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Money Jungle [180 Gram Vinyl]

Duke EllingtonVinyl
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (December 6, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 1962
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Heavenly Sweetness Records
  • ASIN: B005XQ90GQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,968 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Money Jungle
2. Le Fleur Africaines
3. Very Special
4. Warm Valley
5. Wig Wise
6. Caravan
7. Solitude

Editorial Reviews

180 gram vinyl repressing of this 1963 album from the Jazz legend. Rarely are such ''meeting of the minds'' sessions worth any fuss at all, but in this case, the masterful talents of the players turn what should be a snoozy ''common denominator'' session into a modernist classic that still crackles with excitement after all these years! The real success factor here is Ellington, who was hitting a point in his career when he was really beginning to experiment again - as you'll hear in the beautifully angular piano lines that he lays next to Mingus' bass and Roach's lively drums. The set consists mostly of originals, and titles include Money Jungle, Le Fleurs Africaines, and Wig Wise.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
165 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Savage Breast Soothed, But Not Tamed April 2, 2003
Format:Audio CD
The Duke is the king. He was huge. Too much recent writing bogs down in arguments whether Strayhorn got enough credit, whether Hodges or Nanton or Williams were showcased properly. These writers, came to the banquet late, and are squabbling over table scraps. Ellington dominated the jazz world from the mid-1920s until he died in 1974. Ellington was the vanguard. This CD is one to prove it.
The year is 1962. Big bands are dinosaurs. Ellington's orchestra still performs, but dance hall venues of the 30s and 40s went out with the war. He's been doing studio work, some with the band, some with smaller ensembles. Everyone wants to record with the Duke. This time out he's with the angriest man in jazz, Charlie Mingus, the Black Saint himself. How did they do? Unbelievable.
Here's Duke, elegant, sophisticated, and smooth. He plays piano in the parlor. Probably in the Hamptons. Max Roach accompanies discreetly with brushes and cymbals. You can almost hear the whispers of liveried waiters circulating with champagne and canapés. But beneath this frothy party, up through the floorboards, comes a rumbling, and a thumping. Not a guest at the party, what you hear is an unpresentable, dangerous member of the family. Locked away for the night, he's Charlie Mingus, the beast in the basement, down there, pounding away at the foundations.
Max reacts. Brushes, cymbals and the quiet pretense of elegance, give way to sticks and traps and a harder edge- "Duke," he says, "Duke, you hear that?" The Duke doesn't answer right away. It's like maybe he didn't hear it, but then, when he answers, he answers with a discord. "Is that what you mean?" Another discord, "You mean that?" "Yeah, Duke, that's it. That's what I mean."
Bit by bit Duke and Max pick up Charlie's themes.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential. August 17, 2005
Format:Audio CD
You know, there are some albums that you pretty much think have to be good, and you have these enormously high expectations for them. And more often than not, they don't quite live up to them.

"Money Jungle" is one of the exceptions to that rule. A dream meeting-- bandleader Duke Ellington sits at the piano, generously supported by his compositional heir in bassist Charles Mingus and sublime bop drummer Max Roach. With this backing, Ellington is inspired in a far more assertive light than he is usually found as Mingus and Roach push him along. Mingus is downright aggressive and perhaps even angry throughout the proceedings-- check his playing "Money Jungle", where he occasioanlly switches from his swing to an aggressive repetitive figure, as if daring his collaborators to drift outside of the swing (they don't), or his fierceness on "Wig Wise" in sharp contrast to Ellington's light and bouncey touch. Somehow, Roach, often considered the most lyrical of drummers, finds a way to negotiate through this and keep the tension between Ellington and Mingus to a boil.

The entire record is pretty much a highlight-- from the fluttering bass of "Fleurette Africaine" (echoed by Ellington and Roach) to Ellington's beautiful revisitation of "Solitude" (in my favorite reading of the piece) to the straight blues of "REM Blues", there's not a bad cut on here, although I suspect anybody deeply rooted in the swing tradition will find the playing a bit out of character, and certainly Ellington is inspired into a different light by his younger protegees.

Nonetheless, as far as jazz records go, this one is pretty much indispensible. Highly recommended.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A musical fistfight! November 19, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the truly great albums, an album that epitomizes the great preoccupations of jazz--the breaking down and building back up, the fighting between the old and new schools. It is also more evidence of the Duke's continued reign as undisputed champ of music in America; he was willing to do anything, go anywhere. And so he followed Mingus and Max Roach into their world, and what may have turned into a sort of gang initiation for any other musician becomes an all-out musical brawl, a record that is hard-driving and forceful and unpolished but still beautiful. It's not surprising that Mingus, in the presence of Ellington, plays as well as he ever has. No matter how far Mingus reached, no matter how experimental he got, he came from Duke, and worshipped Duke (even though he was the only man Duke had ever fired), and this anxiety is palpable all through this record. And Duke? What can one say... In addition to being a wonderful soul, he was a very smart man, and knew quite well that he was not Bud Powell or Oscar Peterson, and he doesn't try to be, he doesn't need to be. He didn't sign up with Mingus and Roach for a gag, to dip his toes cautiously and quickly into the bebop waters. He wanted--like all great artists--to challenge and to be challenged. So it is not terribly surprising that he sounds at times like Thelonious (another who was deeply touched by Duke)--angular, sparse, very rhythmic. This is above all else a confrontation of styles and ideas and personalities. It is musical interplay at its most complex because it plays off of what we know and what we expect from these musicians, reaching and eventually exceeding those expectations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The genius of the Duke
This album showcases Ellington's virtuosity as well as the huge talents of Roach and Mingus. If you like either swing or bebop, you'll find stuff to enjoy in these songs.
Published 1 month ago by F. C. Ourt
5.0 out of 5 stars the mother****erest jazz album ever
Duke Ellington is not the polite dinner guest a lot of reviewers make him out to be here; Mingus and Roach don't miss the opportunity to challenge him, as if saying "this is what... Read more
Published 4 months ago by A Dinosaur-Shaped Car
5.0 out of 5 stars A cult recording!
The presence on the same stage of recordings of these monsters makes of this album a referential item. The elegance of Duke and the spell of Mingus will reward you over and over. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare and brillant collaboration by three jazz giants.
Mingus pushes Ellington into some unusual improvisations. All compositions are by the Duke but have the drive and energy that Roach and Mingus brought to mid century modern jazz.
Published 9 months ago by John W. Empfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Satisfying Late Ellington
On this CD Ellington teams up with Charles Mingus, which already makes it pretty much worth the price. Read more
Published 13 months ago by RealityWizard
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars music but this is Not the original Money Jungle
I rated this 5 stars for the music but Amazons listing here indicates that this is Not the original edition of Money Jungle but has additional and alternate tracks. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr. Bass
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST OF THE BEST
Probably the very best progressive jazz recording I have ever heard. These are considered the very best of musicians in their field recognized both jazz and classical aficionados.
Published 16 months ago by David R. Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Masters
Excellent piece by three great players.
Roach, Mingus and Ellington are superb on this recording. Their playing is brilliant and the CD quality is very good. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Rincon
5.0 out of 5 stars ¡Grande Duke!
Esta grabación reúne a dos grandes del jazz. Se trata de una obra musical pensada como un concierto con varios movimientos. Los sonidos son realmente fascinantes.
Published 19 months ago by aro
4.0 out of 5 stars The Money Jungle Issue
4. Duke Ellington
(from Money Jungle, United Artists).
Ellington, piano; Charlie Mingus, bass; Max Roach, drums.
What am I supposed to say to that? Read more
Published 20 months ago by jive rhapsodist
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