279

Duke Ellington: Blues In Orbit

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Duke Ellington: Blues In Orbit Featuring the talented solo voices of alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Hamilton, trumpeter Ray Nance, trombonist Booty Wood, and most other members of this 1958-59 Ellington Orchestra, this reissue swings with the blues. Alternate takes are included, and one of those has never been issued before.

"Blues in Blueprint" remains one of the album's high points. With Billy Strayhorn at the piano and Ellington snapping his fingers on two and four, bass clarinet and string bass quietly stroll with a unison passage to introduce and to close the arrangement. In between, Nance steps forward with a lyrical chorus or two. It's a frail piece that lends a delicate touch to this casual session.

Matthew Gee's baritone horn feature on "The Swingers Get the Blues, Too" stands out for its heartfelt passion. Ellington understood the blues. He made sure that it came from within, and that his orchestra had the freedom to express it appropriately. Nance, Wood, Hodges, and Hamilton came through with a sensitive performance.

Much of the album, however, drives with a light swing and focuses on the band's passion for lyricism. The bonus tracks add more of the same formula. The sound is unbeatable, and Hodges stands out. The one track that had never been issued before, an alternate take of "Blues In Orbit," differs considerably from the original. On it, we find Ellington more explorative, and more at ease with his feelings for the blues. It's a release that appeals more than the arrangement used on the original recording.


Track Listing: Three J's Blues; Smada; Pie Eye's Blues; Sweet & Pungent; C Jam Blues; In a Mellow Tone; Blues in Blueprint; The Swingers Get the Blues, Too; The Swinger's Jump; Blues In Orbit; Villes Ville is the Place, Man; Track 360; Sentimental Lady; Brown Penny; Pie Eye's Blues (alternate take); Sweet & Pungent (alternate take); The Swinger's Jump (alternate take); Blues In Orbit (alternate take); Track 360 (alternate take).

Personnel: Duke Ellington- piano; Jimmy Woode- bass; Sam Woodyard, Jimmy Johnson- drums; Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Shorty Baker- trumpet; Ray Nance- trumpet, violin; Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, John Sanders, Booty Wood- trombone; Matthew Gee- trombone, baritone horn; Johnny Hodges, Bill Graham- alto saxophone; Russell Procope- alto saxophone, clarinet; Jimmy Hamilton- tenor saxophone, clarinet; Paul Gonsalves- tenor saxophone; Harry Carney- baritone saxophone; Billy Strayhorn- piano on "Smada" and "Blues in Blueprint."

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sony BMG Legacy | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Up Go We" CD/LP/Track Review Up Go We
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "#knowingishalfthebattle" CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "No Filter" CD/LP/Track Review No Filter
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!