Various Artists

Echoes of Ellington, Vol. 2

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While on the surface, Volume Two of Jazzvisions' Ellington survey looks a lot like Volume One without the vocals, this disc is definitely more interesting than its companion, despite the conservative choices of tunes. The reason is that a number of unusual things are allowed to happen. Music director Roger Kellaway's own piano solos are always unpredictable -- "Satin Doll" really cuts loose and goes over the wall after a sedate opening -- and the antic dueling pianos of Kellaway and Pete Jolly on "Rockin' In Rhythm" throw a lot of needed irreverence into the hopper. Also -- surprise -- there are rock-ish treatments of "I Don't Mean a Thing" and "Caravan" where the piano is electric; guitarist Robben Ford and saxophonist Tom Scott revert a bit toward their old days in the L.A. Express on the former, and Ford makes strange noises on the latter. Like its companion, this was released in five formats CD, LP, cassette, laserdisc and VHS video.

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