Piano in the Background [Bonus Tracks]

Piano in the Background [Bonus Tracks]

by Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington

CD(Remastered / Bonus Tracks / Reissue)

Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Recorded in 1960, Piano in the Background's title is a bit of a misnomer. While it's true that Duke Ellington often didn't appear on his recordings at all and this one is designed to showcase a series of new arrangements for the Ellington Orchestra, it also offers the composer and bandleader as a pianist leading the band. All of the album's original nine cuts, as well as its five bonus tracks, are introduced by the man himself at the ivories, and he also takes each one out. The selection here is a beauty: from "Happy Go Lucky Local" from "Deep South Suite" and the nearly forgotten "What Am I Here For," to a medley of "Kinda Dukish," "Rockin' in Rhythm," "Perdido," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," and "I'm Beginning to See the Light," to Billy Strayhorn's classics "Take the 'A' Train" and "Midriff." These arrangements are crisp, sometimes startling, and dynamically performed. The bonus material includes Strayhorn's "Dreamy Sort of Thing" and a couple takes of George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland" as well as Gerald Wilson's awesome "The Wailer." There is also a slippery read of the Duke's "Harlem Air Shaft," which was recorded at a session in 1961 and was previously unreleased. In all, this and the two discs that were reissued as companions to this one, Piano in the Foreground and Blues in Orbit, mark a highly creative and productive time in Ellington's long career.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/27/2004
Label: Sony
UPC: 0696998710726
catalogNumber: 87107
Rank: 68988

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Duke Ellington   Primary Artist,Piano
Paul Gonsalves   Tenor Saxophone
Johnny Hodges   Alto Saxophone
Ray Nance   Trumpet
Gerald Wilson   Trumpet
Aaron Bell   Bass,Double Bass
Lawrence Brown   Trombone
Willie Cook   Trumpet
Booty Wood   Trombone
Russell Procope   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Britt Woodman   Trombone
Harry Carney   Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone
Jimmy Hamilton   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Billy Strayhorn   Piano
Juan Tizol   Valve Trombone
Sam Woodyard   Drums
Andres Merenghito   Trumpet
Eddie Mullens   Trumpet
Andre Merenghito   Trumpet
Matthew Gee   Trombone

Technical Credits

Johnny Hodges   Composer
Harry James   Composer
George Shearing   Composer
Gerald Wilson   Arranger,Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Harry Carney   Composer
Michael Cuscuna   Reissue Producer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Bill Mathieu   Arranger
Billy Strayhorn   Composer
Juan Tizol   Composer
Irving Townsend   Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Mark Wilder   Remixing
Michael Brooks   Reissue Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Patricia Willard   Liner Notes
Don George   Composer

Customer Reviews