Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







Buy through MusicWeb for £10/10.70/11.40 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button


Edward "Duke" ELLINGTON (1899-1974)
Black, Brown and Beige (1943) orch. Maurice Peress [18:04]
Three Black Kings (1973) orch. Luther Henderson [19:11]
New World A-Comin’ (1943 revised 1960 revised by Maurice Peress c.1983) [13:47]
Harlem – for Jazz Band and Orchestra [15:23]
Frank Wess (alto saxophone); Richard Chamberlain (trombone); Jimmy Heath (tenor and soprano saxophones); Roland Hanna (piano); Stephen Hart (clarinet); John Faddis (trumpet); Bill Easley (clarinet); Ron Carter (bass); Butch Miles (drums)
American Composers Orchestra/Maurice Peress
rec. 1989
NIMBUS NI 2511 [66:44]

Experience Classicsonline

Nimbus has been picking up MusicMasters’ catalogue and restoring some highly diverting things to the catalogue. This one is a case in point. Maurice Peresss and the American Composers Orchestra are joined by some elite soloists to set down estimable recordings of four of Duke Ellington’s suites - two well known and two markedly less so.

The best known of the quartet, Black, Brown and Beige, has been orchestrated by Peress. We can hear what has to be the baritone saxophone of Joe Temperley in this one, whose evocation of Harry Carney is appropriate yet manages to retain total tonal independence of the illustrious model. Temperley – and Eugene Moye, the cello principal of the orchestra and Walt Weiskopf, the alto player in the orchestra – are not mentioned on the jewel box credits but they are noted in the booklet. Richard Chamberlain cleaves closer to Tricky Sam Nanton in his role and altoist Frank Wess, very much his own man, takes the Johnny Hodges role. It’s true that the orchestral garb can somewhat blunt the pungency of the Ellington scoring but this alternative look at one of Ellington’s most impressive, albeit most contentious, scores is splendidly realised on its own terms.

Three Black Kings was once written off by James Lincoln Collier – himself no stranger to controversy – as "movie music." What I think got to Collier was the rather generic, piecemeal quality of this ballet suite. Ellington’s three songs here were King of the Magi, King Solomon and Martin Luther King and the soloist is Jimmy Heath on tenor and soprano saxophones. There are some feints toward the exotic East and everything – not least Heath’s articulate playing – is exceptionally pleasant. But I’m with Collier here – the music lacks real distinction; it’s fluent but melodically uninvolving and strangely naïve for Ellington. It’s no great surprise to realise that it was left incomplete on Ellington’s death.

New World A-Comin’ is like Black, Brown and Beige another wartime work, again heard here in Peress’ revision. Roland Hanna takes the Ellingtonian piano part, which has been transcribed from the 1943 concert performance; Hanna though improvises the final cadenza. There’s also an excellent solo from clarinettist Stephen Hart. Finally there is Harlem – for Jazz Band and Orchestra perhaps the most impressive, because the most sheerly integrated, of all. There is a stellar quartet of soloists to attend this one and they play with tremendous awareness and control. The seamless quality of Harlem is certainly apparent in this tremendous performance – the variety of moods and textures; the stylistic variety; and that drum solo, played with verve by Butch Miles. And to have alongside you, Jon Faddis, Ron Carter and clarinettist Bill Easley is no bad thing.

The recording quality back in 1989 was – and remains – first class and we also have the advantage of Peress’s own sleeve notes. Symphonic Ellington strides confidently in this re-release.

Jonathan Woolf






Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.