Ellington Uptown

            Recording Date:
                December 7, 1951   tk 4
                February 29, 1952  tk 1
                June 30, 1952         tk 3
                July 1, 1952            tk 2,5

               Duke Ellington     P
               Billy Strayhorn    P
               Cat Anderson     TP
               Shorty Baker     TP
              Willie Cook        TP
             Francis Williams TP tk4
             Ray Nance         TP
            Quentin Jackson  TB
Britt Woodman    TB
Juan Tizol            TB
Jimmy Hamilton   CL,TS
Willie Smith         AS
Johnny Hodges    AS tk3
Hilton Jefferson   AS
Russell Procope  AS
Paul Gonsalves   TS
Harry Carney     BS
Fred Guy           G
Oscar Pettiford  B
Wendell Marshall B
Louis Bellson    D
Betty Roche     Vo tk3


Reviewby Scott Yanow
Although some historians have characterized the early '50s as Duke Ellington's "off period" (due to the defection of alto star Johnny Hodges), in reality, his 1951-1952 orchestra could hold its own against his best. This set has many classic moments, including Betty Roche's famous bebop vocal on "Take the 'A' Train," a version of "The Mooche" that contrasts the different clarinet styles of Russell Procope and Jimmy Hamilton, a hot "Perdido" that is highlighted by some great Clark Terry trumpet, Louie Bellson's drum solo on "Skin Deep," a definitive version of "The Harlem Suite," and the two-part "Controversial Suite," which contrasts New Orleans jazz with futuristic music worthy of Stan Kenton. One of the great Duke Ellington sets. The 2004 edition features gorgeously remastered sound, and adds no less than six bonus cuts: the enigmatic: "Dance"s 1-5," and the stunningly beautiful "I Feel Like Sunrise."

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