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The Popular Duke Ellington

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Album Review

This CD reissue from 1997 features the Duke Ellington Orchestra running through 11 of the leader's hits and a lesser-known blues tune, "The Twitch." The 1966 version of his big band still had all of its main stars, including such major voices as trumpeters Cootie Williams and Cat Anderson, trombonists Lawrence Brown and Buster Cooper, altoist Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves on tenor, and clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton. All are featured on The Popular Duke Ellington. Since the material is all very familiar, and mostly quite concise (nothing over six minutes long, and a version of "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me" that is under two minutes), few surprises occur. But Ellington fans will enjoy this well-played effort. [This version of the album includes bonus material.]

Biography

Born: 29 April 1899 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '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...
Full bio