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Jazz Icons: Duke Ellington Live in '58 (2007)

Johnny Hodges , Clark Terry  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Jazz Icons: Duke Ellington Live in '58 + Jazz Icons: Ella Fitzgerald Live in '57 and '63 + Jazz Icons: Sarah Vaughan Live in '58 & '64
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Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Hodges, Clark Terry, Duke Ellington, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves
  • Format: Best of, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Jazz Icons
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,953 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jazz Icons: Duke Ellington features the earliest-known filmed full-length concert by one of the 20th Century's greatest songwriters and bandleaders. Filmed at Amsterdam's famed Concertgebouw, this 80-minute concert features the 16-piece Duke Ellington Orchestra two years after their stunning performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival,which Duke considered his second birth. This epic performance includes legendary players Clark Terry, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves, Quentin Jackson and Ray Nance performing some of the most beloved American music ever written.


"Jazz Icons is doing for jazz what the Criterion Collection has done for classic and important films". -- Jazz Times

Jazz Icons represents the new millennium's most welcome shot in the arm for the music's soul --, October 14, 2007, Gene Seymour

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Duke concert dvd ever!! September 13, 2007
By BevRich
This is possibly the best Duke Ellington's Orchestra concert on DVD (and I buy every Duke dvd I see) Paul Gonsalve's performance on "Diminuendo In Blue & Crescendo In Blue" is worth the price of the DVD alone. Not only is he playing his heart out, the rest of the band is obviously enjoying it. Other great solo performances includes Johnny Hodges's "All of Me" and "Things Ain't What They Used To Be", Shorty Baker and Ray Nance on "Mr. Gentle & Mr. Cool" & Sam Woodyard's "Hi Fi Fo-Fum". I can go on and on just describing how wonderful this concert is.

I highly recommend this one!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nearly complete concert by an all-star band February 23, 2008
The Jazz Icons series released 16 videos through 2007, each featuring a different jazz artist. This is the fifth one that I've acquired, and so far they've all been great. Somebody should give these people an award for their efforts to preserve American culture by searching international video archives.
Video quality is unavoidably limited by what's found in those archives, in this case a November 1958 concert in Amsterdam that was recorded for TV broadcast. The black & white video is very grainy and lacks adequate contrast in some scenes. The audio is mono, but the sound quality excellent - clear and well balanced.
The show starts out slow and mellow, but the energy level picks up when they get to "Rockin' in Rhythm." The program includes several well-known Ellington standards, such as "Black and Tan Fantasy," "Creole Love Call," "Sophisticated Lady" (featuring, of course, the baritone sax of Harry Carney), "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" (as a vehicle for alto sax star Johnny Hodges), "Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue" (with tenor man Paul Gonsalves recreating the excitement of the classic Newport 1956 recording), and a 10-song Ellington medley. Noticeably absent is "Take the A Train."
A couple of my favorite moments: a young but already accomplished Clark Terry featured on trumpet in "Harlem Air Shaft" and a stoic but musically expressive Johnny Hodges working his magic on "All of Me." Also enjoyable are the finishing touches that Cat Anderson adds to some of the arrangements as he ventures into a frequency range that the trumpet was never intended to reach.
The package includes an informative 24-page booklet offering a detailed history of this concert tour and other interesting anecdotes about Ellington and his sidemen.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not 5 Stars only because of picture quality* February 4, 2008
By bluejim
As one of my friends says; "I love Ellington more than life itself". I never got to see the Ellington Orchestra in person so it's mighty thrilling to watch this. My only complaint is that the technological limits of the time meant that black folk's images didn't translate well to video. The members of the band with the darkest skin look like black blobs without facial expressions some of the time. Even so, I highly recommend this disc. Just to see Duke leading his men and exclaiming "Johnny Hodges!" in his inimitable way...spine tingling.
*UPDATE 5/7/13: Revisited this disc using a Pano Blu-ray player and an HD Flatscreen. Much better picture definition. So if you're an Ellington fan, run don't walk ...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great Amsterdam concert September 25, 2008
This DVD is almost too amazing to be able to speak about coherently. This is the great Ellington band that is not given nearly enough credit for being, at least potentially, the equal of the 1940 - 43 band. And to SEE it in all of its roaring and purring glory is almost too emotionally draining an experience. Where to begin? This was the last time that all 4 sections of the band were equally great, but you've really got to take your mind off the soloists for a minute and pay attention to that incredible trombone section - the second and last time that Duke had one of this caliber. And Jimmy Woode on bass is a really unsung hero - he has the best hookup that any Ellington bassist had with drummer Sam Woodyard. Of course the reed section is more than legendary. The trumpets are perfect, but they don't have any particular standout moments as a section here - although each of them plays magnificently in their solo spots (Baker in Mr. Gentle, Anderson in Dim. and Cresc., Terry - wonderful! - in Harlem Air Shaft. And Nance all over the place). I'm not a real fan of the medley of hits, but even it is full of high points. Best things? Harlem Airshaft, the opening '20's medley, Rockin' In Rhythm,Dim. and Cresc. (although it's played a little too fast), the Hodges features. Most unsung great playing? Trombonist Quentin Jackson, every time he's heard. Low points? None, really. The drum feature (Hi Fi Fo Fum) is just what it is; I tuned out a bit, but Ellington concerts were pretty democratic - something for everyone. If I would be SUPER hyper-critical, I might say that some of the more "concert - y" moments - odd rubatos and ritards - are not my favorite developments in the Ellington musical language. Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jazz icons duke ellington live in 58 January 14, 2008
By John T
Duke Ellington: piano, Jimmy Woode: bass, Sam Woodyard: drums
Johnny Hodges: alto sax
Russell Procope: alto sax, clarinet
Paul Gonsalves: tenor sax
Jimmy Hamilton: tenor sax, clarinet
Harry Carney: baritone sax, bass clarinet
Clark Terry, Shorty Baker, and Cat Anderson: trumpet
Ray Nance: trumpet, violin
Quentin Jackson and Britt Woodman: trombone
John Sanders: valve trombone
Ozzie Bailey: vocal.
With good sound, good black and white images, and expert camera work this DVD re creates the experience of being at the concert even down to ligering at the end to watch the musicians pack up and leave.
The entire concert isn't there but there's plenty that is and, as you'd expect, it's great stuff.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great listening for all jazz lovers
it was so good hearing live music with professional muscians,especially the drum set.all of them were exceptional as far as I'm concerned. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Jazz Icons
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth getting
'Live In '58' is a fascinating historical document, capturing a very good performance by the Ellington Orchestra. Read more
Published on October 6, 2011 by Udeen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sound
Despite the very low prices there is nothing wrong with the sound quality. You might not agree with everything the band does but it's typical Ellingtonia except for the My Funny... Read more
Published on September 26, 2011 by John M.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must See for Duke Fans
Duke Ellington: Live in '58, part of the Jazz Icons video series, shows the Ellington band at the top of its game. Read more
Published on March 13, 2010 by jwander1
2.0 out of 5 stars Is it just my disc? Sound quality is poor.
Of all the Icon series discs, the Duke's disc audio was not a pleasure to hear.
Published on February 21, 2009 by jeffreycc
5.0 out of 5 stars oh wow, quadrupled
I am about to buy this from Amazon, so this review is based on a Netflix rental. I have been renting jazz DVDs from Netflix for a good while now, and a lot are spotty, either... Read more
Published on September 21, 2008 by Sally Draper
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine classic performance captured
At aged 15 I asked my cousin, who had similar musical tastes to myself both classical and jazz but who had served in WW11 as an airman and travelled the world, "Tell me your... Read more
Published on November 28, 2007 by Ian Muldoon
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream Come True
To have a complete concert of Duke Ellington when the band was still at the height of its powers is a dream come true. Read more
Published on October 5, 2007 by Robert Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars A High Point in Western Civilization
My title says it all. This video, beautifully rendered from a 1958 performance is stunning. The sound is excellent. Read more
Published on September 23, 2007 by Harvey Schoonover
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