Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

1940-1941

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Starting with the first selection by Barney Bigard's small group, Ray Nance succeeded Cootie Williams (who had left to join Benny Goodman) as Duke Ellington's trumpet soloist. The Ellington orchestra was so strong that Williams' departure did not make much of a difference. After all, the band still featured such soloists as Rex Stewart, Lawrence Brown, Joe Tricky Sam Nanton, Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster, Harry Carney, Jimmy Blanton, and Ellington himself, with vocals from Ivie Anderson and Herb Jeffries and writing by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Other than the first four numbers on this disc (taken from a Barney Bigard small-group date), the full orchestra is heard throughout the CD. Among the more memorable numbers are "Flamingo" (Herb Jeffries' big hit), the original version of "Take the 'A' Train," "Jumpin' Punkins," "Blue Serge," "Just a-Sittin' and a-Rockin," the original recording of "I Got It Bad" (featuring Ivie Anderson), and a pair of Ellington piano solos.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:04
2 02:53
3 03:31
4 03:14
5 03:15
6 03:25
7 03:21
8 02:56
9 03:34
10 03:31
11 03:23
12 03:22
13 03:26
14 03:29
15 03:25
16 03:06
17 03:36
18 03:34
19 02:54
20 03:20
21 02:58
22 03:11
23 02:53
blue highlight denotes track pick