Various Artists

Duke Ellington Swings!: The Music of the Duke

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Telarc Jazz's contribution to the Ellington centenary was this engaging compilation, all material from the '90s back catalog, with two notable exceptions. As bait for the complete Dave Brubeck collector, they've thrown in a pair of unreleased tracks left over from the Brubeck Quartet's tour of the U.K. in November 1998: a lengthy exploration of "Take The 'A' Train" with a hot solo by tenor Bobby Militello and some polytonal romping by Brubeck and a relaxed solo piano version of Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be." Two live tracks with Mel Tormé at his most ingratiating bracket the album ("I'm Gonna Go Fishin'," "It Don't Mean a Thing"), and right in the center is a spiffy Tormé turn at the drums on "Rockin' in Rhythm." The remainder of the tracks are given over to such reliable mainstream stalwarts as Oscar Peterson, the Ray Brown Trio, Jim Hall, Ahmad Jamal, the trio of André Previn, Joe Pass, and Brown and Bobby Short.

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