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The Complete Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington Sessions
Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington
The Complete Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington Sessions
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
 
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

These are the lions in winter, which is not to denigrate the mellow goings-on here, but more to say that this 1961 summit meeting finds the titular giants trés engagé rather than volatile and competitive. The fare is all E...  more »

      
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These are the lions in winter, which is not to denigrate the mellow goings-on here, but more to say that this 1961 summit meeting finds the titular giants trés engagé rather than volatile and competitive. The fare is all Ellington tunes, the band is Armstrong's All-Stars, led by Duke on piano. Louis is long past the pyrotechnics of "West End Blues" and the Bessie Smith session, but still offers up some heart-tugging solos that remind us his genius was as much in the expressions of his heart as it was in his embouchure and astonishing instincts (check out "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good"). Duke plays it gently throughout, an engaging minimalist in this context, and you hear something of the spare impressionism that must have gripped Bill Evans and Vince Guaraldi in their youth. All indirect light and muted repartee, The Complete Sessions surprises in unexpected ways. --David McGee

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CD Reviews

Desert Island Music from the Masters
Phillip J. Crawford | San Francisco, CA USA | 10/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is my favorite CD. These are the two greatest musicians in jazz history and the chemistry between them is incredible. It's the perfect mixture of Duke's New York sophistication and Louis' New Orleans down-home feeling. There is not a bad note on this record, but my favorite cut is "Azalea." When I close my eyes and listen to Louis sing this little-known Ellington gem, I can feel the muggy Louisiana heat, feel the breeze from slowly turning ceiling fan, and taste the bourbon on the rocks. (As another reviewer said, Louis Armstrong's worst recording is better than 98% of the music currently available on record. The same, I'd say, is true of Duke.) Buy this CD. If it doesn't make you feel good, you must be dead."
Meeting Of Two Jazz Greats
Paul W Urbahns | Radcliff KY | 01/26/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The idea of getting Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong together had probably been on many peoples minds, but their schedules just seemed to keep it a dream. That is until Roulette scheduled a date when both Armstrong and Ellington was in town. Some compromises had to be made, the band used was Armstrong's All Stars, and the music is all Ellington. Using the All Stars instead of Ellington's big band kept Armstrong in the small combo setting where he fits best. Ellington replaced Armstrongs normal piano player and everything worked out fine. The songs were well know to the band as several had played in Ellington's big band. This is classic jazz of the highest order. The technical quality of the disk (all in stereo) will not disappoint."
The happy meeting of two genius!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 10/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The recording sessions were made on 3 and 4 April 1961.It results impossible to describe the admirable and instantaneous alchemy and enviable rapport among these two giants.

Duke Ellington was by far the most complete jazz musician in the Century. And Satchmo was (behind Davis of course) was a true living legend of the instrument. Duke, playing the piano gave us a sonorous surprise with his expressive sound.

Every piece is a joy by itself. I 'm just a lucky so and so is true orgiastic blues. Cottontail is a moving theme with Barney Bigard playing clarinet in extraordinary shape,making a superb counterpoint with Satchmo.

Mood Indigo is (who can deny it?) the jewel of the crown. What feeling and expression, what sense of the color and what sublime inspiration; you feel the blues in your veins, and the rough voice of Satchmo confers the piece an additional touch of joy: an extraordinary version without any doubt.

Black and fantasy is another gem. What sensation. It don 't mean a thing is a gorgeous instrumental where you can realize the Dionysian mood of Mr. Satchmo in that studio recording. Solitude is another sensitive blues with a great accompaniment of Duke.

Mort Herbert in bass is splendid too as well as Tommy young at trombone.
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