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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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DUKE ELLINGTON

The Complete Newport 1958
Performances

American Jazz Classics 99117

 

 

CD1

1. Introduction by Willis Conover

2. Take The “A” Train [Theme]

3. Princess Blue

4. Duke's Place [C Jam Blues]

5. Just Scratchin' The Surface

6. Happy Reunion

7. Juniflip

8. Mr. Gentle And Mr. Cool

9. Jazz Festival Jazz

10. Feet Bone

11. Hi Fi Fo Fum

12. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)

13. Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home

14. Prima Bara Dubla

15. El Gato

CD 2

1. Multicolored Blue

2. Introduction To Mahalia Jackson

3. Come Sunday

4. Keep Your Hand On The Plow

5. Take The “A” Train [Theme]

6. Jones

7. El Gato [Studio Version]

8. Happy Reunion

9. Multicolored Blue

10. Princess Blue

11. Jazz Festival Jazz

12. Mr. Gentle And Mr. Cool

13. Juniflip

14. Hi Fi Fo Fum

15. Feet Bone

16. Just Scratchin' The Surfacet

Duke Ellington – Piano

Cat Anderson, "Shorty" Baker, Francis Williams – Trumpets

Cark Terry – Trumpet, flugelhorn

Ray Nance – Trumpet, violin, vocals

Britt Woodman, John Sanders, Quentin Jackson - Trombones

Jimmy Hamilton – Clarinet, tenor sax

Russell Procope – Clarinet, alto sax

Johnny Hodges – Alto sax

Paul Gonsalves – Tenor sax

Harry Carney – Baritone sax, clarinet, bass clarinet

Bill Graham – Alto sax (tracks II/7-14)

Jimmy Woode - Bass

Sam Woodyard - Drums

Gerry Mulligan - Baritone sax (track I/14)

Mahalia Jackson – Vocals (tracks II/3, 4)

Ozzie Bailey – Vocals (tracks I/4, II/1, 9)

Lil Greenwood – Vocals (tracks I/12, 13)

Mildred Falls – Piano (track II/4)

Conventional wisdom asserts that the Duke Ellington Orchestra was reborn at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. So it was no surprise that the band was booked to appear there again in 1958. This album suggests that the ensemble had lost none of its adventurous spirit, especially in tracks like Princess Blue, which is as daring as any over-hyped contemporary group, especially in its voicings. Ellington often features individual musicians with minimal accompaniments, where many arrangers would submit to the temptation of using the whole band most of the time. For example, Happy Reunion features tenorist Paul Gonsalves backed simply by the rhythm section.

To ensure clear sound quality, many of these tracks were freshly recorded in the studio, with applause tacked on. On this double CD you get both studio and live performances to compare and enjoy. Highlights include Clark Terry’s saucy flugelhorm outing on Juliflip; Sam Woodyard’s drum feature inHi Fi Fo Fum (which borrows some licks from Louie Bellson’s Skin Deep); and Gerry Mulligan’s guest appearance on Prima Para Dubla, his baritone sax duetting with that of Harry Carney.

A memorable segment of the second CD features gospel vocalist Mahalia Jackson, expressively singing Duke’s Come Sunday and the old spiritual Keep Your Hand On The Plow. About a dozen of the tunes on this album were originals – many of them in the blues mode which Ellington varied so well. This fact is reflected in the number of times that the word “blue” occurs in the song titles. Ozzie Bailey sings Multicolored Blue with feeling, and Johnny Hodges supplies a typically soaring alto solo. Princess Blue illustrates how the Ellington band benefited from its roster of star soloists – here Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Britt Woodman and Clark Terry.

The last two tracks on the second CD are bonus studio recordings taped in 1956, that fateful year when the band erupted into a fresh stage in its career. That famous performance of Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue reminded us of what we should never have forgotten: the pre-eminence of Duke’s band in jazz.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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