313

Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington: The Great Summit: Complete Sessions

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington: The Great Summit: Complete Sessions Jazz fans are a lot like sports fanatics. Just as we would turn out to see the now seventy year-old Arnold Palmer shoot over par or Willie Mays play in an old timers game, we cherish the recordings of elder jazzmen. In 1961, the sixty-somethings Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong got together for two days of recording. The great innovators wrote no new chapters in jazz history, created no controversy, and played nothing we hadn’t heard before (almost). It was glorious.

The hoped for meeting of Satchmo and Ellington’s orchestra never materialized. Instead Ellington played piano with Armstrong’s All-Stars. The tunes are drawn from Ellington’s book of the very well-known. With Pops the familiar takes on special meaning as his irrepressible vocalese and self-rewritten lyrics delight. Just like Armstrong’s recorded duets with Ella Fitzgerald, the focus wasn’t so much the music as it was on this icon from New Orleans. Satchmo, to his credit, takes numerous trumpet solos with those road weary lips.

Ellington, for his part, seems satisfied with his role as Satchmo’s sideman. Keeping solos to a minimum. He does call for his composition “Azalea,” an offhand tribute to Pops composed twenty year prior to this recording. Like all Ellington music, it was written for an individual player, and finally getting Armstrong to cover it must have been satisfying for Duke. There is also “The Beautiful American,” a tune composed in studio, and of course heard for the first time here.

The additional disc found here reveals Duke’s role as orchestrator and organizer. The ten additional tracks on disc two are made up of partial takes, false starts, discussion, and alternative takes to master versions. Although it may be of interest to only the fanatic Duke and Satchmo fans, a voyeuristic peak into the recording process is always a treat.

Track List Disc One:Duke’s Place; I’m Just A Lucky So And So; Cottontail; Mood Indigo; Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me; The Beautiful American; Black And Tan Fantasy; Drop Me Off In Harlem; The Mooche; In A Mellow Tone; It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing); Solitude; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; I’m Beginning To See The Light; Just Squeeze Me; I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good); Azalea.

Track List Disc Two:In A Mellow Tone; I’m Beginning To See The Light; Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Duke’s Place; Drop Me Off In Harlem; I’m Just A Lucky So And So; Azalea; Black And Tan Fantasy; band discussion on Cottontail.

Personnel: Louis Armstrong

Year Released: 2002 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "The Ludwigsburg Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Ludwigsburg Concert
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "On Ceremony" CD/LP/Track Review On Ceremony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Lowdown Hoedown" CD/LP/Track Review Lowdown Hoedown
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio" CD/LP/Track Review One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2016

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!