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Duke Ellington



UPC: 8718469535040

Format: LP

Regular price $35.95
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Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Ozzie Bailey (vocals); Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet); Johnny Hodges, Rick Henderson (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone); Ray Nance (trumpet, violin); Clark Terry, Willie Cook, Shorty Baker, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman (trombone); John Sanders (bass trombone); Jimmy Woode (bass); Sam Woodyard (drums).
Producer: Irving Townshend.
Reissue producer: Michael Brooks.
Recorded in New York, New York in September and October 1957. Includes liner notes by Stanley Dance.
Digitally remastered by Larry Keyes (CBS Recording Studios, New York, New York).
At no point during his celebrated career was Duke Ellington ever immune to commercial considerations. Yet for all his innovations in extended form and harmony, Ellington never lost sight of his audience, nor considered it beneath him to give listeners a generous allotment of memorable melodies at danceable tempos. Certainly Ellington's output of popular songs from the '20s and '30s ranks with that of any composer, and it was not unusual to find his orchestra staging a symphonic work one night, and a dance concert the next.
Bathed as it is in a reverberant aura of blue, INDIGOS is a classic of understated intensity, strolling along at the kind of elegantly slow tempos that made for sublime romantic interludes on ballroom dance floors across America.
Three of Ellington's most timeless melodies ("Solitude," "Mood Indigo" and "Prelude To A Kiss") showcase Ellington's dramatic piano dynamics, trumpeter Shorty Baker's probing lyricism, and altoist Johnny Hodges' unbearably beautiful blues phrasing. A previously unreleased "All The Things You Are," taken at an uncharacteristically slow tempo, affords Ellington the opportunity to reinvent Jerome Kern's classic changes. Elsewhere, Jimmy Hamilton's poignant clarinet transforms "Tenderly," while Ray Nance's distinctive violin and Ozzie Bailey's vocal choruses (in French and English) bring out the profound melancholy in "Autumn Leaves."