Duke Ellington

The Duke at His Best

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AllMusic Review by

A disc with a title like this always seems to be open to scrutiny and usually comes up far short of what the title boasts. But this one takes all its hits ("Take the 'A' Train," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Caravan," "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Caravan," "Perdido," "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," "Sophisticated Lady," "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good," "'C' Jam Blues," and "In a Mellotone," just for starters) from recordings made between 1940 and 1941, prime years for the Ellington organization. Great liner notes and lots of recording and personnel information, this one delivers over an hour and ten minutes of superlative American music by a true master. Essential in any collection, jazz or otherwise.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:55 Spotify
2 3:18
3 3:16 Spotify
4 2:56 Spotify
5 2:48 Spotify
6 3:11 Spotify
7 3:34 Spotify
8 3:02 Spotify
9 3:10 Spotify
10 2:46 Spotify
11 3:17 Spotify
12 2:56 Spotify
13 3:16
14 3:18 Spotify
15 3:11 Spotify
16 2:44 Spotify
17 2:59 Spotify
18 2:37 Spotify
19 3:25 Spotify
20 2:31 Spotify
21 2:41 Spotify
22 3:10 Spotify
23 2:22 Spotify
24 2:56 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick