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Customer Reviews

Want to relieve stress?

I am a casual Jazz fan who owns a few classic Duke Ellington albums. No this album is not ground breaking by any stretch but it is very enjoyable and very easy on the ears. This album is so laid back and easy to listen to, anytime I am anxious or stessing out I put on the noise canceling headphones and lay back in my easy chair and enjoy. Calms me down everytime. The songs featured here are classic blues songs... some of which are W.C. Handy sandards that date back to the very early 20th century. This album is one of the many Duke Ellington small group albums Duke participated in in the late 50s thru the early 60s. The fact that it is a small group makes it more easy to listen to since there aren't a bunch of soloists fighting for attention. One thing that really makes this album special is Johnny Hodges alto sax. I have always enjoyed his style of playing and he is of course very prominant on every track. So if you are a casual fan of Jazz and want something to relax to or play in the background in the evening this album IS for you. If you enjoy this album also get the companion album "Side by Side". Many of the tracks from that album were recorded during the same session. If you are a jazz fan who is looking for something ground breaking or something that on every listen you discover something new this is not for you.

Great music!

Sweet, inventive, always melodic. Great sax and brilliant arrangements played superbly. Wonderful recording quality. Did you expect anything else from these guys?


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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