Duke Ellington

Cocktail Hour

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This collection of Duke Ellington classics from the 1940s and '50s is aimed at sophisti-cats and kittens in the (mellow) mood for a swinging good time. With selections mostly running at around three minutes, this two-CD set avoids Ellington's weightier compositions (there are no suites here) in favor of his lighter works. But though this material is easy on the ear, it's also dense enough to be suitable for more critical listening. So this entry into the COCKTAIL HOUR series is an ideal primer for those wishing to dip their toes into the vast expanse of Ellingtonia available, as well as being ideal music to accompany eating, drinking, socializing, and neighborly gossip.

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