Various Artists

Impulsively Ellington!: A Tribute to Duke Ellington

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Impulsively Ellington is a thoroughly stimulating compilation of Impulse artists covering the greatest composer in jazz history. Ellington may have written countless songs that became standards, but he never played it easy (unlike so many covers of his best material). That's why this adventurous collection works. None of the artists -- Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Charles Mingus, Ben Webster, Lionel Hampton, Yuself Lateef and Archie Shepp -- take it easy; even when they play fairly traditionally, there's a sense of exploration, excitement and love in their interpretations. Ultimately, Impulsively Ellington is just a sampler of the label, but on that level, it's absolutely winning.

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