190

C-Jam All Stars: Diminuendo, Crescendo and Blues

By

Sign in to view read count
C-Jam All Stars: Diminuendo, Crescendo and Blues Duke Ellington was extraordinarily generous in allowing members of this band to record on their own while working for him. This generosity is something we all should be grateful for. Otherwise we would never have experienced the pleasure of hearing small groups headed by Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard and Rex Stewart. This album was originally recorded by a group of Ellington stalwarts in 1958 for Germany's Bertelsmann Record Club. It was finally issued in the US on CD by RCA Victor last year as part of that label's Classic Edition series. During this time, Ellington was on an extended European tour that took him to England, Norway, France, Sweden and Holland. The C-Jam All Stars had Clark Terry, Paul Gonsalves, Jimmy Woode and Sam Woodyard. But instead of Ellington sitting in on piano, a local pianist of no small skill, Carlos Diernhammer, was called upon. He wasn't only an accomplished pianist, but a composer as well. One of his more notable writing achievements was the score for the German cult horror film The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse.

The play list is a mix of Ellington pieces, a couple of standards and five tunes written by Terry or Gonsalves. The latter are little more than blues based head arrangements serving as the platform for the solo artistry each member of the group. All good stuff. But it's the more familiar material which catches the ear. Gonsalves does his thing with "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue". While not approaching the 27 choruses of the1956 Newport Jazz Festival performance, he continues to generate sparks showing no signs of ennui which might have set in because of the many times he had to play the tune because of Newport. "I Cover the Waterfront" is enhanced by a lovely Terry muted trumpet sequing into a soft melodic tenor by Gonsalves which makes this track especially appealing. But soloing is not the only good thing on this set. There's some outstanding, up beat ensemble playing as on "It Don't Mean a Thing (if It Ain't Got That Swing)". There is always something special about the rhythm support of Woode and Woodyard. Their long association with Ellington gave these players the ability to anticipate just what each soloist's move was going to be during their extended extemporizations. This familiarity allowed them to smoothly meet the needs of the instrumentalists.

It's been a long time coming, but finally we in the US can enjoy this German session. Just one complaint. There's only 35 minutes of music. But highly recommended anyway.


Track Listing: Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue; I Cover the Waterfront; C-Jam Blues; Evad; It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing); Autobahn; Willow Weep for Me; Hildegard; Ocean Motion; Jivin' with Fritz

Personnel: Clark Terry - Trumpet; Paul Gonsalves - Tenor Saxophone; Carlos Diernhammer - Piano; Jimmy Woode - Bass; Sam Woodyard - Drums

Title: Diminuendo, Crescendo and Blues | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: RCA Victor


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Beatrice" CD/LP/Track Review Beatrice
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "The Time Verses" CD/LP/Track Review The Time Verses
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Satori" CD/LP/Track Review Satori
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Coalesce" CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.