Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

279

Duke Ellington: Blues In Orbit

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
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."

Title: Blues In Orbit | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sony BMG Legacy


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Alleviation CD/LP/Track Review Alleviation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Last Minute Panic CD/LP/Track Review Last Minute Panic
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Murphy CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Haberdashery CD/LP/Track Review Haberdashery
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Song of the Silver Geese CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Silver Geese
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Live at Kolarac CD/LP/Track Review Live at Kolarac
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Bright Yellow with Bass" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "The Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "DICE" CD/LP/Track Review DICE
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Penumbra" CD/LP/Track Review Penumbra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2017

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!