Sunday, August 13, 2017

Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington (1951) {2004 Legacy Edition}

Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington (1951) {2004 Legacy Edition} **[RE-UP]**

Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington (1951) {2004 Legacy Edition}
EAC Rip | FLAC with CUE and log | scans | 193 mb
MP3 CBR 320kbps | RAR | 134 mb
Genre: jazz

Masterpieces By Ellington is the 1951 album by Duke Ellington & His Orchestra. This is taken from the 2004 Legacy Edition released on 17 February, 2004.
With the invention of the 33-1/3 RPM Long Playing Record in 1948, musicians were finally freed from the slightly-over-three-minute length restriction of 78 RPM disks that had been the rule for decades. A couple of years later, Columbia brought the Duke Ellington Orchestra into the studio for their first crack at LP recording, releasing the resulting album in 1951 as Masterpieces By Ellington.

That LP originally contained only four songs, the shortest of which was over eight minutes, and the longest over fifteen. Lots of solos were the order of the day, as these were "extended concert versions," supposedly what you would have heard the band play at a concert or dance date.

In actuality, these arrangements are probably even longer and more developed than what the band was playing at their average gig. They were certainly very different from the concise original singles!

And we're talking classics here—"Mood Indigo", "Sophisticated Lady", and "Solitude", plus a wonderful new extended piece, "The Tattooed Bride". What's more, the "Hi-Fi" sound quality of this record represents a quantum leap forward due to its use of then-new magnetic tape recording technology instead of old school disk-cutting. And, as you'd expect, the musicianship evident on all the solos and section work is always splendid, and frequently downright brilliant.

It's worth noting that these recordings were made shortly before three of Ellington's key longtime soloists "defected" and left the band—Johnny Hodges (alto sax), Lawrence Brown (trombone), and Sonny Greer (drums.) Because of this, these recordings essentially represent the last gasp of the classic Ellington sound of the 30s and 40s.

(Not to worry: the Duke would quickly hire fine replacements and continue evolving his band's sound. Hodges and Brown would eventually rejoin the fold in later years, with Hodges remaining until his death in 1970.)

The CD release adds three bonus tracks from roughly the same timeframe, which—oddly enough—are all only two or three minutes long. They don't really fit with the rest of the material, but hey, more Ellington recordings are always worth having!

This album isn't necessarily essential Ellington, and it may not be a great choice for beginners, but anybody who appreciates the Duke's music will definitely enjoy it. And for hardcore Duke Ellington fans, its arrival on CD is definitely cause for celebration.

Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington (1951) {2004 Legacy Edition} **[RE-UP]**

1. Mood Indigo
2. Sophisticated Lady
3. The Tattooed Bride
4. Solitude
5. Vagabonds *
6. Smada *
7. Rock Skippin' At The Blue Note *

* Bonus tracks
Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn (arranger, piano)
Yvonne Lanuaze (vocals)
Willie Smith (soprano & alto saxophones)
Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet)
Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone)
Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone)
Harry Carney (baritone saxophone)
Cat Anderson, Harold "Shorty" Baker, Nelson Williams, Andres Merenghito, Ray Nance, Clark Terry (trumpet)
Lawrence Brown, Quentin Jackson, Tyree Glenn, Jaun Tizol (trombone)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Sonny Greer, Louis Bellson (drums)

Recorded at Columbia's 30th St. Studio, New York, New York on December 19, 1950 & December 11 & August 7, 1951

Masterpieces By Ellington originally came out as a four song LP, back when the LP format consisted of a 10 inch record at 33 1/3 rpm. This recent Legacy pressing features three bonus tracks from the same era.

Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington (1951) {2004 Legacy Edition} **[RE-UP]**

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