Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

1940

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AllMusic Review by

While listeners really should just dive right in and get the three-disc Blanton-Webster Band package from Bluebird, this single disc does a fine job of chronicling Ellington's epochal 1940 sessions. One of a few Classics discs covering that year, the 22-track collection takes in such milestones as "Concerto for Cootie," "Cottontail," "Ko-Ko," and "Sepia Panorama," while spotlighting some absolutely classic solo work by Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, Rex Stewart, and Barney Bigard, among many others. And even with such essential cuts as "In a Mellotone" and "Warm Valley" missing -- not to mention a handful of duets featuring Ellington and bassist Jimmy Blanton -- this roundup still has more than enough bedrock jazz to keep newcomers fully engrossed.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:22
2 3:18
3 2:44
4 3:19
5 2:54
6 2:59
7 3:18
8 2:55
9 2:44
10 3:12
11 3:19
12 3:20
13 3:21
14 2:53
15 3:11
16 3:24
17 3:00
18 2:49
19 3:32
20 2:47
21 3:26
22 3:24
blue highlight denotes track pick