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Live at the Blue Note Live

12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, May 31, 1994
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$15.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock. Sold by newbury_comics and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Live at the Blue Note + Ellington At Newport 1956 + Blues in Orbit
Price for all three: $36.97

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 31, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B000005GX4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,657 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Lachance on September 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I honestly have to say that 'Newport '56 [Complete]', 'The Great Summit' (Armstrong/Ellington) and 'Live at the Blue Note' rank among my top three favorite Ellington Releases.
I ran across this double CD set while drudging through page after page of Ellingtonia here on Amazon. I figured it looked like a good bet. I WAS MORE THAN RIGHT. This recording captures Ellington and band in the famous Blue Note club in Chicago, in a 3-set gig (6pm, 10pm and Midnight) on August 9, 1959. Ive never heard Duke so intimate and personable with his audience. In this case a club setting with perhaps just a few hundred patrons. The band is at their prime, still spinning from the riotous Newport concerts of recent. Duke invites Billy Strayhorn to join him at the piano on several tunes, and later on in the evening, a few numbers into the final set, Duke welcomes June Christy and Stan Kenton who are among the patronage.
This CD contains the complete recorded show, albeit with a few omissions as there were a small number of tunes which were not captured that evening. This is one of the most enjoyable listens i have had in quite sometime. The audio is very good quality HiFi stereo taken from a 3-track master. Total running time is about 135 minutes (2 CD's)
With the enormous stockpile of great Ellington material and recordings out there, it is quite an accomplishment to have a "gig" such as this stand so clearly above much of that stockpile.
This *IS* one of the best. The Blue Note existed in chicago until 1960, when the be-bop and rock craze forced the owners to close the doors for good. Wouldnt it be great to live to see Jazz come back and give us nights like this again?
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Zabriskie on March 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I've always had a fondness for live Ellington recordings. Duke's interplay with the audience between numbers allows some of his personality to intrude on the proceedings, and, as everybody knows by now, Duke Ellington was one of the smoothest charmers to ever wear a pair of socks! Duke is in particularly good form here, even if he gets so carried away with his own blarney that at one point he actually blows an introduction.

Let's clear up an error right away. These sessions originate from 1958, not 1952 as stated in the heading. You can tell by the guys in the band (Sam Woodyard, for example, did not join Duke until 1955, and there was no PLAYBOY magazine, let alone a jazz festival sponsored by it, in 1952.). As for the music...

Billy Strayhorn does an infrequent star-turn, opening up with some very tasty piano chorouses on "Take the A Train." Johnny Hodges is a salty, sexy gas on "Flirtibird." "Mood Indigo" is a standout, with marvelous solos from Russell Procope, Shorty Baker, and an astounding piano solo by Duke which starts out on the 2nd degree of the key he's in and modulates, modulates, modulates for 3 chorouses, until landing right on the dominant in the turnaround of the 3rd chorous. Quips Duke to the audience: "I've been waiting all night to do that!" "Satin Doll" gets a similar treatment from Duke, with him calling out chords to the bass player so he doesn't get lost (!!!).

"A Disarming Visit by June Christy and Stan Kenton" is Dukish verbal interplay at its most extremely elegant.

Like most of Duke's dates in the 50's, the newer material comes off better than the stuff from the 40's, like "C-Jam Blues" and "In a Mellotone," which are no better than perfunctory.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By fluffy, the human being. on March 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
one the best things about digging into duke ellington's discography is that it is soooo vast. so many recordings on the market! what a feast for the ears awaits one when they enter ellington's world of jazz. personally, i have around forty ellington discs, and not a one do i regret owning. some of his recordings, like: "early ellington," "okeh ellington," "the blanton-webster years," the 1943 "carnegie hall concerts," "black, brown, and beige," "ellington at newport," and "the far east suite" are no-brainers. once you start investigating jazz, these are the ones that you hear about as essential. you can't really miss out on them, if you make any effort to read up on the music. but, because there are so many, some fine ellington albums can fall through the cracks. many great ones you shouldn't miss, but could. the 1959 release "live at the blue note" is one of those. an excellent recording of many ellington favorites played live with an exciting and fresh feel about them. johnny hodges alto sax playing is particularly wonderful here. this is a set of big band magic not to be missed. an underappreciated work in ellington's discography, if you ask me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Joe Zawinul's / Manhattan Transfer's "Birdland" has lyrics about walking down the stairs of that legendary "hole." It's a shame no one penned a similar song about walking up the stairs of the lofty (in more than one sense of the word) Blue Note in Chicago. Thankfully, EMI Records (one of the big 4, a company including Capitol and Blue Note), has set out to preserve this night as it went down--all 3 sets--and it's a remarkable document of Ellington as well as of on-location recording as it can, and should, be done. (Often, the professional engineers mic everyone so closely than the "live" performance is indistinguishable from the polished studio version.)

I caught Duke Ellington whenever he was within driving or, before I'd passed a driver's license test, rail distance, and I stopped at the Blue Note (which had an "under-age bull-pen") every time I went through Chicago on my way home from Rock Island, Illinois for a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Spring Break. This recording brings together the best of both worlds from my personal past. The liner notes indicate that Frank Holzfiend's Blue Note was Duke's favorite club--"The Metropolitan Opera House of Jazz," he called it--and its owner was clearly beloved by all musicians who played there.

The band is on fire during its sets on this particular night, perhaps extra motivated by the SRO crowd, including musical giants such as Stan Kenton and June Christy. I don't recall being there the night of this recording, but I do remember this particular stand, which is when Duke had two drummers in the band, Sam Woodyard and Jimmy Johnson. (When Elvin Jones left Coltrane in 1965, he flew to Europe to join the Ellington band, but left band just as quickly.
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