This DVD compiles different short and medium-lenght films of the Duke and his orchestra. Included also assorted musical sequences from other motion pictures.
Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington were (and are) two of the main stems of jazz. Any way you look at it, just about everything that's ever happened in this music leads directly – or indirectly – back to them. Both men were born on the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries, and each became established as a leader during the middle '20s. Although their paths had crossed from time to time over the years, nobody in the entertainment industry had ever managed to get Armstrong and Ellington into a recording studio to make an album together. On April 3, 1961, producer Bob Thiele achieved what should be regarded as one of his greatest accomplishments; he organized and supervised a seven-and-a-half-hour session at RCA Victor's Studio One on East 24th Street in Manhattan, using a sextet combining Duke Ellington with Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars. This group included ex-Ellington clarinetist Barney Bigard, ex-Jimmie Lunceford swing-to-bop trombonist Trummy Young, bassist Mort Herbert, and drummer Danny Barcelona. A second session took place during the afternoon of the following day.
Awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966, Duke Ellington called his music "American music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond" category. He remains one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music and is widely considered one of the 20th century's best composers and band leaders. Ellington's reputation has increased since his death in 1974, with thematic repackagings of his signature music often becoming best sellers. Posthumous recognition of his work include a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board. This 1956 session features Ellington and 14 sidemen performing updated recordings of some of the best from Ellington's career going back to 1926.
This previously issued material (released on a single CD by Music Masters) features the Duke Ellington Orchestra during a very busy era. The veteran musicians were getting older but their very individual voices were still powerful, and Ellington was far from running out of gas at this point.
This set came about, in part, as a result of Ellington's signing to Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in November 1962, with the ending of his exclusive contract to Columbia. Six numbers from the three Paris dates were initially edited and released by Reprise as part of the ten-song Duke Ellington's Greatest Hits, but the bulk of the performances from those shows didn't surface until many years later as The Great Paris Concert on two LPs. ~ AllMusic
Recorded in 1966 in RCA Studios. All the tracks that made the Duke 'Popular' are re-recorded on this album. The 3 bonus tracks are 'Caravan' & 'Wings and Things' & 'Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me'. Original cover, digipak and remastered 24 bits. 2002. ~ Amazon
Compiled from several concerts in Paris and elsewhere in February, 1963, this set provides a panoramic snapshot of the range of Ellington's repertoire at the time. Lots of old favorites are included, along with a few newer pieces, as well as Suite Thursday and Harlem.