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The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse
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And he does it well here in the 'Afro-Eurasion Eclipse'. Ever the coolest of cool hosts, Duke Ellington introduces us to a theme of contemporary world music as an ever increasing influence on everything we know.
Harold Ashby does more than his fair share of swinging here and shows us that regardless of influence Duke Ellington's music will always swing. 'Chinoiserie'=WILD! Improvisational jam!
This is a great recording in the fact that Duke really broke away from the bonds of conventional jazz and moved on to areas as yet uncharted. The greatest aspect of this, is, as he did everything else, he did it like the veteran professional he was.
This music swings in a way no one had swung before. Loosen up and listen with your body and soul and this music will grab a hold of you in a new way!
I was very surprised at how accessible it is. The sound is typical Ellington, with some other world influences. Perhaps to 1999 ears it is not so strange-sounding as it was when it was released (late 1960's, I think).
were "the ones coming up tomorrow".Well here tomorrow arrived and
the influence of African and Oriental styles and rhythms are integrated into this eight-part suite-Duke's shinning moment!
The opening "Chinoserie" is perhapes best of all-an extended piece that blends Ellington's usual big-band swing approch with
a very carnavalesqe avante-garde rhythm similar to "The Creator
has A Master Plan"."Didjidoo",based on Duke's experience with the
native Aberiginal people of Austrailia is (in retrospect) quite
funky with it's use of polyrhythms and scaling horns.Most delightful though is "Acht O' Clock Rock"-basically a simple 3-chord extention of Louis Jordon/Little Richard-style rock n' roll
done up big band style.So pretty much he brings many of the more
popular musical styles of the early 70's-afro jazz,funk and rock
into his world of Ellingtonia and much good spirits will be felt
by all!The last half of the suite doesn't cover any different ground then the first but is still a fine extention on a wonderful theme.A true testement to a man who I feel is the most
significant composer and performer of the 20'th century AND his
unique ability to update his music to fit the sound of the time
period in whitch he composed-never alienating anyone along the way.Mabye Ellingtons most important work and certainly the
most significant of his latter years.
Some highlights: the opening piece, CHINOISERIE, is a very ambitious composition, with an excellent solo by Harold Ashby on tenor. ACHT O'CLOCK ROCK, a tune that was played by itself in concerts, is a 16-bar blues - Duke's answer to r & r music. TRUE, is a waltz combined with gospel rudiments, with a heart-felt solo by Paul Gonsalves. A few of the pieces do not amount to much (DIDJERIDOO, AFRIQUE) and sound repetitive, but the ECLIPSE is a successful work for Duke and the orchestra.
The great part about this is that Duke was able to do all of this without sacrificing the use of his orchestra which,at this point included his son Mercer on trumpet along with mainstays as Paul Gonsalves,Cootie Williams and Harold Ashby. This suite generally doesn't emphasize soloing as much as it does present a series of interconnected songs where the musicians play collectively such as on the strongly Asian harmony influenced "Chinoiserie". That along with songs such as "Gong","Tang" and "True" all find Duke looking to mix the genres of big band jazz and avante garde as he really expands the disonant piano style he'd been utilizing since the 1920's to the point of it all sound more harmolodic and abstract than anything else.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was my first Duke Ellington record. Growing up listening to more modern jazz, it took me a while to discover the early greats like Duke and Louis Armstrong. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joe
Fasten your seat belts, readers (if, indeed, you are out there...), it's gonna be a bumpy ride...
The JR is going to take you on a journey that includes genius, failure,... Read more
According to Mark Tucker in The Duke Ellington Reader, The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse was a suite composed by Ellington for the Monterey Jazz Festival of 1970. Read morePublished on August 22, 2012 by Udeen
Forgive me. I am humbled. In the shadow of greatness.
When you, like me, listen to progressive rock, that eventually leads to jazz. Read more
This album is testament to the fact that Ellington's artistry and drive never waned with age unlike others of his generation. Read morePublished on December 31, 2007 by James
The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse is a groundbreaking suite, full of intriguing new sounds and grooves. Ellington didn't fade into predictability and mundanity in his last years; instead,... Read morePublished on June 18, 2006 by Amazon Customer