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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
Duke Ellington surprised the jazz world in 1962 with his historic trio session featuring Charles Mingus and Max Roach. Not in a mood to simply rework older compositions, the bulk of the LP focused on music he wrote specifically for the session. "Money Jungle" is a thunderous opener, a blues that might be classified somewhere between post-bop and avant-garde. The gem of the date is the fragile, somewhat haunting ballad "Fleurette Africaine," where Mingus' floating bassline and Roach's understated drumming add to the mystique of an Ellington work that has slowly been gathering steam among jazz musicians as a piece worth exploring more often. "Very Special" is a jaunty upbeat blues, while the angular, descending line of "Wig Wise" also proves to be quite catchy. Ellington also revisits "Warm Valley" (a lovely ballad indelibly associated with Johnny Hodges) and an almost meditative "Solitude." Thunderous percussion and wild basslines complement a wilder-than-usual approach to "Caravan." Every jazz fan should own a copy of this sensational recording session. ~ Ken Dryden
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Verve Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released February 10, 2017 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Verve Records

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Jazz - Released July 6, 1987 | Columbia Jazz Masterpieces

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
This most unusual Duke Ellington record includes two selections featuring nine symphonic percussionists on timpani, vibes, marimbas, and xylophones. Dizzy Gillespie makes a historic appearance with Ellington's orchestra on "U.M.M.G." (a meeting that should have been repeated often but sadly never was), Jimmy Rushing (Count Basie's former vocalist) sings "Hello Little Girl," and both Johnny Hodges ("All of Me") and Paul Gonsalves ("Ready Go!") have chances to blow. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released April 1, 2003 | RCA Bluebird

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released July 27, 2004 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released March 22, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
At the time of its release this was a true rarity, a full album of Duke Ellington featured with a trio sans his orchestra. Although his talents at the piano sometimes have been overshadowed by his many accomplishments as a composer, arranger, and bandleader, Ellington was actually one of the very few stride pianists (along with Mary Lou Williams) to effectively make the transition into more modern styles of jazz without losing his own musical personality; in fact Duke was an early influence on both Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor. Throughout this CD (which contains one previously unissued track), Ellington sounds modern (especially rhythmically and in his chord voicings) and shows that he could have made a viable career out of just being a pianist. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released August 15, 1987 | Rhino - Elektra

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
This late-period Duke Ellington album is perhaps most notable for including altoist Johnny Hodges' final recordings. In fact, Hodges was supposed to record his first soprano solo in nearly 30 years on "Portrait of Sidney Bechet," but he passed away before the second session. The set consists of the five-song "New Orleans Suite" plus tributes to Wellman Braud, Bechet (tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves took Hodges' place as its soloist), Louis Armstrong (a feature for trumpeter Cootie Williams), and Mahalia Jackson. Interesting if not essential music with a few memorable themes being the main reason to acquire this release. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Verve Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1977 | Concord Records, Inc.

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This Pablo set has odds and ends taken from nine different recording/rehearsal sessions that find Ellington experimenting a bit with instrumentation and personnel, even taking a vocal on the tongue-in-cheek "Moon Maiden." Performances range from a couple of vigorous trio workouts and spots for Wild Bill Davis's organ to a few big-band performances. Even this late in his life, Duke Ellington had a great deal to say musically and his band continued to rank near the top. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
One of the undeniable highlights of President Richard Nixon's administration was the 1969 White House gala celebrating Duke Ellington's 70th birthday, though jazz fans waited 33 years for their release. The all-star band includes trumpeters Clark Terry and Bill Berry, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, guitarist Jim Hall, trombonists J.J. Johnson and Urbie Green, pianist Hank Jones, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Louis Bellson. There are three medleys of Ellington hits, with a new soloist for each song, since each of the brass and reed players is individually featured with the rhythm section. The first medley showcases Desmond's whisper-soft solo in "Chelsea Bridge," Mulligan's lyrical take of "Sophisticated Lady," and the sauntering feature for the trumpeters of "Just Squeeze Me," which is wrapped by an extended workout of "In a Mellotone" that spotlights just about everyone. The lush miniature of "In a Sentimental Mood" makes one wish that Hall and Hinton had recorded additional duets together, while Mulligan's somewhat wild arrangement of "Prelude to a Kiss" may have caused Ellington to lift an eyebrow. Billy Taylor takes over at the piano for a brief trio medley, while liner-note writer Doug Ramsey, who was present for the affair, mentions that the maestro sat bolt upright when he heard Desmond's flawless impression of Johnny Hodges during "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," which also has enjoyable solos by Mulligan and Dave Brubeck. Earl Hines' rollicking interpretation of "Perdido" is a crowd-pleaser. Singer Virginia Mayo's selections are easily eclipsed by the better-known Joe Williams, especially his emotional delivery of "Heritage." Ellington himself finally takes over the piano for "Pat," a lovely (and likely improvised) ballad dedicated to Mrs. Nixon. This wonderful tribute to Duke Ellington is highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden
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Jazz - Released July 27, 2004 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1977 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Concord Records, Inc.

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
"In the Uncommon Market," of course, refers to Europe, where Norman Granz caught the Ellington band numerous times with his tape machines in the 1960s. But it could also refer to the unusual repertoire featured on this collection, with only one standard, "In a Sentimental Mood," in a shelfful of out of the way Ellingtonia. These tracks, of indeterminate date, come from Ellington band concerts in Stockholm, Sweden, and Pastacitta, Italy, supplemented by some rare trio selections recorded in a museum in St. Paul-de-Vence, France, for a short film on Duke and the painter Joan Miró. The famous reed players are out in full cry; clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton thrives over the cool vamp of "Silk Lace," Johnny Hodges croons and sighs as only Johnny Hodges could in the lovely Shakespearian ballad "Star-Crossed Lovers," and Paul Gonsalves applies his oddly, singularly diffident tone to "E.S.P." A fascinating Afro-Cuban tango (to coin a hybrid), "Guitar Amour," puts a cap on the band portion of the disc, with Ray Nance playing the violin solos. Then the Ellington trio steps in with two takes of "The Shepherd," where the Duke's vocal obbligato can be overheard and the performances are so slyly swinging that you don't mind hearing it twice. And as Ellington unwinds and relaxes on the third and last trio swinger, "Kinda Dukish," you kinda wish that Granz had recorded an entire album of them. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
This double CD reissues a Solid State double LP that ranks as one of Duke Ellington's finest recordings of his final decade. The live performance gives listeners a good idea as to just how Duke's ensemble sounded in concert, and it serves as both a retrospective and a display of the strengths of Ellington's mighty band. Among the many highlights are definitive renditions of "Rockin' in Rhythm" and "Take the 'A' Train" (the latter has some wonderful Cootie Williams trumpet), a few features for altoist Johnny Hodges, a tenor battle on "In Triplicate," a few guest spots for organist Wild Bill Davis, and a 16-and-a-half-minute, nine-song medley that really works well. The most memorable chorus of all is an incredible high-note display by Cat Anderson on "Satin Doll" that is arguably his most miraculous solo ever; each note he hits is virtually impossible to play on the trumpet, and is in tune, too. This gem is essential for all serious jazz collections. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1984 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1977 | Concord Records, Inc.

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
$25.49

Jazz - Released January 1, 1977 | Concord Records, Inc.

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard