Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Jazz Record : Duke Ellington – Ellington At Newport

download (24)

Don’t know what year I first heard this album but I play it a lot. I dig it for so many reasons. The band is introduced and Duke says a few words. It starts out with Jimmy Hamilton on clarinet, a classical feel with Hamilton getting warmed up. But that doesn’t last long. Piano hits a few notes and then the drums and bass start to drive it into Duke Ellington territory. The whole band starts to kick in. Meanwhile the clarinet is starting to jazz it up. Duke is in the background vocalizing to the band. The band is 3 minutes in and you’re listening to one of the best big bands in history. Trumpet, sax, trombone all take short solos. They are swinging already and this is the first cut of a live gig. This is CB’s orchestra music. All the players give a little tease. It’s like, where do they take it from here? Hang on and you will be in orbit real soon.

Duke slows it down for a little breath catcher before the storm with some of that slow sexy blues he and the band play. Duke tickles the ivories like only he can. I love his subtle touch. Comes in with his little touches (CB calls them plunks and dinks). A few nice little solos here. Picks it up on next cut then slows it down again on “Jeeps Blues’ with Johnny Hodges taking a solo. Not too shabby. You can hear Duke digging it in the background. The crowd is into this one.

ellington2.jpg

 

The album is all a set up for the last cut ‘Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue’ where Ellington says the compositions are “separated by an interval by Paul Gonsalves”. Duke sets the tone with James Woode (bass) and Sam Woodyard (drums). The band jumps in hard then backs off as Gonsalves takes over about 4 minutes in. And man does he take over. One of my all time favorite solos ever. The band is driving him on especially Ellington. He’s hearing his music being played and he’s loving it. Paul’s in orbit. Great musical moment. I get pumped every time I hear it. Ellington must have been one happy man when he was taking the piece out. You can hear it in his playing. (Ken Burns does a bit on this night in his great documentary Jazz).

images (1)

DE is like the mad conductor with this fantastic band bringing his music to life. Nothing old fashioned about this music. Slip this on and spend a night with Duke and his orchestra and experience a night of timeless iconic music. This is a good taste of what he did in this format. No one did it better. I like his small units also. Lots of reasons I like this album but mostly because it swings. Not only a great jazz record and great Ellington record but a great live record. These guys had miles of playing behind them and Duke knew how to use them.

There has been a lot written and spoken about this record. Lots of good insight. But as usual put the needle down and see what you think. It continues to move CB. No apologies folks. I love this album.

There’s a deluxe version of the album but I love my experience with the original. I’ll get right to the dessert on the cut below. (I’ll include a segment from Ken Burn’s Jazz. It’s a clip talking about this concert)

(My friend hotfox63 plucked an Ellington album out a while back. Check out this really good piece on another Duke gem, a trio with Mingus and Roach. ‘Money Jungle’. Old school meets new school and it is a lesson on how things work. .https://hotfox63.com/tag/duke-ellington/ )

 

 

Advertisements

13 comments on “Jazz Record : Duke Ellington – Ellington At Newport

  1. hotfox63
    April 14, 2019

    Excellent CB! This is an absolutely stunning masterpiece by Ellington. Jeep’s Blues forever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 14, 2019

      Happy to be the messenger on this one. It’s funny, I was sitting on this take when I read your ‘Money Jungle’ just more proof that the Fox and CB listen to and love the Duke and his men including Johnny Hodges.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        April 15, 2019

        Thanks CB! The irony of “Ellington At Newport” is, that the album was not recorded in Newport at all. After they had technical problems with the live recordings, they sent Ellington into the studio to re-record the set. The result is a mix of live music, studio songs and applause.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 16, 2019

        Amazing how they could manage to save things back then. It’s a great recording no matter how you slice it.
        Like I was saying to some of the others who commented, I was totally into Clarence Clemons’s big powerful solos on those early E Street recordings then I discovered stuff like this.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Vinyl Connection
    April 14, 2019

    Definitely a hole in the VC jazz holding. Such a famous album, justly so as you demonstrate.
    Cheers CB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 14, 2019

      Just let your ear guide you fella. It won’t steer you wrong. I’m sure there’s a nice “vinyl”package with your name on it out there. When so called “Best of lists” are put together I cant help but think of certain players. I wonder what our friend Bill Bruford thinks of Sam Woodyards playing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. christiansmusicmusings
    April 14, 2019

    It’s not a secret that don’t listen to jazz frequently and that my knowledge is rather limited. But prompted by your post, I’ve been listening to this album for the past 30 to 40 minutes or so, and it’s not difficult for me to see why you dig it so much. I mean, how can you not be amazed by the grooves this band is playing and the top notch craftsmanship of the musicians?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 14, 2019

      Christian I know you dig good music and are a musician yourself so yeah how cant you be taken in by this. I’m sure Clarence Clemons could play every note that Gonsalvas and Hodges ever played. I also know for a fact guys like Ginger Baker, Bill Bruford, Charlie Watts learned their chops from drummers like Sam Woodyard.
      I remember just getting blown away on the Big Mans work on ‘Jungle-land’ etc. Then I started finding all this great blowing in the jazz world. That’s live music Christian. How tight is that? Your ears are hearing some good music.

      Like

  4. J.
    April 16, 2019

    Amazing. I need this. Great write-up, CB. That kinda enthusiasm is exactly why I keep coming here for new music to listen to. You’ve sold this one to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 16, 2019

      If it hits you you’re done. Ellington is all over the map musically. The guy just must of had musical ideas pouring out of his system. He set the bar high for himself. He set it high on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        April 17, 2019

        I definitely need more Ellington.

        Like

  5. 1dancequeendq
    April 17, 2019

    Love The Duke. I’ve featured him quite a bit on The Happening radio show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 17, 2019

      He is without a doubt one of my favorites. We have mutual “Love”. Keep spinning his music on your show. Duke should never be forgotten. We will do our part to keep him alive. Still making my way through your shows. Will be tuning in and listening for Ellington and others.

      Like

Leave a Reply to christiansmusicmusings Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on April 14, 2019 by in 1956 Album, Duke Ellington, Jazz, Live album and tagged , , , , , , .

Categories

%d bloggers like this: