Duke Ellington

Magenta Haze [Black Lion]

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The second of a series of Black Lion LP compilations issued a few years after the death of Duke Ellington, this collection also examines unreleased recordings from the stockpile of concerts and studio dates. "The Feeling of Jazz," which was used for a time as the theme song to a radio show hosted by Mercer Ellington, is a swinging, though somewhat obscure tune, with Johnny Hodges' mellow alto sax and Ray Nance's growling muted trumpet. Nance's superb muted horn and Ellington's staccato piano are the focus of a down and dirty take of "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'." The track labeled as "Rockin' in Rhythm" is actually proceeded by "Kinda Dukish," Ellington's warm-up designed to give time for all of the band's members to take their seats. Nance's violin shares the spotlight with tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves in the easygoing "Mr. Gentle and Mr. Cool." And the leader delights in the piano-bass miniature "Dancers in Love," during which he encourages the audience to snap their fingers along with the piece. Great music that will appeal to serious fans of Ellington.