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Ella At Duke's Place

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Album Review

Ella Fitzgerald's second studio session with Duke Ellington followed her first (Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book) by eight years. The underrated set begins quietly with four emotional ballads (who else could hold their own with Johnny Hodges on "Passion Flower?") before Fitzgerald gets to scat a bit on the closing vamp of "Azure," comes up with fresh ideas on "Duke's Place," and closes the show by scatting up a storm on "Cotton Tail." The band makes its presence known in the ensembles, some solos by tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves, altoist Hodges and trumpeter Cootie Williams (whose opening spot on "Duke's Place" is quite jubilant), and the high-note trumpet of Cat Anderson. Ella Fitzgerald is heard in peak form throughout this date. Recommended.

Customer Reviews

One of the Best

Never did the stars aline so bright. This is one of the best albums I own.


Born: April 29, 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...
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