Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Volume 18

Read "The Treasury Shows, Volume 18" reviewed by

As Duke Ellington leads his band into the opening bars of “Take The A Train," a mighty roar goes up from the radio audience. The moment comes four tracks into the first CD of this double Storyville release, after a somewhat shaky start. With it there's a marvellous feeling of being back in 1946 at the height of Ellington's popularity. The experience is worth having to put up with the patronising ABC Radio master of ceremonies, the now dated love songs Ellington included for dancers and incessant kowtowing to James C. Petrillo, then President ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Ellington: Duke Ellington In Grona Lund

Read "Duke Ellington In Grona Lund" reviewed by

Midsummer is a quite magical time to be in Sweden. The long, dark winter is over and now, as the sun stays resolutely above the horizon, the Lutheran natives shed their somber demeanor, dress in traditional costumes, dance around maypoles decorated with garlands of flowers, drink far too much aquavit and have such a good time they forget all about it the morning after. In 1963 Swedish jazz fans had added reason for celebration: for four weeks, the Duke Ellington band toured the nation's folkparkerna, or “people's parks," to rapturous acclaim. Ellington's men were a world away ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Juan Tizol: His Caravan Through Life and American Culture

Read "Juan Tizol: His Caravan Through Life and American Culture"

Juan Tizol--His Caravan Through Life and American Culture Basilio Serrano Pages ISBN: #978-14691-8166 Xlibris 2012 Basilio Serrano is a seasoned educator, historian and a person who is all too familiar with the plight of Puerto Ricans whose contributions to jazz have been ignored or forgotten. In 2000 he wrote a series of articles on Juan Tizol's cross-cultural collaborations with Duke Ellington, Harry James and other nationally known orchestras. In addition he has written articles about Boricua Pioneers in Latin Jazz, Puerto Rican Musicians of the Harlem Renaissance and essays on pianist Noro ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows Vol. 17

Read "The Treasury Shows Vol. 17" reviewed by

Don Lowe's exultant cry, “Here he is, and in person, the Duke himself!" kicks off the 17th of the Duke Ellington Treasury Show radio broadcasts, part of a massive reissue project by the Danish Storyville label. Anxious to show how hip, perhaps even hep, he is, the American Broadcasting Corporation announcer goes on to introduce “C-Jam Blues" as a number that's “really here to stay, but solid." In contrast, Ellington behaves with quiet dignity, at one point movingly evoking the image of a dead GI looking in on a world at peace and benefiting ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Ellington: The Ellington Suites

Read "The Ellington Suites" reviewed by

It should not be so hard to identify the most important jazz musician in the history of the genre. It is one of five artists: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis. Much can be made for Ellington being the logical choice. Edward Kennedy Ellington (1899-1974) lived the entire history of jazz. He led arguably the most important big band of the swing era while also recording widely in smaller formats. But Ellington considered his music well beyond the definition of jazz. The extended compositions championed by Wynton Marsalis in the 1980s and '90s, germinated in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Ellington: The Duke At Fargo 1940 Special 60th Anniversary Edition

Read "The Duke At Fargo 1940 Special 60th Anniversary Edition" reviewed by

An historic double album, the only one to feature the Duke Ellington band in the greatest of its many incarnations, playing a dance date. It captures the immediacy and chaotic magic of the 1940 orchestra in a way the carefully manicured studio recordings and even radio broadcasts of the time just can't do. It happened like this: on November 7 1940, after receiving permission from Ellington and the William Morris Agency in New York, Jack Towers and Dick Burris, two young jazz fans from South Dakota ran leads from two microphones they placed on the bandstand of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Ellington Orchestra: Big Bands Live

Read "Big Bands Live" reviewed by

By 1967, the heyday of the big band was over. Rock and Roll ruled as the popular music of the day, and the financial challenges of keeping a large ensemble together for recording--and especially touring--were huge. But Duke Ellington--one of American's finest bandleaders, pianists, and composers--was more than just a genius in the field of music. He also succeeded as a business man, keeping his orchestra not only busy on the road, but also creating his finest art--what he called “American Music"--in the 1960s and 70s.Big Bands Live: Duke Ellington Orchestra, is the second release from the Jazzhaus ...

OPINION/EDITORIAL

Jazz, Politics, Edward Kennedy and the Ghosts of Richard Nixon: Our American Dialogue and the Hatfields and McCoys

Read "Jazz, Politics, Edward Kennedy and the Ghosts of Richard Nixon: Our American Dialogue and the Hatfields and McCoys"

To get into heaven, don't snap for a seven Live clean, don't have no fault Oh, I take the gospel, whenever it's possible But with a grain of salt --"It Ain't Necessarily So," from Porgy & Bess by George and Ira Gershwin Edward Kennedy Ellington celebrated his 70th birthday at the White House, where he received the first Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by the newly inaugurated chief resident. Although Duke Ellington was a widely celebrated bandleader, and already recognized as among the greatest composers in American history, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Ellington Legacy: Single Petal of a Rose

Read "Single Petal of a Rose" reviewed by

The great Duke Ellington would be proud of the way his family has decided to keep his memory and music alive and kicking for newer generations to enjoy. In 2003, his grandchildren, guitarist Edward Kennedy Ellington II and sister Gaye Ellington, formed The Duke Ellington Legacy, a nine-piece jazz ensemble dedicated to performing the music of the late composer/pianist. Single Petal of a Rose is the group's sophomore effort, featuring guest tenor saxophonist Houston Person, and follows its highly respected debut, Thank You Uncle Edward (Renma Records, 2008). Featured here are several Ellington and Billy Strayhorn standards, mixed in with ...

Duke Ellington Tames The Savage Beasts: Lions and Tigers and Bears (and Gazelles!)

Read "Duke Ellington Tames The Savage Beasts: Lions and Tigers and Bears (and Gazelles!)"

I begin this edition of Old, New, Borrowed and Blue with a confession. I have an unabashed love for the music of Duke Ellington. From his brilliantly scored compositions, to the singular instrumental personalities in his band(s)--with Ellington, Jimmy Hamilton and Johnny Hodges ranking at the top of my list--Ellington seems to transcend the “big band" tag and his music really deserves the designation of “fine art." Writers have been treating this music as such for over seventy five years, with R.D. Darrell's 1932 “Black Beauty" piece considered to be the first serious critical look at Ellington's work, and no ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Duke Ellington: Chicago 1946 & Cornell University 1948

Read "Duke Ellington: Chicago 1946 & Cornell University 1948"

Duke EllingtonChicago 1946MusicMasters-Nimbus2009 Duke EllingtonCornell University 1948MusicMasters-Nimbus2009 The depth and breadth of the Ellington Orchestra's repertoire/book over the half-century Duke led the band is mind-bogglingly vast. And commercially-released studio recordings are only the tip of the iceberg. There are compositions, versions of tunes and unique collaborations contained on these two albums found either nowhere else or only on other roughly contemporaneous live concert recordings. The Cornell University, December 10, 1948, concert documents an incarnation ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Duke Ellington London and New York 1963-1964 The Great Concerts, The Duke of Elegant - Gems From the Duke Ellington Songbook

Read "Duke Ellington London and New York 1963-1964 The Great Concerts, The Duke of Elegant - Gems From the Duke Ellington Songbook"

Duke EllingtonThe Great Concerts (London & New York 1963-1964) Musicmasters-Nimbus 2009 Various ArtistsThe Duke of ElegantHighNote2009 “First of all the kids in the band want you to know they love you madly" are debonair Duke Ellington's playful opening remarks on this live concert set. Those “kids" he refers to are an incredible array of virtuoso sidemen, among them Cat Anderson, Cootie Williams, Johnny Hodges and Paul Gonsalves. Disc One of The ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Duke Ellington: Symphony of the Body and Soul

Read "Duke Ellington: Symphony of the Body and Soul"

A study in sepia It was the package that arrived, which prompted me to open an album of memories in the first place. Looking at the photograph, I recall some--not all--of the many details of the evening it was taken. The boy in the photograph is I, and I am in a black mood. Suddenly my memory stirs vigorously, and it is then that I to go back to a dusky evening in 1963. My father who is on my left has his hand on my head and is ruffling my hair. On my right is my father's ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Duke Ellington: New York New York, The Treasury Shows, Vol. 13 & A Tone Parallel to Harlem

Read "Duke Ellington: New York New York, The Treasury Shows, Vol. 13 & A Tone Parallel to Harlem"

Duke Ellington New York New York Storyville 2008 Duke Ellington The Treasury Shows Vol. 13 Storyville 2008 Claude Bolling A Tone Parallel to Harlem Fremeaux and Assoc. 2008

New CDs of Duke Ellington music from vaults and archives provide more evidence of how amazingly prolific he and his band were, while the Claude Bolling tribute compilation proves how strong Ellington repertoire can be ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Tom Chang

Tom Chang

About | Enter

Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton

About | Enter

Sheryl Bailey

Sheryl Bailey

About | Enter

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!