Reminiscing in Tempo

Reminiscing in Tempo

by Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington

CD(German Import)

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Just the fact that Ellington's extended masterpiece "Reminiscing in Tempo" is included here in its original and continuous form is reason enough to pick up this compilation. Initially recorded in 1935, "Reminiscing" was the first thoroughly composed jazz piece and one that not only demonstrated Ellington's knack for longer forms, but also featured practically all of his singular soloists. Upon its first release, the 13-minute piece was broken up over a few 78s, later making its way into EP form. Currently, the Classics label includes it on one of its Chronological discs, but spread over four distinct tracks. So, this 1991 Columbia release might be the only way to get this great work in its seamless form as it was originally recorded. Collector's concerns aside, this CD was the audio companion to an Ellington documentary aired on PBS. Predictably, it provides something of an overview of Ellington's career, beginning with a recording of "The Mooche" from his Cotton Club days in the late '20s up through a version of "Black Beauty" from 1960. Featured extensively are tracks from the '30s, including classics like "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" and "Sophisticated Lady." Original gems from the watershed '40s years are here too, including "Mood Indigo" and the somewhat obscure but beautiful "On a Turquoise Cloud" from 1947. Unfortunately, since this is Columbia and not RCA, the versions of "Cotton Tail," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (originally entitled "Never No Lament"), and "Take The 'A' Train" are not the well-known Blanton-Webster studio recordings from 1940, but inferior versions from various soundtracks recorded in Hollywood the same year. Bringing up collector's concerns again, though, these "alternate" tracks might be a plus and certainly figure in here with the Okeh versions of the '20s material (as opposed to the more popular Bluebeard/Victor releases) and an alternate take of Mahalia Jackson's incredible vocal performance of "Come Sunday," as performed with the Ellington band in 1956. So, on one hand this disc offers a fine introduction to Ellington's catalog since, in its breadth, it gives the listener a chance to decide which period appeals the most and, as such, an entry point to the bandleader's vast body of work. For those who want to dig right into the essential core, though, it's best to pick up the early-'20s material on various Bluebird reissues, as well as RCA's three-disc Blanton-Webster Band set of recordings from 1940.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/13/2007
Label: Imports
UPC: 0636943258927
catalogNumber: 910439
Rank: 102646


  1. The Mooche
  2. Old Man Blues
  3. Rockin' in Rhythm
  4. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
  5. Sophisticated Lady
  6. Merry-Go-Round
  7. Reminiscing in Tempo
  8. The Laborers
  9. The New East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
  10. Prologue to the Black and Tan Fantasy
  11. The New Black and Tan Fantasy
  12. Grievin'
  13. Mood Indigo
  14. Cotton Tail
  15. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  16. Take the "A" Train
  17. On a Turquoise Cloud
  18. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
  19. Come Sunday
  20. Black Beauty

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Duke Ellington   Primary Artist,Piano,Leader
Lonnie Johnson   Guitar
Mahalia Jackson   Vocals
Paul Gonsalves   Tenor Saxophone
Johnny Hodges   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Ray Nance   Trumpet,Violin,Cornet
Oscar Pettiford   Bass
Sears   Tenor Saxophone
Rex Stewart   Cornet
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Cootie Williams   Trumpet
Lawrence Brown   Trombone
Tyree Glenn   Trombone
Jimmy Woode   Bass
Russell Procope   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Bubber Miley   Trumpet
Ivie Anderson   Vocals
Quentin Jackson   Trombone
Britt Woodman   Trombone
Jimmy Blanton   Bass
Wellman Braud   Bass,Vocals
Sonny Greer   Drums
Hayes Alvis   Bass
William Cat Anderson   Trumpet
Harold Baker   Trumpet
Barney Bigard   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Harry Carney   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Clark Terry   Trumpet
John Willie Cook   Trumpet
Kay Davis   Vocals
Bill Graham   Alto Saxophone
Fred Guy   Banjo,Guitar
Jimmy Hamilton   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Shelton Hemphill   Trumpet
Freddie Jenkins   Trumpet
Claude Jones   Trombone
Killian   Trumpet
Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton   Trombone,Tenor (Vocal)
John Sanders   Trombone
Juan Tizol   Valve Trombone
Arthur Whetsol   Trumpet
Sam Woodyard   Drums
Wallace Jones   Trumpet
Junior Raglin   Bass
Billy Taylor   Bass
Baby Cox   Vocals
Francis Williams   Trumpet
Otto Hardwick   Alto Saxophone,Bass Saxophone
Fred Avendorf   Drums

Technical Credits

Duke Ellington   Arranger,Composer
Billy Strayhorn   Arranger
Michael Brooks   Producer
Lauren Hasten   Engineer

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