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Duke Ellington – Verve Jazz Masters 4 (1994) [Big Band, Swing]; FLAC (tracks +.cue)

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Duke Ellington – Verve Jazz Masters 4 (1994) [Big Band, Swing]; FLAC (tracks +.cue)

Unread postby Mike1985 » 06 Sep 2021, 02:54

Artist: Duke Ellington
Album: Verve Jazz Masters 4
Genre: Big Band, Swing
Label: Verve Records
Released: 1994
Quality: FLAC (tracks +.cue)
  1. Take The "A" Train (00:33)
  2. La Plus Belle Africaine (13:57)
  3. Flirtibird (03:08)
  4. Diminuendo In Blue And Blow By Blow (07:40)
  5. Loveless Love (07:08)
  6. Going Up (04:51)
  7. St. Louis Blues (05:44)
  8. Stompy Jones (06:38)
  9. Caravan (03:50)
  10. Total Jazz (From "Portrait Of Ella Fiztgerald") (03:24)
  11. Perdido (04:51)
  12. Jam With Sam (04:07)
  13. Rockin' In Rhythm (04:06)


A compilation of live recordings from the late '50s and mid '60s, this disc reveals a lesser-known side of the Duke. Loose and highly energetic in both structure and execution, these tracks show that even in mid-century Ellington was still keeping apace with musical developments. Particularly intriguing is his foray into modal jazz with "La Plus Belle Africaine," a 14-minute atmospheric journey full of stark, tribal rhythms and snaking melody lines. Ellington here seems to have loosened the formality of his earlier bandleading, replacing it with a wilder approach, powerful dynamics, and shouts and banter between the bandmembers.

Ellington's compositional brilliance and the superior musicianship of his orchestra, however, is more in evidence than ever. Johnny Hodges contributes a memorably intense solo on "Flirtibird" and Paul Gonsalves' tenor sax blazes through "Diminuendo In Blue and Blow by Blow." Fine treatments of W.C. Handy numbers and an appearance by Ella Fitzgerald--her sly intonation lending itself perfectly to "Caravan,"--add to the surprises. Old favorites like "Perdido" and the roof-raising closer "Rockin' In Rhythm," are given new life and, along with the more contemporary numbers, offer a varied and impressive portrait of this jazz legend's genius.

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