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Ellington Masterpieces

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
With musicological thoroughness, some crack musicians and the best of intentions, John Lewis leads New York's American Jazz Orchestra in 15 transcriptions from one of Duke Ellington's prime periods 1940-43, plus "Rockin' In Rhythm" from 1930. If you had not heard the originals, you would probably come away from these reinterpretations exhilarated, because the AJO does a scrupulously vigorous job. The soloists occasionally parrot the notes of the original Ellingtonians but are also allowed at other times to go their own way, with tenor saxophonist/orchestra manager Loren Schoenberg taking on the mantle of Ben Webster with a light touch. Lewis himself appears on piano ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
With musicological thoroughness, some crack musicians and the best of intentions, John Lewis leads New York's American Jazz Orchestra in 15 transcriptions from one of Duke Ellington's prime periods 1940-43, plus "Rockin' In Rhythm" from 1930. If you had not heard the originals, you would probably come away from these reinterpretations exhilarated, because the AJO does a scrupulously vigorous job. The soloists occasionally parrot the notes of the original Ellingtonians but are also allowed at other times to go their own way, with tenor saxophonist/orchestra manager Loren Schoenberg taking on the mantle of Ben Webster with a light touch. Lewis himself appears on piano only in "Bojangles" and a freely adapted "Rockin' In Rhythm"; Mel Lewis drives the rhythm section expertly, if more flamboyantly than the style of Duke's Sonny Greer. Besides standards like "Take the 'A' Train," "Warm Valley," "Jack the Bear," "Concerto for Cootie," and "Cotton Tail," there is also room for less-heralded but worthy swingers like the Ellingtonian treatment of "Sidewalks of New York." Still, although it is certainly true that the music is there in the score -- as a visitor to the sessions commented -- the unique timbres and blendings of the Ellington orchestra are elusive as ever, although there are times "Bojangles" when the spirit almost conjures itself. If a choice has to be made between the originals and these reinterpretations, go with the originals, but the AJO versions aren't a bad second choice at all.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/13/2008
  • Label: Atlantic Mod Afw
  • UPC: 075679142320
  • Catalog Number: 91423
  • Sales rank: 274,723

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sepia Panorama - American Jazz Orchestra (3:41)
  2. 2 Johnny Come Lately - American Jazz Orchestra (3:26)
  3. 3 All Too Soon - American Jazz Orchestra (4:04)
  4. 4 Ko Ko - American Jazz Orchestra (2:45)
  5. 5 Chloe - American Jazz Orchestra (3:51)
  6. 6 Bojangles - American Jazz Orchestra (4:02)
  7. 7 Cotton Tail - American Jazz Orchestra (3:46)
  8. 8 Warm Valley - American Jazz Orchestra (4:07)
  9. 9 Sidewalks of New York - American Jazz Orchestra (3:29)
  10. 10 Main Stem - American Jazz Orchestra (2:50)
  11. 11 Jack the Bear - American Jazz Orchestra (3:41)
  12. 12 Take the "A" Train - American Jazz Orchestra (3:13)
  13. 13 Concerto for Cootie - American Jazz Orchestra (3:35)
  14. 14 Conga Brava - American Jazz Orchestra (3:20)
  15. 15 Rockin' in Rhythm - American Jazz Orchestra (5:53)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Lewis Primary Artist, Piano, Conductor, Leader
Eddie Bert Trombone
Bill Easley Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Knepper Trombone
Mel Lewis Drums
Loren Schoenberg Tenor Saxophone
Marvin Stamm Trumpet
Dick Katz Piano
John Purcell Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Norris Turney Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Danny Bank Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
Howard Collins Guitar
John Eckert Trumpet
Gary Giddins Leader
John Goldsby Bass
Virgil Johns Trumpet
Bob Millikan Trumpet
Benny Powell Trombone
Technical Credits
Irving Mills Composer
Jerome Kern Composer
Harry Carney Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Nesuhi Ertegun Producer
Gus Kahn Composer
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Neil Moret (Chas. N. Daniels) Composer
James V. Monaco Composer
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