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Duke In Blue

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Album Review

Recorded during Duke Ellington's centennial year, this solo piano date by Ellis Marsalis is a tasteful tribute to Ellington. Marsalis expertly performs 15 songs from Duke's repertoire (including three tunes in a medley), sometimes modernizing the chords but always keeping the melody close by. The problem with the recital from the listener's standpoint is that the results are mostly very predictable and contain no real surprises. Marsalis' theme variations do not wander far from the melody, his treatments are conventional, and most of the songs are familiar warhorses. So although successful as background music or as an introduction to some of Ellington's most popular melodies, jazz listeners wanting more adventure and chance-taking may be a little disappointed by the safeness of it all.

Biography

Born: November 14, 1934 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

It is a bit ironic that Ellis Marsalis had to wait for sons Wynton and Branford to get famous before he was able to record on a regular basis, but Ellis finally received his long-overdue recognition. The father of six sons (including Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo, and Jason), Ellis Marsalis' main importance to jazz may very well be as a jazz educator; his former pupils (in addition to his sons) include Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Harry Connick, Jr., Nicholas Payton, and Kent and Marlon Jordan,...
Full Bio
Duke In Blue, Ellis Marsalis
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Oct 11, 1999

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