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Solos, Duets, & Trios

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Album Review

This CD puts the focus on Duke Ellington the piano player, featuring the genius in several different settings. He is heard playing two duets with Billy Strayhorn, taking rare piano solos in 1932, 1941 and 1967, meeting up with Earl Hines in 1965 and leading a trio in 1945. However the real reason to acquire this set are the four duets (plus five alternate takes) with Jimmy Blanton, the first important bass soloist in jazz history. From 1940, those recordings find Blanton sounding like the Charles Mingus of 20 years later and Ellington unselfishly but masterfully playing the role of an accompanist.


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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