Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Blues in Orbit
The atmospheric, floating quality (see title) of the production and the mysterious, airy, and sparse arrangements make this record an overlooked gem. The first three tracks, recorded in February 1958, include the slow-movi... more »
The atmospheric, floating quality (see title) of the production and the mysterious, airy, and sparse arrangements make this record an overlooked gem. The first three tracks, recorded in February 1958, include the slow-moving blues of the title track, on which Duke Ellington's eerie piano fills answer the statements of the full band. "Track 360" is a dramatic aural representation of a train wreck. The remainder of the album was recorded at two midnight sessions in December of the following year. Ray Nance (the only trumpet because of band restructuring) and especially Johnny Hodges offer the most rewarding solo contributions of the date, many of which stand alongside their best ever. Hodges's magnificently fragile and seductive alto graces "Brown Penny" and handles both delicate and driving passages with aplomb on Billy Strayhorn's "Smada" (with the composer in the piano chair) while Nance belts out the bridge. The band also revisits classics from the Ellington songbook: Nance shows his violin prowess on "C Jam Blues" before growling through "In a Mellotone"; "Sentimental Lady" is in Hodges's capable caress. --Marc Greilsamer
A truly great, somewhat forgotten Ellington album
chefdevergue | Spokane, WA United States | 10/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why this album is not better known is a mystery to me. The album overflows with one excellent arrangement after another, often harkening back to a traditional 12-bar blues format. The band has a bizarre arrangement of personnel, with only the single trumpet of Ray Nance going up against a full reed section, but you would never know that anything was out of the ordinary from the sound of the band.My particular favorites on this album include "Smada" featuring reed work by Johnny Hodges that matches up with anything that he ever did; "Track 360," and some great blues arrangements, "Pie Eye's Blues," "The Singers Get the Blues, Too," and "The Swinger's Jump" (what a great way to end an album!).This is one of my very favorite Ellington recordings, one I never tire of listening to. It took a long time for me to find a copy of this CD, and I am forever grateful that I did."
A Must Have for Ellington Fans
chefdevergue | 06/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The hard-to-find Blues In Orbit is a must have for any fans of Duke Ellington. I bought my copy second hand and it was worth the extra cost in order to have it in my collection. Blues In Orbit provides the listener with cool jazz. Highly recommended with a well made martini!"