Various Artists

Blue Note Plays Duke

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Tapping into the deep vaults of Blue Note and Capitol Records, the compilers of this Duke Ellington tribute deliver both classic vocal sides and hard bop instrumentals. Kicked off, appropriately enough, with Ellington's own version of "Rockin' in Rhythm," the mix includes the A-list likes of Nat King Cole ("Mood Indigo"), Kenny Burrell ("Caravan"), Nina Simone ("It Don't Mean a Thing"), and Clifford Jordan ("Sophisticated Lady"). Shifting between vintage tracks from the '50s and '60s and more modern turns cut during the '80s, the disc also features big band favorite Stan Kenton; Ellington's writing partner, Billy Strayhorn; Hammond B-3 great Jimmy McGriff; and multi-style singer Lou Rawls. A well-balanced and fetching compilation.

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