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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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Duke Ellington Vol.8
"Jump for Joy"
Original 1941-1942 Recordings
NAXOS JAZZ LEGENDS
8.120743

 


  1. Take the A Train
  2. Jumpiní Punkins
  3. Blue Surge
  4. John Hardyís Wife
  5. Dear Old Southland
  6. Solitude
  7. Just A-Settiní and A-Rockin
  8. Chocolate Shake
  9. I Got It Bad & That Ainít Good
  10. The Brown Skin Girl
  11. Jump for Joy
  12. Chelsea Bridge
  13. Perdido
  14. Moon Mist
  15. The C Jam Blues
  16. What Am I Here For
  17. Johnny Come Lately
  18. A Slip of the Lip
  19. Sentimental Lady (I Didnít Know About You)
  20. Main Stem


Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra

Wardell Jones - Trumpet, Ray Nance - Trumpet & Violin, Rex Stewart - Cornet
Joe Nanton, Lawrence Brown - Trombone, Juan Tizol - Valve Trombone
Barney Bigard - Clarinet, Johnny Hodges -Clarinet, Alto, Sop, Harry Carney - Baritone, Alto, Clarinet. Otto Hardwick - Alto & Bass, Ben Webster - Tenor.
Duke Ellington or Billy Strayhorn - Piano, Fred Guy - Guitar, Jimmy Blanton or Junior Raglin - Bass, Sonny Greer - Drums. Ivie Anderson, Herb Jeffries - Vocals


This was a very creative period for the Duke, he had a band that boasted so many superb soloists, he was finding it difficult to use them all to full effect. Billy Strayhorn was also in full time employment as staff arranger and occasional pianist and his co-operation as an arranger and composer in partnership with Ellington, produced a library of music second to that of no other band in the world.


Billy Strayhornís Take the A Train had taken over by this time as Ellingtonís theme tune replacing Dukeís original theme tune, East St Louis Toodle-oo. The Ray Nance cornet solo heard here has almost become an integral part of the tune. Tracks 2 to5 are compositions of Ellingtonís son Mercer, whilst none of these compositions are well known they all make excellent vehicles for the bandís soloists,

It is however the bandís overall sound which is really stamps all this music as pure Duke Ellington. The band has an instantly recognisable sound which stems from both the superb scoring used and the bandís ability to control itís internal dynamics so effectively. Then there is the superb tenor saxophone playing of Ben Webster who at the time of these recordings rated with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young as the periods top three tenor men. Johnny Hodges was an outstanding alto saxophone soloist as well as a supreme lead player, Harry Carney is instantly recognisable, his ability to make the baritone saxophone sound easy to play in an age where most people sounded clumsy on it, put him ahead of everyone. Barney Bigard is one of jazzís best clarinet players and anyone who doubts that should listen to this record.


The brass players all have highly individual styles Ray Nance, Rex Stewart, Lawrence Brown, Sam Nanton and Juan Tizol are unmistakable throughout. The rhythm section
Functions very well and both Ellington and Blanton produce memorable solos.
There is not a bad track on this CD and some are superb, The A Train, Just A Sittiní, I Got it Bad, Jump for Joy, Chelsea Bridge, What am I here for, Johnny Come Lately and Sentimental Lady are all Ellington classic tracks.

Don Mather



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