by the presence of trumpeter Bubber Miley and trombonist "Tricky Sam" Nanton, whose brilliant work with plunger mutes for vocal effects did much to define the early sound–which, in turn, rapidly evolved and expanded with the additions of Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges, and Cootie Williams. While the band's repertoire included many blues and popular songs, its distinctive identity emerges from early renditions of such trademark pieces as "East St. Louis Toodle-O," "Black and Tan Fantasy," "The Mooche," and "Mood Indigo." By the end of the period covered in this set, Ellington's ambitious later suites–some of them CD-length–are portended in the elegant extended composition "Creole Rhapsody," his clearly superior contribution to the symphonic jazz movement.
Reissue with latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the first albums to ever issue recordings made at the Newport Jazz Festival – quite a big hit, and the beginning of a real trend in jazz! The set's also some great work by Duke – free to perform in a setting that's not bound by some of the time restrictions of earlier years, which lets him offer up three long tracks with a great deal of sophistication over previous recordings. Due to bad mike placement on stage, the original "live" album was actually a studio re-creation; the actual live performance was never issued-until now. This 2-CD set contains the complete original album and the hour-plus concert. More than 100 minutes of new music, and the whole thing's in stereo for the first time!
Recorded in 1966 in RCA Studios. All the tracks that made the Duke 'Popular' are re-recorded on this album. The 3 bonus tracks are 'Caravan' & 'Wings and Things' & 'Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me'. Original cover, digipak and remastered 24 bits. 2002. ~ Amazon
5 key Columbia albums from George Duke – presented here in these cool little LP-styled covers. 52 tracks in all.
These quite rare tracks show Sarah Vaughan in her prime (and still quite attractive, if I might add a small opinion), scatting and mellow-singing with her trio, as well as a not so bad (but neither perfect nor perfectly presented) version of Duke Ellington's orchestra, featuring Russell Procope, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves and other giants, plus some bit younger but still mean cats (Harold Ashbey, Norris Turney)… Maybe Cootie Williams is not up to the task on "Take the A Train" (Is it really him? He used to sound so powerful once upon the time…), but Gonsalves-Ashby-Turney tenor sax battle is a riot(on "Triplicate") and Duke is always a pure joy to watch and listen, conducting and leading his orchestra and the smaller outfits (which is also documented in the Ellington segment of the DVD).
Surprisingly, this Impulse album is the only recorded meeting between these two swing giants. Born just five years apart, Ellington and Hawkins led parallel lives through the swing era, but somehow never ended up in a recording studio together until this 1962 session. The pairing is certainly a good one that should have been repeated more often. Hawkins' famously robust tenor sax fits in seamlessly with Ellington and a small group of his top sidemen including Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, and Ray Nance. These old pros work smoothly through a relaxed set of new and old Ellington compositions.
Duke Ellington is featured in a complete performance at Basin Street East in New York City on this CD, as it was originally broadcast on WNEW, complete with his verbal exchanges with host William B. Williams. Unlike many of his concerts, there is no long medley of hits; instead, Ellington offers an interesting mix of old and new songs. The newer material includes his "gutbucket bolero," known as "Afro Bossa" (also titled "Bula"), featuring the gruff, muted trumpet of Cootie Williams, and the high-note theatrics of Cat Anderson. "Silk Lace" is a brisk rhumba featuring clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton, while the band (except for the rhythm section) sits out Ellington's masterful ballad "A Single Petal of a Rose."