397

Duke Ellington: Ellington Uptown

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count

Two Hundred Fifty-Plus Words on Ellington, Part II

Duke Ellington Uptown was released shortly after Ellington adopted the 12-inch long player philosophy and began recording his concert of some of his greatest pieces. Before the present release, this recording was issued on three different occasions, each released including slightly different material. The original release (Columbia ML 4639) contained the opening five tracks: "Skin Deep," "The Mooche," "Take The 'A' Train," "A Tone Parallel To Harlem," and "Perdido." The second release, entitled HiFi Ellington Uptown (CL 830) replaced "A Tone Parallel to Harlem" with "The Controversial Suite." The third version (CL 848) traded "Perdido" for "The Liberian Suite."



Finally, the current Ellington Uptown unites all of these versions on a single disc with digital remastering. The result is a voluminous big band sound coupled with exceptional composition and orchestration, even on the lesser-known pieces. A young and brash Louis Bellson provides the opening piece, "Skin Deep," where he capable demonstrates his all-encompassing ability to drive a band. "The Mooche" and "Take the 'A' Train" bristle with vitality and invention in their extended version, the latter given a bebop flavor by vocalist Betty Roche.

The centerpiece is "A Tone Parallel to Harlem," a piece that justifies all of Wynton Marsalis’ extended jazz composition catalog. Harry Carney demonstrates his importance to the Ellington Orchestra with his bass clarinet. The center of this piece is country brass band playing a civil war tune before hitting NYC again for the coda. The two suites included are prime Ellington musings. Perhaps not the best known, but essential nevertheless. This is an important and complete release of Ellington material.



For more information, see Columbia Legacy Records .


Track Listing: Skin Deep; The Mooche; Take The "A" Train; A Tone Parallel To Harlem; Perdido; The Controversial Suite

Personnel: Francis Williams, Cat Anderson, Shorty Baker, Nelson Williams, Clark Terry; Ray Nance, Willie Cook, Andres Merenghito

Title: Ellington Uptown | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Columbia Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Saluting Sgt. Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Thick As Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick As Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "The Wrong Waltz" CD/LP/Track Review The Wrong Waltz
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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