Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Private Collection 10: Studio Sessions 1965-66-71
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Black, Brown and (Most Of) Beige
Michael D. Robbins | San Antonio, Texas United States | 02/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although you would not know it from looking at the CD cover, this disk contains an almost-complete performance of "Black, Brown and Beige" (BB&B), recorded in stereo by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. One of Ellington's very greatest compositions, BB&B was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1943. Perhaps because of unfavorable reviews from the critics, the Duke withdrew this landmark composition from his active repertoire after only a handful of performances (although he continued to perform excerpts).Ellington never favored the public with a completely acceptable recording of this 45-minute work. The privately made live recording from the 1943 premier concert captured a great performance of the complete piece, but in very poor sound. The first commercial recording of BB&B, from late 1944, was state-of-the-art for its time, but consisted of only 18 minutes worth of excerpts. A second commercial recording was made in 1958, but it presented only "Black," the first movement, and without Johnny Hodges present to play his moving alto sax solo on "Come Sunday."The present disk consists of privately made stereo recordings from 1965 and 1971. About 90% of "Black, Brown and Beige" is presented, the only substantial omissions being the first 2 1/2 minutes and the last 3 1/2 minutes of "Beige." There were some reorchestrations, and the three movements are presented as piecemeal tracks instead of as unified wholes. Many of the musicians from 1943 were no longer around, but Ray Nance, Lawrence Brown, Harry Carney, and Johnny Hodges remained.If not as great as the 1943 concert recording, this disk is a reasonable alternative for those who want better sound quality. The CD is rounded out by a fine recording of "Harlem," as well as by a stand-alone version of "Ad Lib On Nippon," recorded a year and a half before the complete "Far East Suite.""
Duke's Magnum Opus
jaricco | Madison, WI USA | 07/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD contains Duke's last interpretation of his masterpiece, Black, Brown, and Beige. This is the only known recording of practically the entire work that has great sound quality (the Carnegie Hall concert of 1943 was very poorly recorded). And unlike the 1958 recording of BBB with Mahalia Jackson (which actually only consisted of the "Black" section of the piece), Johnny Hodges is present at this session and his rendition of "Come Sunday" is worth the price of the entire CD. This music is pure spirituality through and through. Renditions of Harlem and Ad Lib on Nippon are simply an added bonus to an amazing album. Highly recommended essential Ellington."