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Recollections

Duke EllingtonAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 23 Songs, 2009 $12.49  
Audio CD, 1990 --  
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002JJV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,831 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Minnie The Moocher
2. For Dancers Only
3. It's A Lonesome Old Town When You're Not Around
4. Cherokee
5. The Midnight Sun Will Never Set
6. Let's Get Together
7. I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You
8. Chant Of The Weed
9. Ciribiribin
10. Contrasts
11. Christopher Columbus
12. Auld Lang Syne
13. Tuxedo Junction
14. Smoke Rings
15. Artistry In Rhythm
16. The Waltz You Saved For Me
17. Woodchopper's Ball
18. Sentimental Journey
19. When It's Sleepy Time Down South
20. One O'Clock Jump
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(4)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELLINGTON'S UNFORGETTABLE November 22, 2002
Format:Audio CD
You likely won't believe I bought this CD - the equivalent of a double-album set - essentially for one cut. It's true, though - it was that leap of faith, that willing chance that you take at the prospect of reconnecting with a long lost but unforgotten love. And, for my money, it proved more than worth it.
The first thing that marks this CD as special, something different - look closely! - is that none of the tunes is "Ellington music." You'll notice familiar titles, yes ("Tuxedo Junction," "Ciribiribin," "Sentimental Journey," "Auld Lang Syne"), but none of these has ever been associated with the Ellington band. And that's the key to, and point of, this monumental set.
Superbly remastered from a handful of 1961-62 recording sessions (originally issued as two separate albums), RECOLLECTIONS OF THE BIG BAND ERA is a wonderfully evocative, dazzlingly executed homage to musical styles and giants of that decades-long time when dance bands ruled American pop culture. But, because this is Ellington, there's always something more - something classy, something creative, something challenging, and all issuing out of mutual love and respect. It's not ephemeral as the sound of one hand clapping, but there is a certain sly edge here of a one-sided cutting contest.
In his autobiography, GOOD MORNING, BLUES, Count Basie, another estimable big band leader himself, makes some half dozen awed references to Duke Ellington and his orchestra. ("The maestro ... Duke was the boss as long as he lived ... Ellington played a different kind of music, a special kind of music ... He played music that you could always listen to ...") And he notes that because Duke's band was so tight, swung so deceptively smooth, rival bandleaders might sometimes take restraint for sloth.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world's greatest band salutes its colleagues !!! November 17, 2002
Format:Audio CD
My,my,my!!! Looks like big bands are here again !!! These extraordinary sessions were recorded between 1962 and 1963 by Duke and his band,and they salute 23 different big bands.Duke's orchestra is driven by the extraordinary drumming of Sam Woodyard (1925-1988),who was simply one of the greatest drummers in the history of jazz.As a big band drummer,Sam was simply as great as Jo Jones.And even if I was lucky enough to become a friend of Sam,in the last years of his life,when he was in Paris,I'm still amazed by the way he drives the band.How could such a small,even fragile man,play with such strength ,how could he make the band swing with such an authority ??? If you want to know what I mean,just listen to "One o'clock jump",and you'll discover some of the most incredible drumming of all times.
As I said before,each tune of this CD is dedicated to a specific band."Minnie the moocher",of course,is dedicated to Cab Calloway;"Tuxedo junction",to Erskine Hawkins;"One o'clock",to Basie;"Christopher Columbus" to Fletcher Henderson;"For dancers only",to Jimmie Lunceford....I think it's the only record made by Duke,in which he doesn't play one of his tunes.Of course,the band is here,with all of its stars: Cat Anderson,Cootie Williams,Ray Nance,Lawrence Brown,Russell Procope,Johnny Hodges,Paul Gonsalves,Harry Carney,Jimmy Hamilton.And even if the repertoire is astonishing,the result is perfect.Johnny Hodges' solo on "Goodbye" is another incredible marvel by this genius ."One o'clock jump" is one of the best versions ever recorded;etc,etc.The most interesting here is to discover Duke's band playing an unusual repertoire,which celebrates confreres by long forgotten,like the Casa Loma Orchestra,Charlie Barnet or Les Brown.All the tunes were arranged by Duke,except five,arranged by Strayhorn,Sy Oliver,Eddie Barefield or Dick Vance.A very atypical record in Duke's career,and surely an essential one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellington at Top Form March 2, 2006
Format:Audio CD
In the vast body of music left behind by the late great Duke, there are highs and lows, indeed mountains and -- if never quite deserts -- some rather vast, dry spots. This is one of the high peaks --helped by the majestic late life view of a master looking back, and a big heart.

The Duke here plays the "signature songs" of all of the era's major big bands with verve and drive as if they were his own, as if he were still 40 and in hot contention to earn his place. Yet with a mellow golden edge and the patina of age. Further, as a late recording, it has the advantage of full stereo sound, very clean but also warm. Indeed, thankfully, the Duke laid these tracks down before the frigid promises of the All Digital World took over -- like few other recordings, this album will reveal what has been lost in that particular revolution, whatever the many gains.

For anyone who loves either jazz or American music, this is an essential part of your collection. Nobody did it better, and nobody else now will.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh come on, folks! November 6, 2010
Format:Audio CD
It's a nice enough record, and a bargain at two LPs plus, but to a tin-eared amateur like me it was a disappointment. Primarily that's because of Sam Woodyard, who with few exceptions plays his routine heavy two-beat bash throughout. With a drummer who actually listened, like the much-maligned Sonny Greer or Louis Bellson, the band might have loosened up.

My impression is that Duke was playing out the string on his Reprise contract when he cut these, and he seems tired. There are high spots--he didn't take well to Stan Kenton's "progressive" claims, and Strayhorn's "Artistry in Rhythm" arrangement seems to reflect it. Johnny Hodges shines like a bright penny throughout, possibly because he didn't have to do his bill-shucking routine on Duke's copyrights. Enjoy, if you've enjoyed the Ellington originals first.
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