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The 1953 Pasadena Concert (Live)

Duke Ellington

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Reseña de álbum

A CD reissue of a March 30, 1953, concert at Pasadena's Civic Auditorium (presented by Crescendo Records founder Gene Norman), this disc captures the pioneering bandleader Duke Ellington toward the start of a career refocusing that would climax in the legendary 1956 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, the performance that forever established Ellington as both the grand old man of jazz and one of the finest composers of his time. This concert features Duke Ellington the composer and bandleader, not Duke Ellington the hit songwriter. (Indeed, the usual "Ellington Medley" sounds particularly rushed and offhand here, running through an astonishing nine songs in under seven minutes, or about 46 seconds per classic, barely enough time for a single chorus of each.) A remarkable version of the tone poem "The Tattooed Bride" starts the program, with Jimmy Hamilton's clarinet sketching the story outlined in Ellington's opening monologue. Ellington addresses the audience frequently during this set, and even delivers a monologue with musical accompaniment, the dryly humorous parable "Pretty and the Wolf." The highlight of the set, as it often was during this era, is the masterful "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue." Paul Gonsalves' "wailing interval" is considerably shorter than it is on the Live at Newport album, only a couple of choruses, but it's as exciting and passionate as the more famous extended solo. The sound of the disc is particularly good, with a live atmosphere and a full but not distracting sense of audience presence.


Nacido(a): 29 de abril de 1899 en Washington D.C.

Género: Jazz

Años de actividad: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. The two aspects of his career were related; Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his writing specifically to showcase the talents of his bandmembers, many of whom remained with him for long periods. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works...
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