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In Sweden 1973 (Live)

Duke Ellington

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Album Review

The Duke Ellington Orchestra was a shadow of its former greatness near the end of the maestro's life, with many of his earlier stars deceased, retired or missing at times due to ill health. The only veterans in this concert other than Duke are Russell Procope and Harry Carney; though there are flashes of brilliance, the ensembles lack the cohesion of earlier editions of the band. Most notable are the guests, including singer Alice Babs' feature on "Serenade To Sweden," Norris Turney's warm tribute to the late Johnny Hodges, "Checkered Hat," although her valiant scatting can't quite save a rather sloppy performance of "Spacemen," which probably suffered from a lack of rehearsal. A highlight is "There's Something About Me," a ballad Duke wrote with Babs in mind, on which the composer allows guest Nils Lindberg to play piano. Because of the relatively few available recordings of Alice Babs with Duke Ellington, this CD is worth acquiring, otherwise, it isn't an essential CD.

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