Duke Ellington

The Ellington Era, Vol. 2

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Listeners new to jazz will find themselves challenged by the vast number of recordings available by Duke Ellington. The Ellington Era, Vol. 2 is an excellent introductory survey of his early years between 1927 and 1940, with a wide-ranging sample of works recorded originally for Columbia, OKeh, Brunswick, Banner, and Variety. There are many highlights among the 47 tracks, since this set is far more than a collection of greatest hits. "Beggar's Blues" showcases the leader's stride piano influence and trombonist Tricky Sam Nanton. "Sweet Chariot" features an unusual duet by alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges and Cootie Williams, who sings rather than plays trumpet. "Something to Live For" marked the arrival of Billy Strayhorn, who co-composed it with Ellington. The presence of an excellent commentary by Ralph J. Gleason, Stanley Dance's track-by-track analysis, and interview of drummer Sonny Greer, and the rarely published vintage photos makes it worth any serious jazz fan's time to acquire this three-record set.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:56
2 3:03
3 2:58
4 2:51
5 3:13
6 2:40
7 3:10
8 2:14
9 3:01
10 2:47
11 2:38
12 3:05
13 2:56
14 2:36
15 4:02
16 2:43
17 3:02
18 2:59
19 2:32
20 3:08
21 2:58
22 2:56
23 3:02
24 3:14
25 3:05
26 3:08
27 3:05
28 3:11
29 3:15
30 3:06
31 3:08
32 2:21
33 3:03
34 3:04
35 2:51
36 2:54
37 2:58
38 2:23
39 2:29
40 2:38
41 2:49
42 3:25
43 2:25
44 3:18
45 2:37
46 2:55
47 2:51
blue highlight denotes track pick