Duke Ellington / Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

A Drum Is a Woman

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Duke Ellington's fanciful tale of Carribee Joe and his drum, which evolved into a woman known as Madam Zajj (and a very abstract telling of the evolution of jazz) became a television special in the late '50s but does not translate all that well to record. Dominated by vocals and narration, the music often plays a backseat to the story, which is worth hearing twice at the most.

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