Reissue with latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the first albums to ever issue recordings made at the Newport Jazz Festival – quite a big hit, and the beginning of a real trend in jazz! The set's also some great work by Duke – free to perform in a setting that's not bound by some of the time restrictions of earlier years, which lets him offer up three long tracks with a great deal of sophistication over previous recordings. Due to bad mike placement on stage, the original "live" album was actually a studio re-creation; the actual live performance was never issued-until now. This 2-CD set contains the complete original album and the hour-plus concert. More than 100 minutes of new music, and the whole thing's in stereo for the first time!
At first glance this collaboration should not have worked. The Duke Ellington and Count Basie Orchestras had already been competitors for 25 years but the leaders' mutual admiration (Ellington was one of Basie's main idols) and some brilliant planning made this a very successful and surprisingly uncrowded encounter. On most selections Ellington and Basie both play piano (their interaction with each other is wonderful) and the arrangements allowed the stars from both bands to take turns soloing. "Segue in C" is the highpoint but versions of "Until I Met You," "Battle Royal" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside" are not far behind.
Reissue with latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Jazz at the Plaza Vol. II is a live album by American pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington recorded in 1958 at a party for Columbia Records and released on the label in 1973. The Miles Davis Sextet was also recorded at the same event and released as the first volume of Jazz at the Plaza. An intimate live session from Duke Ellington and his great late 50s orchestra – presented here at a private party hosted by Columbia Records at the Plaza Hotel in New York – at a time when Ellington was making some of his best music for the label! The tracks here are every bit on a par with Duke's late 50s gems for Columbia – and have the orchestra stepping out strongly on short numbers that maybe have a bit more swing and a bit less overall concept – as the soloist shift, and shine nicely on each tune!
This 24-CD box, which dwarfs even most Bear Family sets in scope, is essentially everything Ellington cut for RCA-Victor over a 46-year period. There are gaps, especially after 1946 when he jumped to Columbia, but otherwise, this is all of it. One quickly discovers that, by virtue of its leader's taste, combined with the good sense of RCA-Victor's recording managers, this was a band that did little, if any, wrong on record…
The Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1940 may not have been as popular with the general public as that of Glenn Miller, but they were one of the great big bands of all time. The best way to acquire their music is to get all of the alternate takes, which are available through RCA/Bluebird, but the Classics series has done a fine job of reissuing all of the master takes. This particular disc has a small-group session apiece led by altoist Johnny Hodges and cornetist Rex Stewart along with nine songs from the big band. Among the gems are "In a Mellotone," "Five O'Clock Whistle," "Warm Valley" (heard twice), "Daydream," and "Linger Awhile." In addition, the four classic Jimmy Blanton-Duke Ellington bass-piano duets (which include "Pitter Panther Patter" and "Mr. J.B. Blues") are included and find Blanton sounding quite futuristic, almost like Charles Mingus 15 years later.