Wednesday, August 1, 2012

#11: Duke Ellington - Ellington At Newport (1956)

The original 1956 LP only had 5 tracks, the album I got the chance to listen to was the 1999 remaster which is two discs containing audio from the entire concert. This album was a turning point in the Duke's career, it put him back on the map where he would stay for the rest of his life.

Take the A Train
It's a signature tune of Duke's, written by Billy Strayhorn. I remember playing this track in a four piece jazz band, it's always been one of my favorites. Duke's piano is particularly good on this track throughout the solos and fills. Also it features very, very vibrant horns with the counter melody on the head and following horn solo.

Diminuendo In Blue And Crescendo in Blue
My favorite track on the two album set. If I could play piano like that, I'd never leave the house. The rhythm section is particularly good on this recording. Such a wonderful bass line throughout the song while the drummer just keeps it moving without stepping on anyone's toes.

Jeep's Blues
I love the main theme to this song, the big boom-bastic drums and horns give a striptease like dance and then the horns rip right back in after a pause - there's no better moment on the album. Such an amazing horn sound throughout the solos. It's interesting to hear how crazy the crowd gets between tracks - I have never heard such an over abundant love for jazz.

An incredibly solid jazz album. While it clocks in at over two hours, it goes by quickly enough. There's no weak track on the entire album, it contains every dynamic and feeling - sometimes on the same track. I definitely would like to hear some smaller works of Duke Ellington's maybe with a little more focus on the piano. I need to steal some good ideas.

 This album was chosen from the book '1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die' 6/1001

Tomorrow's album: KT Tunstall's Acoustic Extravaganza (2006)

No comments:

Post a Comment