Duke Ellington

Early Ellington (1927-1934)

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Thus far RCA, in its Bluebird series, has released three CDs of early Duke Ellington. Although not comparable in quantity to its earlier "complete" series on French RCA LPs, this first disc is well worth acquiring and is a perfect place for collectors to start in exploring Duke Ellington's music of the '20s and early '30s. Highpoints include "Black and Tan Fantasy," "Creole Love Call," "East St. Louis Toodle-oo," the lyrical "Black Beauty," "Mood Indigo" and the remarkable "Daybreak Express," on which Ellington has his unique orchestra colorfully depicting a train ride. Some of his music still sounds futuristic today.

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