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What's your favourite Duke Ellington recording? No covers please, just Duke and his band.

Mine is Dimuendo and Crescendo in Blue from Ellington at Newport. It's hard to beat the combo of Gonsalves 27 choruses of blues coupled with Cat Anderson's soaring trumpet on the out chorus for pure visceral impact.
 

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Merlin,

Is this a trick question? I mean, any Duke Ellington recording is going to be good! :lol: Never the less, Such Sweet Thunder is one of my favorites. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's writing is fantastic. Great playing from the band too.
 

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Roger,

Believe it or not, I have some Duke recordings which are, shall we say...lesser efforts.

Listen to "Bunny Hop Mambo" and see what I mean.
 

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This is really impossible to answer. I suppose I'll go with "Rude Interlude"...unusually haunting and impressionistic...and from Duke's "blue period," my favorite of the many ages of Ellington.
 

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Johhnny Hodges playing "The Star Crossed Lovers" from Duke Ellington´s Shakespeate Sweet...the live performace from The Great Paris Concert.

Incredibly beautiful.
 
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I agree, Such Sweet Thunder and Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue are both great songs. Some of my other favorites:

-The Old Circus Train Turn-Around Blues from Duke & Ella at the Cote D'Azur (nice looong Johnny Hodges solo)

-Lotus Blossom on ...And His Mother Called Him Bill

-Mr. Gentle and Mr. Cool from Live at the Blue Note (the 2-disc one)

-Imagine My Frustration from Ella at Duke's Place

-Long, Strong, and Consecutive

And even though you specifically ask not for it, some of my favorite Duke covers:

-Black and Tan Fantasy - Winton Marsalis, Live at Swing City

-Black Beauty - on a Joya Sherrill album, she doesn't sing on this track

-Rockin' In Rhythm - Hamp's part 1 & 2 version

-In A Mellow Tone - Ben Webster on the Impulsively Ellington set
 

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In a sentimental mood...been playing lately everyday...tender ballad to say the least.
 

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There is so much music from that man it is very hard to choose. When I saw his band in person in 1956, I was inspired to try harder developing my trombone skills. I remember a chat I had with his lead trombinist who advised me to use a certain book. I found that book in my father's collection and studied it very seriously.

I must say I have always liked Sophisticated Lady even though an early bad memory is of me messing up the bridge in a goiod big band in 1961. There is a lot we can do with that song on sax. (Now I can even play the bridge).

On a Digital Duke there are several good tunes including In My Solitude, Prelude to a Kiss, etc, etc.

But the tune that keeps rattling around in my head - I added it to my 'book' - is In a Sentimetal Mood. Kenny G did a real nice version of it a few years ago on his 'Classics' album.
 

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favorite Duke Ellington

The "Anatomy of a Murder" soundtrack contains some of Duke's most inspired writing, sophisticated arrangements, and virtuosic playing, making it easily my favorite. The older RYKO cd sounds much better than the newer version and is the recommended version, despite the bonus materials in the newer release. As a second choice, I offer "Blues in Orbit".
 

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That's great, though I think my personal favorite would be "Blood Count" written by Billy Strayhorn.

That said, one of my favorite albums is "Count meets the Duke" or something like that. Its not incredible for being something that really pushed the limits of jazz or for pure creativity, but its a lot of fun to listen to, with 2 of probably the most important big bands ever really getting their groove playing together.
 

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Just to be a contrarian, How about Carney playing Sophisticated Lady on bari. It's in the Ellington 1956 Newport album. Bari's not my favorite instrument but this pdrformance was just BEAUTIFUL!

John
 
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