Monday, 24 September 2012

1953 Duke Ellington - Ellington Uptown

Louie Bellson incredible drum solo from Skin Deep, 1957 (below)

Info: It is widely accepted that Duke Ellington is the greatest jazz composer of all time. The son of a White House butler, he first learned the piano aged 7 and would go on to become a mainstay of the jazz music scene from the 1920's, right through to his death from cancer and pneumonia in 1974, when his son Mercer took over the Ellington band. Ellington Uptown is ranked #2 for 1953 on RYM and 4.5/5 stars on The standout tracks for me (granted there are only 5) are 'Skin Deep' above, mainly for Louie Bellson's amazing drum solo  and evolutionary double-bass drum techniquewhich begins at 3.15 in the video of the song, however, I also came across a video of him performing the same solo just to get a better appreciation, he would have strolled into McFly that lad. The second song I particularly liked was 'Take The "A" Train', which features vocals from Betty Roche, who regularly appeared with Ellington's band in the early 50's. For background music or maybe when cooking a 15 minute meal, track 4, 'A Tone Parallel to Harlem (The Harlem Suite)' fits the bill.

Track Listing:

A1   Skin Deep                                                         
A2   The Mooche                                                        
A3   Take the "A" Train                                               
B1    A Tone Parallel to Harlem (The Harlem Suite)      
B2    Perdido                                                             

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