Sunday, October 23, 2011
A Record a Week: The Best of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
ROCKIN' IN RHYTHM
PRELUDE TO A KISS
IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD
BLACK AND TAN FANTASY
Duke Ellington was an incredible jazz piano player, jazz pioneer and band leader. He was innovative and ground-breaking, an important part of the foundation of African-American music movement of the early 1900's.
His style covered many grounds, as this album proves. He has that soft jazz style that was famous in the early days of jazz as well as some more intricate pieces, different time signatures and different groupings of instruments. I thought for the first few songs that it was going to be that slower sound of many jazz records I have listened to over the past year or so that don't really have the punch and swing of the jazz form later time periods. I forgot, however, that this was encompassing his entire career, or at least more that the early 20's.
Both Satin Doll and Caravan are my two favourites on the album, though it is a solid listen in its entirety. I imagine those songs may pop up again, as looking forward, it would appear I have at least a couple of weeks more of Duke Ellington ahead. Thank goodness he is so talented.