The Popular Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra / Duke Ellington

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The Popular Duke Ellington Review

by Scott Yanow

This CD reissue from 1997 features Duke Ellington and His Orchestra running through 11 of the leader's hits and a lesser-known blues tune, "The Twitch." The 1966 version of his big band still had all of its main stars, including such major voices as trumpeters Cootie Williams and Cat Anderson, trombonists Lawrence Brown and Buster Cooper, altoist Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves on tenor, and clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton. All are featured on The Popular Duke Ellington. Since the material is all very familiar, and mostly quite concise (nothing over six minutes long, and a version of "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me" that is under two minutes), few surprises occur. But Ellington fans will enjoy this well-played effort.

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