Duke Ellington: Black, Brown & Beige
Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Louie Bellson and His All-Star Orchestra & Maurice Press
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Rather than try to recreate Duke Ellington's famous "Black, Brown & Beige," Louie Bellson's big band does a reinterpretation of the 50-minute work on this CD that takes a lot of liberties with the composition. A little more space is allocated to solos, Johnny Hodges's famous "Come Sunday" melody statement is given to Clark Terry, Joe Williams sings "The Blues" and such players as trumpeter Barrie Lee Hall, Art Baron on plunger trombone, pianist Harold Danko and baritonist Joe Temperley are heard from. This version does give some new life to the classic suite. In addition, Bellson's band plays five of the drummer's originals including the boppish "Hawk Talks" and "Skin Deep." The shorter orchestral pieces fit into the general mood of the respectful but fairly creative tribute.
Born: 12 December 1918 in Cordele, GA
Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s