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Duke Ellington's Jazz Violin Session

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
This small group session was recorded in 1963 for Atlantic, and originally issued in 1976, two years after Duke Ellington's death. It showcases a small group that features string players in the front line. Ray Nance, the Duke's own violinist, is here as is the legendary Stephane Grappelli and violist Svend Asmussen. The rest of the players include tenor man Paul Gonsalves, drummer Sam Woodyard, bassist Ernie Shepard, alto saxist Russell Procope, and trombonist Buster Cooper. Ellington plays piano no all but two tunes where Billy Strayhorn replaced him. The program is a collection of Ellington and Strayhorn standards from "Blues in C" and "Take the 'A' Train," to "Don't Get ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
This small group session was recorded in 1963 for Atlantic, and originally issued in 1976, two years after Duke Ellington's death. It showcases a small group that features string players in the front line. Ray Nance, the Duke's own violinist, is here as is the legendary Stephane Grappelli and violist Svend Asmussen. The rest of the players include tenor man Paul Gonsalves, drummer Sam Woodyard, bassist Ernie Shepard, alto saxist Russell Procope, and trombonist Buster Cooper. Ellington plays piano no all but two tunes where Billy Strayhorn replaced him. The program is a collection of Ellington and Strayhorn standards from "Blues in C" and "Take the 'A' Train," to "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Cotton Tail," and the wonderful "Limbo Jazz." The soloist and group interplay are gentle, swinging, and utterly and completely graceful and elegant. There is a lighthearted tenderness in this set that borders on sentimentality without ever going there. And the feeling is loose, relaxed, and full of warmth throughout.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2004
  • Label: Wounded Bird Records
  • UPC: 664140168824
  • Catalog Number: 1688

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Duke Ellington Primary Artist, Piano
Paul Gonsalves Tenor Saxophone
Stéphane Grappelli Violin
Ray Nance Violin
Svend Asmussen Violin, Viola
Russell Procope Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Buster Cooper Trombone
Ernie Shepard Bass
Billy Strayhorn Piano
Sam Woodyard Drums
Edward Kennedy Ellington Indexed Contributor
Technical Credits
Irving Mills Composer
Bobby Troup Composer
Stanley Dance Liner Notes
Duke Ellington Composer, Producer
Manny Kurtz Composer
Bob Russell Composer
Billy Strayhorn Composer
George T. Simon Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Strings That Can Swing!!!

    Duke made this recording back in early 1963 in Paris. Atlantic (the original label) didn't see fit to release it until 1977 (3 years after Ellington passed away). . And to add insult to injury, the CD version didn't come out until 2004 what were record executives thinking? Anyway, it's finally here in CD form and it's great for lots of reasons. Let me tell you, it was one of the recordings that got me hooked on jazz. For starters, the instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, piano, bass, drums, and with some brass on the 2nd half. Stephane Grappelli, Ray Nance, both on violin, and Svend Assussen on viola, handle the strings with superb ensemble work, accompaniment, and soloing. These guys prove that violins, violas, even cellos can swing with the best of them when they're in the right hands. It's also interesting to hear how each string player swings and improvises, but with a sound distinctive from the other 2. Duke is right on top of things directing the whole show from the piano chair. Ernie Shepperd, the bassist, provides solid bass lines and a wonderful synchronized vocal-bass solo, a la Slam Stewart, on Take the A Train, but he's humming and plucking instead of humming and bowing. Lastly, there is a combination of familiar and more obscure Ellington compositions in this collection. For those of you who know that Ellington is the greatest composer and one of the greatest pianists that America ever had, in any genre, this is an essential or near- essential CD to buy. Like all great jazz, it hasn't dated at all.

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