Money Jungle

July 16, 2002 | Format: MP3

Song Title
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: July 3, 2002
  • Release Date: July 16, 2002
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • Copyright: Blue Note (R) is a registered trademark of Capitol Records, Inc. (C) 2002 Capitol Records, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:07:59
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,519 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

All I can say is- wow!
Michael J. Edelman
These are considered the very best of musicians in their field recognized both jazz and classical aficionados.
David R. Russell
The sound quality on this recording is very very good.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 183 people found the following review helpful By Sanson Corrasco on 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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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on 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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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Fineberg on 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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