Blues in Orbit [Bonus Tracks]

Blues in Orbit [Bonus Tracks]

by Duke Ellington

CD

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Overview

Blues in Orbit lacks the intellectual cache of the suites and concept pieces that loomed large in Ellington's recordings of this period, but it's an album worth tracking down, if only to hear the band run through a lighter side of its sound -- indeed, it captures the essence of a late-night recording date that was as much a loose jam as a formal studio date, balancing the spontaneity of the former and the technical polish of the latter. Ellington and company were just back from a European tour when the bulk of this album was recorded at one after-midnight session in New York on December 2, 1959 -- the arrangements had to be hastily written out when the copyist failed to appear for the gig. So on the one hand, the band was kicking back with these shorter pieces; on the other, the group was also improvising freely and intensely at various points. The title track, recorded more than a year before most of the rest, is a slow blues that puts Ellington's piano into a call-and-response setting with the horns, with Ellington getting in the last word. "Villes Ville Is the Place, Man" is a bracing, beat-driven jaunt, highlighted by solos featuring Ray Nance, Harry Carney, and Johnny Hodges on trumpet, baritone sax, and alto, respectively. "Three J's Blues" shows off composer Jimmy Hamilton playing some earthy tenor sax in a swinging, exuberant blues setting. "Smada" features Billy Strayhorn on piano and Johnny Hodges on alto, in a stirring dance number, and "Pie Eye's Blues" is a hot studio improvisation featuring Ray Nance and Jimmy Hamilton trading three solos each.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/29/2009
Label: Imports
UPC: 0886974920625
catalogNumber: 873790
Rank: 30811

Tracks

  1. Three J's Blues
  2. Smada
  3. Pie Eye's Blues
  4. Sweet and Pungent
  5. C Jam Blues
  6. In a Mellow Tone
  7. Blues In Blueprint
  8. The Swinger's Get the Blues Too
  9. The Swinger's Jump
  10. Blues In Orbit
  11. Villes Ville is the Place Man
  12. Track 360
  13. Sentimental Lady
  14. Brown Penny
  15. Pie Eye's Blues
  16. Sweet and Pungent
  17. The Swinger's Jump
  18. Blues In Orbit
  19. Track 360

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