All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Highly Opinionated

1,026

Duke Ellington: Symphony of the Body and Soul

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
And, of course this was the time of two of the most important musical relationships that Duke ever had throughout his career. First was the addition of Jimmy Blanton on bass—replacing Braud and Taylor. Duke first heard Blanton with Fate Marable and sat in later. He proceeded to try and trick Blanton into faltering as he rang in the changes. But Blanton was always in step, following the Duke as if he had anticipated what was coming next. Naturally, Duke decided that Blanton was his after this...naturally. And finally there was the introduction to Billy Strayhorn, who was to become, as Duke once said: "my right arm, my left arm... all the eye in the back of my head...my brain waves in his head and his in mine." There probably was no closer musical relationship that Ellington's and Strayhorn's... none that was so rich and indelible... So much so that there were times when one could not tell the two apart—not at the piano, nor in the music...And it all began here, with these bewitching small group recordings. I put on the first of seven CDs and amid the hiss of the tape on which they were once recorded, the eyes grow moist and the heart stops the breath as some of the most memorable music ever committed to tape begins to growl, then turn smooth... then, as some of the musical history of the 1930s and 1940s, unfolds a dance with Duke Ellington, body heart and soul begins...

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Who Needs Monk? Highly Opinionated
Who Needs Monk?
by Patrick Burnette
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Jazz Karaoke anyone? Highly Opinionated
Jazz Karaoke anyone?
by David Hadley Ray
Published: August 3, 2017
Read Dusseldorf Rally: Jazz's Best Kept Secret? Highly Opinionated
Dusseldorf Rally: Jazz's Best Kept Secret?
by Phillip Woolever
Published: May 16, 2016
Read The New Orleans All-Star Brass Band: Do You Know What It Means? Highly Opinionated
The New Orleans All-Star Brass Band: Do You Know What It...
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 2, 2015
Read Sing a Mean Tune, Kid: Chicago for people who hate Chicago Highly Opinionated
Sing a Mean Tune, Kid: Chicago for people who hate Chicago
by Mark Lempke
Published: June 7, 2014
Read Sacred Cows, Led Zeppelin and Does the Song Remain the Same? Highly Opinionated
Sacred Cows, Led Zeppelin and Does the Song Remain the Same?
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2013
Read "Who Needs Monk?" Highly Opinionated Who Needs Monk?
by Patrick Burnette
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Jazz Karaoke anyone?" Highly Opinionated Jazz Karaoke anyone?
by David Hadley Ray
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below" Live Reviews Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below
by Tyran Grillo
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "2017 Jazz in the Valley Jazz Festival" In Pictures 2017 Jazz in the Valley Jazz Festival
by Richard Conde
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "Mats Gustafsson" What I'm Listening to Now Mats Gustafsson
by Vincenzo Roggero
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Diane Schuur at Birdland" Live Reviews Diane Schuur at Birdland
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 20, 2017