A valued sideman, by the mid-'70s Duke would become a star and influential in his own right. For this 1974 MPS release, Frank Zappa had relinquished his studio time for Duke. The kind gesture immediately reverberated throughout jazz circles and beyond. By the time of this release, Duke's extensive resume included two stints with Zappa's Mothers of Invention as well as some time with saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. Although this would be the third album under his name, Feel's eclectic mix of fusion and rock is his debut in the genre of which he'd later become a leader.
There is no greater paragon of tenor saxophonist taste than Harry Allen. While the fickle winds of prevailing styles continue to blow this or that way, Allen stands tall like the mighty oak, unswayed by fad fashions and firmly rooted to the music of the Great American Songbook. On this appealing date, Allen visits the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington.
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. …
Columbia's Greatest Hits features many of Duke Ellington's best-known songs and biggest hits, including "Satin Doll," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Take the 'A' Train," "Solitude," "Mood Indigo," "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Prelude to a Kiss" and "Perdido." It's a fine sampling of Ellington's most familiar melodies and works as a good introduction for novices.
Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. The two aspects of his career were related; Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his writing specifically to showcase the talents of his bandmembers, many of whom remained with him for long periods. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards.
Originally cut for the Japanese Baystate label and then later released by French RCA, this trio set by pianist Duke Jordan (with bassist Harry Memmery and drummer James Martin in Holland) differs from his usual recordings in putting an emphasis on blues, although not exclusively. Jordan performs six of his originals (including "No Problem," "Ben Sugar Blues," "Jordu" and "From Duke to Duke") plus "All the Things You Are," "C Jam Blues" and "St. Louis Blues." The classic bebop pianist's consistency holds up on this set (cut when he was 61), making the obscure LP worth searching for.
Is Duke Robillard a blues, jazz, swing, or rock musician? That's a question that has plagued many a record store clerk trying to slot the guitarist into a bin that fans might logically gravitate to. But, since Robillard has released albums in all of those genres, he clearly needs multiple locations for his albums, and this one needs to go in all of them. An outlet for his different vintage guitars (some shown on the cover) as well as styles he works in, Guitar Groove-A- Rama is a one-stop album for the Duke Robillard fan who isn't sure which category of music he wants to hear. Kicking off with some dusky Southern swamp rock in "Do the Memphis Grind," the album twists, turns, and wiggles through deep blues, loungey jazz, instrumental surf and pop, a Bob Dylan cover, a tango, and a 16-minute history of blues guitar legends who have inspired Robillard. If it sounds like a lot to bite off, and it is, but due to savvy sequencing and the artist's incredible talents, the project never seems scattershot or eclectic simply for the sake of being so.