||[Sep. 27th, 2006|07:26 pm]
The Furry Jazz Community
|||||Duke Ellington, Ellington at Newport 1956 CD||]|
To me, Duke Ellington is the epitome of great jazz. He was perhaps the most important figure to emerge from the U.S. jazz scene in the 20th century. I personally consider him to be the greatest jazz musician of all time. He gave us memorable tunes such as "Black and Tan Fantasy," "Mood Indigo," "Sophisticated Lady," "Take the A Train," many jazz suites, and memorable musicians who played with him.
When I think of Duke Ellington, two things always seem to come to mind. First, the period between 1940-42, when he and his band were at their creative peak, when they had performers like bassist Jimmy Blanton, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges, trumpeters Cootie Williams and Ray Nance, trombonists Lawrence Brown and Juan Tizol, drummer Sonny Greer, and arranger Billy Strayhorn. The second is the 1956 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, which was highlighted by Paul Gonsalves' 27 chorus solo on "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue," which nearly set off a riot!
Anyway, who all likes Duke Ellington (besides me)?