Duke Ellington

At Newport 1956 Complete

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One of the greatest live jazz festival recordings ever has gotten better, and more interesting as well, with this 1999 reissue, a result of the kind of effort that most record companies normally won't even discuss. Ellington's original 1956 Newport album was his best-selling long-player ever, and re-established him, after a two-year drought in the wake of his unsuccessful stay at Capitol, as a vitally popular jazz artist, perceived as worth courting by the major labels. But that record was, in keeping with Columbia's standard operating proceedure of the day, a cut-and-paste job made up of studio re-recordings of the festival's repertory. The producers of the 1999 double-CD reissue, containing 20 tracks, have assembled the complete live performance in true, real stereo as well as the studio-produced tracks. The result is the first complete consideration of the actual Newport performance, as well as a complete account of the studio-generated portions of the original release. The highlight is an extraordinarily vivid account of Paul Gonsalves' legendary 27-chorus tenor sax solo on "Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue." The latter ends Disc One, and Disc Two gives a vivid account of the aftermath of Gonsalves' moment of glory and finishes the live set. The concert portion is followed by the original LP's studio-generated fake-live productions, which aren't as exciting as the live renditions, but are worth hearing.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 1:10 Amazon
3:36 Amazon
3 6:21 Amazon
0:26 Amazon
5 3:34 Amazon
2:30 Amazon
7 4:27 Amazon
0:41 Amazon
9 8:10 Amazon
0:38 Amazon
11 7:09 Amazon
0:19 Amazon
13 5:33 Amazon
0:25 Amazon
15 3:52 Amazon
0:17 Amazon
17 3:50 Amazon
0:23 Amazon
19 14:20
0:44 Amazon
0:06 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick