Count Basie / Duke Ellington

First Time! The Count Meets the Duke

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At first glance this collaboration should not have worked. The Duke Ellington and Count Basie Orchestras had already been competitors for 25 years but the leaders' mutual admiration (Ellington was one of Basie's main idols) and some brilliant planning made this a very successful and surprisingly uncrowded encounter. On most selections Ellington and Basie both play piano (their interaction with each other is wonderful) and the arrangements allowed the stars from both bands to take turns soloing. "Segue in C" is the highpoint but versions of "Until I Met You," "Battle Royal" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside" are not far behind.

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