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Piano In the Foreground

Duke Ellington

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Album Review

This rare trio session by Duke Ellington (on which he is joined by bassist Aaron Bell and drummer Sam Woodyard) was the first of several in the early '60s that featured his piano in a variety of settings. It is particularly interesting hearing Ellington performing some of his rarer compositions such as "Cong-Go," "Fontainebleau Forest," "It's Bad to Be Forgotten," and "A Hundred Dreams Ago." There are also beautiful renditions of three standards, "I Can't Get Started," "Body and Soul," and "Summertime," and a blues ("Blues for Jerry") is performed as well. One wishes that, when playing the Duke Ellington songbook, today's revivalists would bring back some of his true obscurities such as the ones on this somewhat forgotten session. [The 2004 remaster by Sony's Legacy imprint features crisp sound, and also includes an intimate read of Billy Strayhorn's "Lotus Blossom," two takes of "All the Things You Are," and four revealing piano improvisations.]

Customer Reviews

To the Heart

Tranquil and faultless..... you ought to!

Biography

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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