Duke Ellington

The Jeep Is Jumpin' [Magnum]

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TKO Magnum does its best to make The Jeep Is Jumpin' to appear as an official release, going so far as to issue a "Consumer Guidance" bar on the back cover. For the record, the admit that the recording is live, the duration is 60:47 and that the quality is "8/10, " although it's unclear whether that's sound or performance quality. Beneath that veneer, the budget-priced collection is fairly sloppy, never giving any real details about where and when these 16 tracks were recorded, nor any information about who played on the sessions (which were most likely radio recordings). That's frustrating, not only for collectors but for casual fans whose thirst will be whetted by these enjoyable recordings. It's clear that the sessions date from a number of different years and there's several different bands here, but it's impossible to pinpoint the exact origins of any of this music. Nevertheless, this proves the old axiom that Ellington rarely made music wasn't worthwhile, since the disc, while haphazardly assembled, is still entertaining. Still, the lack of information (even though there are liner notes from Barry McRae) make this a marginal bargain, even at its budget price.

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