Duke Ellington / Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

Through the Roof

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The music on this budget CD reissue was last available on an Alamac LP. Recording quality is so-so and the total playing time is under 40 minutes but the performances are generally rewarding and the 1939-40 Duke Ellington Orchestra was quite classic. Consisting of a pair of radio broadcasts, the music is highlighted by "Jazz Potpourri," "Pussy Willow," "The Gal from Joe's" and "Tootin' Through the Roof"; the latter song features a trumpet battle by Cootie Williams and Rex Stewart. Ivie Anderson has a vocal on "You Can Count on Me" and other soloists include trombonist Lawrence Brown (who is prominently featured), clarinetist Barney Bigard and altoist Johnny Hodges.

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