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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Amazon UK




Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
1927 - 1941

Columbia/Legacy 516425 2


1. Hot And Bothered
2. It Don't Mean A Thing ( If It A'int Got That Swing )
3. Cotton Tail
4. The Mooche ( 78rpm Version )
5. Battle Of Swing
6. Rockin' In Rhythm
7. Braggin' In Brass
8. Caravan
9. Ring Dem Bells
10. Merry-Go-Round
11. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
12. In A Jam
13. Take The "A" Train
14. Tootin' Through The Roof

This is yet another very good compilation of the music of Duke Ellington covering his early to middle years (1927- 1941). It is somewhat debatable whether another such issue is really necessary, there have been so many recently. The biggest drawback to this disc is the total lack of any personnel details. As this selection is surely aimed at the non-specialist listener such listings would surely have been most useful and might even have encouraged further interest and possibly the purchase of more comprehensive releases. A few names are mentioned in the back cover blurb, but these are not linked to any specific tracks.

The initiated will recognise such gems as Ben Webster on "Cottontail", Ray Nance on "Take The A Train" and many other great moments from the Ellington catalogue. The scope in terms of both time and material is very good and would surely give a great insight into the composer's world for the newly curious. However, I cannot recommend this disc wholeheartedly because of previously mentioned failing. This is just another example of the slipshod attitude of many of the companies and their reissue policies.

Dick Stafford

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