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Ella at Duke's Place
Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington
Ella at Duke's Place
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Ella Fitzgerald made some of her greatest recordings with Duke Ellington and his band, including the extensive three-CD Ellington Songbook and the eight-CD Cote d'Azur Concerts. This session from 1965 is an excellent place...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington
Title: Ella at Duke's Place
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1965
Re-Release Date: 2/27/1996
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Swing Jazz, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Vocal Jazz, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Classic Vocalists, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731452970022, 0731452970022, 042283376946

Synopsis essential recording
Ella Fitzgerald made some of her greatest recordings with Duke Ellington and his band, including the extensive three-CD Ellington Songbook and the eight-CD Cote d'Azur Concerts. This session from 1965 is an excellent place to begin listening to the relationship, a self-contained set that joins Fitzgerald with the Duke and his still-great band. The brilliance of Fitzgerald's voice is apparent even when placed amid such great Ellingtonians as altoist Johnny Hodges and trumpeters Cootie Williams and Cat Anderson. She and Hodges are perfectly matched on subtle Billy Strayhorn tunes like "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" and "Passion Flower." --Stuart Broomer

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CD Reviews

The ultimate vocal album by Duke's orchestra
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is certainly the best studio recording by Duke's band accompanying a singer. Compared to the collaborations with Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra or Ella herself in the Songbook series, the band sounds well-rehearsed. The arrangements are fresh and beautifully supportive, the selection of Ellington/Strayhorn songs is unique and I wish that more of Duke's lesser-known songs would get such an ideal treatment. The Ellington formation remains unequalled, but the great Ella makes each tune her own and lays proof to the fact that a)Duke was one of the best song-writers and that b)his compositions stand on their own. This is an essential Ella album!"
Another Pinnacle
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 02/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Before hearing this summit meeting, I was prepared to call "Blue Rose" (see review) one of Duke's 3-4 greatest albums and certainly the most underrated. My 40-year-long ignorance about this consummate encounter between Duke and Ella tells me "Blue Rose" has competition in the underrated category.

This is Ellington at full strength (before the loss of Johnny Hodges) and Ella, too (before some of the wavering vibrato of the 1970s). Above all, it's a session that captures every delicate shade and hue of the exquisitely beautiful, albeit often challenging, music of Billy Strayhorn. There's no fooling around during this session, no jam session looseness, no programming to meet general consumer approval (starting the session with "Something to Live For" and "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" is in itself indicative of the seriousness of this project).

As respectful as this date is, there are fine moments by some of the Ellington stars--Hodges, Gonsalves, Cootie, Jimmy Hamilton, even Duke's piano. And to the usual brain trust of Duke and Stray, add the arranging talents of the wonderful Jimmy Jones (accompanist for Sarah, then Nancy Wilson). Ellingtonphiles will appreciate the inimitable orchestral colors and textures along with the absence of haste and sloppiness while at the same time discovering a more "personal" Ellington and Ella than on the 50s Songbook.

Anyone new to the pair might wish to save this one for later and start instead with the Duke-Ella Cote d'Azure date, where there's more scattin' and jammin'. And if you want to hear Ella singing the greatest C-Jam Blues/Duke's Place (the titles are always used interchangeably) of all time, there's only one recording worth considering: "Bluella.""
garfieldguy | Matthews, NC United States | 03/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Despite the fact that this is not one of Ella or Duke's best known albums, it is defintely one of the best. Ella was at perhaps her absoltue peak vocally when this was recorded in 1965, and I doubt that there is a living vocalist who could re-create many moments in the album. But it's not just about a wonderful voice; Ella puts a lot of soul and feeling into these songs. Her "Something to Live For" is so poignant that it is impossible to listen to it without being moved. The two "Flower" songs are excellent, expoliting her rich lower register to create intense longing and desire. "Sunrise" is again touching, the First Lady sings it with just the right blend of sadness and hope for a better day. "Azure" is awesome, especially after the full band drops out, leaving just Ella and Duke on piano to noodle around. "Frustration" is fun, with Ella wailing her heart out. "Duke's Place" is a also great, showing that Duke and Ella could do wonders with just two notes. "Brown Skin Gal in the Calico Gown" starts out as a soft, yearning ballad, and then becomes a flag-waving swinger. "What Am I Here For?" is sung by Ella with her tongue-in-cheek, like "How dare you leave me alone with nothing to look forward to?!" ;-) And finally, the closing "Cottontail" is unforgettable; it is truly one of the greatest vocal improvisations preserved on record.Well, that's about it. Can you tell I liked this CD? :-P"