Here's instant relief for those who need a quick shot of classic Duke Ellington in the form of 25 recordings made between December 1927 and May 1940 that map the development of this superb big band from the close of the Bubber Miley period to the dawn of what has since come to be called the Blanton-Webster band (so named for the combined presence and influence of string bassist Jimmy Blanton and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster). Duke Ellington's orchestra was the definitive, breathing embodiment of big-band jazz for about 50 years; a perusal of his collective personnel listing can provide newcomers with plenty of clues for further exploration (begin by feeding your search engine the following names: Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams, Juan Tizol, Barney Bigard, and Wellman Braud). Vocalists heard on this collection are Ozie Ware, Dick Robertson, and the divine Ivie Anderson.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
feat: Jungle Band