Ellington at Newport [1999]

Duke Ellington

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Ellington at Newport [1999] Review

by Scott Yanow

Duke Ellington's appearance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival has long been famous, and justifiably so. Paul Gonsalves' 27-chorus tenor solo on "Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue" practically started a riot at Newport and made headlines around the world. The momentum generated by this concert led to Ellington's comeback and never let up during his 18 remaining years. A double CD put out in 1999 presents the entire concert performance, previously unheard material, and a few revelations. After a brief truncated set that was cut short because four of Ellington's musicians could not be found, the Ellington Orchestra returned to the stage three hours later. They played "Take the 'A' Train," "Newport Jazz Festival Suite," a showcase for Harry Carney on "Sophisticated Lady," and a so-so Jimmy Grissom vocal outing on "Day In, Day Out." Then came "Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue." The saxophone interlude caused crazed dancing, and soon the crowd was as loud as the band. When the crowd would not quiet down, Ellington saved the day by closing with a long version of "Skin Deep." But unknown to most people is that on July 9, the orchestra went to the studios to reproduce the program. The earlier version of the "Newport Jazz Festival Suite" had been a bit sloppy and Gonsalves' famous tenor solo on "Diminuendo" had actually been played into the wrong microphone. Ellington's band therefore performed the entire "Newport Jazz Festival Suite" again and it was issued (with phony applause, introductions, and crowd noises) on the original LP. Highly recommended.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Duke Ellington 01:14 Amazon
2
Duke Ellington 03:39 Amazon
3 Duke Ellington 06:20 Amazon
4
Duke Ellington 00:26 Amazon
5 Duke Ellington 03:35 Amazon
6
Duke Ellington 02:45 Amazon
7 Duke Ellington 04:21 Amazon
8
Duke Ellington 00:41 Amazon
9 Duke Ellington 08:04 Amazon
10
Duke Ellington 00:42 Amazon
11 Duke Ellington 07:14 Amazon
12
Duke Ellington 00:14 Amazon
13 Duke Ellington 05:31 Amazon
14
Duke Ellington 00:26 Amazon
15 Duke Ellington 03:53 Amazon
16
Duke Ellington 00:16 Amazon
17 Duke Ellington 03:50 Amazon
18
Duke Ellington 00:25 Amazon
19
Duke Ellington 14:20 Amazon
20
Duke Ellington 00:43 Amazon
21
Duke Ellington 00:06 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Duke Ellington 00:18 Amazon
2 Duke Ellington 03:38 Amazon
3 Duke Ellington 05:08 Amazon
4
Duke Ellington 00:09 Amazon
5 Duke Ellington 02:49 Amazon
6
Duke Ellington 01:06 Amazon
7 Duke Ellington 09:12 Amazon
8 Duke Ellington 01:20 Amazon
9
Duke Ellington 03:58 Amazon
10
Duke Ellington 01:01 Amazon
11 Duke Ellington 08:46 Amazon
12
Duke Ellington 00:30 Amazon
13 Duke Ellington 07:53 Amazon
14
Duke Ellington 00:10 Amazon
15 Duke Ellington 05:12 Amazon
16
Duke Ellington 00:25 Amazon
17 Duke Ellington 03:48 Amazon
18 Duke Ellington 04:31 Amazon
19
Duke Ellington 00:06 Amazon
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