George Wein

Tribute to Duke

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Although this LP is labelled as a tribute to Duke Ellington, only five of the ten songs have anything to do with Ellington. The personnel varies throughout the live concert with the great veteran Joe Venuti (in the early part of his successful comeback) being featured on the first three numbers (including "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Undecided"), unaccompanied guitar solos by Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel, and a couple of ballad showcases for cornetist Ruby Braff. Also heard from are vibraphonist Red Norvo and the fine rhythm section led by pianist-leader George Wein. This is a strong mainstream set from an era when swing-based music seemed to be in danger of becoming extinct.