Duke Ellington

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than fifty years.
Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured in Europe. Although widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase "beyond category" as a liberating principle and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music rather than to a musical genre such as jazz.
Some of the jazz musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered to be among the best players in the idiom. Ellington melded them into the best-known orchestral unit in the history of jazz. Some members stayed with the orchestra for several decades.

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Top SongsAlbum
1
Tea for TwoHigh Life2:26
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Diga Diga DooHigh Life2:54
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In a JamImagination3:53
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Take the a TrainHigh Life4:55
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Rockin' in RhythmHigh Life2:55
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Three Little WordsAfter You´ve Gone - Early Bing 1929-19303:07
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Long Long JourneyAll Aboard the Jazz Express4:24
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Black And Tan FantasyEaster Hit Parade, Vol.33:59
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Azalea (1990 Remaster)The Great Summit - The Master Tapes5:02
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Just Squeeze MeThe Great Summit, The Master Takes3:58
The 2008 reissue of this album marks a total reconstruction and rethinking of the original LP, and such a complete break from the original album that its story could fill a book. Such Sweet Thunder was originally announced as a stereo and mono release, but only showed up in mono thanks to the technical problems inherent in early stereo in creating a concert-like ambience in which the performance seemed continuous. The reissue presents the original album as it was intended, using alternate takes from the original sessions, plus the stereo masters of the takes used on the original album, all rounded out with a mono outtake or two. The music itself counts among Ellington's most well-realized "concept projects," all inspired by Shakespeare's work and filled with memorable melodies and ample opportunities for solos by Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, and Quentin Jackson. The Ellington-Strayhorn compositions treat their soloists like actors doing scenes and, in effect, playing parts, even quoting lines after a fashion -- Clark Terry "plays" Puck in "Up and Down, Up and Down (I Will Lead Them Up and Down)," and Johnny Hodges turns in one of the most sensuous performances of his career for "Half the Fun," from Antony and Cleopatra. These moments more than justify the cost of the CD, and the bonus tracks, many of which are different takes and others are simply material that came from the same sessions, more than double the length of the original LP. The extended notes by Phil Schaap deserve some kind of award for detail and clarity. [Essential Jazz's 2008 edition included bonus tracks.]
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