ELLINGTON Duke 1939 Vol 2

Superlatives cannot describe the quality of the music you are about to hear. Even Duke Ellington himself, known for his discretion when judging the abilities of his orchestra, admitted in his autobiography that in 1940 "we were in very good shape" and "we produced some very good music". Several of the tracks recorded in 1940 rank among the most important and most spectacular music recorded by any group of musicians in the first half of the 20th century, and maybe later !

Duke ELLINGTON (1) 1939

In 1938, Billy Strayhorn joined the band. The mutual inspiration triggered by this collaboration resulted in the orchestra's reaching a new artistic peak in 1940. The period just before, starting with this first cd, anticipates much of the better known sessions soon to come.

Gunther Schuller said "There is for most of the Ellington phenomenon a kind of magic moment by which the advent of the peak years of the Ellington band are reckoned: the almost simultaneous acquisition of Jimmy Blanton and Ben Webster"

Here is the first of the 6 Duke Ellington CD's you'll find on the blog. They represents the complete recordings of the Ellington band between October 1939 and September 1941. Those years are often called the Webster-Blanton years for those two marvelous musicians. Sadly Blanton died from tuberculosis less than a year later at the very young age of 24 ! The band has never been better and the soloists were all top rank interpreters. Duke ELLINGTON, Billy STRAYHORN, Ben WEBSTER, Jimmy BLANTON, Johnny HODGES, Harry CARNEY, Rex STEWART, Barney BIGARD, Cootie Williams, Sonny GREER, Tricky SAM, Ray NANCE, and others as well as the wonderful vocalist Ivie ANDERSON at her best.

When we speak of the desert island... for me, it cannot be without this eternal music. Enjoy !

1 comment:

BillD said...

If there is any chance that you do not have these Ellington recordings you must download all of them. There has never been a better band.

Bill (aka winscom2001@yahoo.com)