Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Good music,but different from the usual Ellington pieces
William L. Baker | Norman Oklahoma | 03/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not your usual Ellington LP. It is more like a concerto with 9 movements, from 3 to near 8 minutes each. Ellington attempts to give a musical potrait of New Orleans , the atmosphere, the traditons, and the music.... especially the music. Starting with "Blues for New Orleans"he goes to "Bourbon Street" and from there to "Portrait of Louis Armstrong", and then on to "Thanks for the Beautiful Land on the Delta"
gives a "Tribute to the Second Line", "Portrait of Sidney Bechet"and others for a total of nine.It is very listenable music, but is diffent from what people expect from Ellington, and so has never been given the popularity it deserves. Music like this is not going to be played on disk jockey radio shows with their three minute tunes between commercials.If you like Jazz in general and have a reverence for the history of Jazz you will likely enjoy this LP."
Not your grandfather's Duke...
Eric C. Sedensky | Madison, AL, US | 03/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since taking up jazz, I've always been an Ellington fan. I like the straight ahead approach, the classic sound of his tunes and band, his timeless takes of other composer's work. One would think I probably started with a Duke Ellington best of, but actually, this was the first Ellington work I owned and it's what led me to all of this other work. This CD has just a tremendous depth of style. It's slower and more subdued than the big band work he is most famous for, and sitting and listening to it, you are able to relax and be absorbed by the music. The "portraits" are particularly interesting if you are familiar with who they refer to. I had a kind of "advantage" because I was not familiar with them, and I was insightful (lucky?) enough to listen to the CD a few times before I bothered to look at the track titles and find out about the people mentioned. That was a significant factor in my enjoyment of this CD, but I think any fan of jazz, casual or otherwise, will treasure this CD as a valuable piece of their music collection for many, many years."
Great late period Ellington
Rick loves jazz | Sacramento, Ca | 09/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is very late Ellington (recorded in 1970), but many of his long-time band members, including Russell Procope, Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams, Paul Gonsalves and Harry Carney played on some or all of the album.
The album holds up very well. The compositions are very good to excellent. In fact, Stefon Harris used three of them in his recent album, "African Tarantalla" to very good effect. As usual with the Duke, his compositions are very harmonically interesting, evoke various moods, and are grist for improvisation.
Highlights for me include Blues for New Orleans (interesting because it included Wild Bill Davis on organ), Bourbon Street Jingling Jollies, a very pretty piece, the Portrait of Wellman Braud, Second Line, and the Portrait of Sidney Bichet.
The amazing thing about the Duke and his men is that after over 40 years in the business, they are energetic, creative and play great jazz. As always, the band swings. Duke was a one-of-a-kind, the greatest composer in jazz. This album is further evidence of his compositional genius. This album is well worth purchasing."