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Ellington Uptown

Duke Ellington Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Feb 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0001CCYA6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,098,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Skin DeepDuke Ellington 6:490.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The MoocheDuke Ellington 6:360.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Take the 'A' TrainDuke Ellington 8:000.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. A Tone Parallel to Harlem (The Harlem Suite) (78rpm Version)Duke Ellington And His Orchestra13:470.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. PerdidoDuke Ellington 8:230.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Before My TimeDuke Ellington 6:070.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. LaterDuke Ellington 4:130.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. I Like the SunriseDuke Ellington 4:280.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Dance No. 1Duke Ellington 4:500.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Dance No. 2Duke Ellington 3:260.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Dance No. 3Duke Ellington 3:450.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Dance No. 4Duke Ellington 3:040.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Dance No. 5Duke Ellington 5:080.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELLINGTON CLASSIC 8 Nov 2009
Format:Audio CD
Yes, this is the beautiful album where Betty Roche sings on Take the A-train, Clark Terry shines on Perdido, the whole band gives a classic re-working of The Mooche, Louis Bellson struts
his stuff on Skin Deep,
and there are some extra tracks and nice suites as well...

Maybe not the most famous Ellington albums (it's from early 1950s, it doesn't have Hodges, there's no diminuendo and crescendo in blue...)it has so many highlights and classics it is actually strange it's not mentioned more often in general evaluation of orchestral jazz, swing, mainstream, Ellington and jazz classics in general...
And, yes, some of the orchestrations show some influence of modernity, as do Gonsalves on tenor and Betty Roche on vocals... But it's a testament of Duke's (and, probably, Strayhorn's) constant search and development, not just a passing sign of times. It is one of those lovely albums that are at the same time essential and good introduction to artist's work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELLINGTON CLASSIC 8 Nov 2009
Format:Audio CD
Yes, this is the beautiful album where Betty Roche sings on Take the A-train, Clark Terry shines on Perdido, the whole band gives a classic re-working of The Mooche, Louis Bellson struts
his stuff on Skin Deep,
and there are some extra tracks and nice suites as well...

Maybe not the most famous Ellington albums (it's from early 1950s, it doesn't have Hodges, there's no diminuendo and crescendo in blue...)it has so many highlights and classics it is actually strange it's not mentioned more often in general evaluation of orchestral jazz, swing, mainstream, Ellington and jazz classics in general...
And, yes, some of the orchestrations show some influence of modernity, as do Gonsalves on tenor and Betty Roche on vocals... But it's a testament of Duke's (and, probably, Strayhorn's) constant search and development, not just a passing sign of times. It is one of those lovely albums that are at the same time essential and good introduction to artist's work.
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Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars graham ellington cole 9 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have an old lp called "kings of drums". on it is the first track "skin deep" on the cd. this track showcases Louis bellsons amazing drum solo the cd is worth it just for this track alone!!!! all other tracks are ellington classics including "take the a train. for all big band and swing fans! BUY IT NOW
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars uneven classic, great sonics 6 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The strong points about this cd include the amazing accurate sound quality, its wonderful to hear those clarinet keys rattle during the solo on Mooche, this cd is a DSD transfer triumph. Skin deep you may not like if you are not a big fan of drum solo's, I think it's ok but every time the full band kicks in again is a bit of a relief. The controversial suite. Is it some kind of knowing parody as some reviews have suggested? I don't know but I've never warmed to it. Despite this the band are red hot throughout and if you love Clark Terry there's lots to love.Over time the part of this cd I keep coming back to is the Liberian suite as it is a fantastic composition throughout plus the sound quality is phenomenal for its recording date of 1949. Compared with the rest of the cd on Liberian there is occasional surface noise. Compared, however, with a Masters of Jazz selection of the suite I have the imrpovements brought about by this version are incredible. All in all, for the price unmissable bargain but over time you may well dip into your favourites rather than listen all the way through.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Going Uptown 1 May 2005
By F. Hagan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A great many things might be implied by the titling of Duke Ellington's thrice released and cherished album "Ellington Uptown," (Columbia) and the concept of something being "classy" is only one of those possibilities. Surely, Ellington was the grand conductor and maestro of the modern orchestral band, acknowledging his own favorite composers as Gershwin, Stravinsky, Debussy and Respighi-a cultural synthesis of the modern and the classical traditions if there ever was one. And so, the images of being "uptown," conjured by the subject matter of the selected pieces and the energy and thoughtful reflection involved in the bustle of the metropolis are all here, and all orchestrated with the personality and character of a symphonic journey and original masterpiece.

The organization of this CD is important: previous releases have both added and dropped material, but this is an entire view of "Ellington Uptown," resplendent as a complete artistic vision. The album opens with "Skin Deep," a crowd pleasing and often vigorous arrangement where the composer is also the drummer, and Louis Bellson's extended drum solo is something like the remarkable stuff of Ellington live shows. The following track is "The Mooche," a much earlier work by Ellington, which is here refined and distilled with a rousing arrangement that is dedicated wholly to its original flavor, but effortlessly blends with the rest of the unfolding tapestry. The reworking of "Take the `A' Train" is also a fascinating piece of art, moving from jazzy instrumental to bop inspired vocals with Betty Roche. There are great percussive uses of the Hi-Fi recording techniques, and the shifts in mood and tempo will make the listener feel like they are at the train station. The next idea personified with music is "A Tone Parallel to Harlem," at the time a more modern Ellington composition, and in the opinion of some the summation of where his current musical influences were taking him. And so, in evaluating the progression of recordings, it is subjectively implied that the move uptown is a journey through art and imagination and style. There are a lot of stylistic landscapes to cross before the album's completion. The glorious "Perdido" allows many of the Ellington Band's most celebrated soloists to spotlight.

The bonus material allows the viewpoint of different ideas. "I Like the Sunrise" is meant to instill the emotions of those who were leaving the United States to resettle in Africa, beaten down by slavery but inspired by hope for freedom. The energy takes a dive into reflection as the next tracks move into focus. This is the famous "Controversial Suite." Here the Duke addresses the conflict between traditionalists and progressive jazz enthusiasts. Without siding, the Duke uses the three pieces to emote the ideas of the music. The answer, the Duke would seem to say, is to express art (and to show that older musicians can hang with the nouveau). The final five tracks are the wonderfully mastered "Liberian Suite," in which the movements are numbered instead of named. This is the first Ellington piece of music to follow the formal suite form, as well as being his second commercially released album. The concepts of freedom and the conflict of racism and the desire for betterment blend in this tribute to the nation of Liberia.

Whether guiding the listener through a deeply personal musical journey by way of uptown travel, reflecting on the progression of musical styles, or adding his thought and prayers to the furthering of the dreams of men who want freedom from oppression, the Duke is an artist. The pictures he paints are to fill the heart and the mind, and the class and truth of his work is timeless.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another record (or Ellington album) 13 Jan 2006
By Samuel Chell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It's somewhat unsettling these days to see the number of "desert island" lists that omit any mention of the Ellington band. Apparently the maestro is receiving ever-growing recognition for his popular song output as well as his iconic but hardly representative appearances on recordings like "Duke Ellington and John Coltrane." But to deny Ellington his primary instrument--his orchestra--is to silence as distinctive and personal a voice as American music has ever produced.

"Ellington Uptown" may be the best single introduction to the band. Too often the Ellington samplers and "Best of" collections emphasize the pop tunes at the expense of the compositional genius of Ellington and the colorful tonal personality of the band. And though the jazz critics may tell you Ellington's best orchestra was the Blanton-Webster unit of the early '40's, I see that some Amazon listeners were immediately put off by these recordings because of the audio quality. At the other end are the Suites, particularly "Three Suites," an impressive collection of three of Ellington's best extended works. But these, too, can seem arid and even overwhelming to a listener who has yet to make the acquaintance of the Ellington ensemble. There's always "Ellington at Newport 1956," but this two-disc package loses much of its impact on the listener who is unfamiliar with the historical circumstances of the event itself.

Enter "Ellington Uptown," which contains, in my opinion, the most memorable, exciting version of "Take the A Train" on record--as representative of the best of the swing era as it is of the Ellington orchestra's strengths. Betty Roche and Paul Gonsalves both have extended, masterful solos, and the audio quality is life-like. "Perdido" and "Skin-Deep" are two more swing-era staples while "The Mooche" and the two Suites demonstrate the true Ellington legacy--a modern, "progressive" American music that clearly derives from the sounds, textures, and rhythms of the New Orleans tradition.

Appreciating the Ellington orchestra is not an "automatic," especially since most listeners are accustomed to the formulaic approach of big swing bands and the "well-oiled machine" criteria by which such ensembles are commonly measured. The Ellington ensembles, on the other hand, were "beyond category" (to use a Duke phrase). And even without the presence of Johnny Hodges, who was elsewhere during these recordings, "Ellington Uptown" represents the democratic, personal, and inimitable Ellington sound as it deserves to be heard and remembered.

Before your desert island list numbers ten albums, make sure "Ellington Uptown" is among them.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting more of the Ellington oeuvre out on CD 23 Feb 2004
By bukhtan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
For too long, Columbia (Sony, or now Sony/BMG?) has been satisfied to keep only the original all-too-brief "Uptown" available on CD. Finally we have the peculiar "Controversial Suite" back in the package, as well as the attractive "Liberia Suite" from 1948. To my knowledge, this suite has latterly only been available through Melodie Chronogical [sic] Classics, the French bootleg re-issue label.
There is a very beautiful alternate version of the 1st movement of the "Liberia Suite" in which Harry Carney's unique baritone sax replaces the somewhat banal vocal by Al Hibbler. Who knows why this was not included. Five stars for this release if it were.
My equipment and ears don't notice any significant improvement in the sound quality which could be attributed to re-mastering. This music includes some of Duke & Strayhorn's most elaborate scoring and there still seem to be some "balance" problems. I still seem to hear strings in "Perdido" at one juncture, though I think they're reeds, and some of the heavy piano accents in "the Mooche" (by Duke, I believe) are just barely audible.
The original liner notes and layout have been reproduced along with additional notes, very informative, by Patricia Willard.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellington Uptown and Skin Deep - Meet Mr. Bellson 23 Dec 2004
By David Renzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is the album that made a household name of Louie Bellson and the tune that turned the drumming world on its ear. No one had heard anything quite like "Skin Deep" in 1952, and it is still remarkable by any standard. Constructed within the framework of the Ellington band, Bellson's solo on his own composition is a series of percussive interludes separated by orchestral episodes, a modified call and response between drummer and band, until the band drops out and leaves Bellson in the spotlight. He proceeds to build a solo, the first recorded double bass drum solo, that is completely original in conception and utterly impossible in execution, inspiring legions of imitators in its wake. Bellson's genius here lies in his ability to merge the musical with the technical, and he orchestrates a series of snare patterns with bass drum punctuations before launching a fuscillade of rapid alternating single-stroke rolls against the bass drums, stepping on the pedals until the batters are an absolute blur. Just when you think he can't go any longer, Bellson counterpoints the thundering bass drums with crashing cymbals and a seamless press roll, until he abruptly stops and counts the band back in for a rousing climax. Oh, and the rest of the album isn't bad either.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELLINGTON CLASSIC 8 Nov 2009
By Nikica Gilic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Yes, this is the beautiful album where Betty Roche sings on Take the A-train, Clark Terry shines on Perdido, the whole band gives a classic re-working of The Mooche, Louis Bellson struts
his stuff on Skin Deep,
and there are some extra tracks and nice suites as well...

Maybe not the most famous Ellington albums (it's from early 1950s, it doesn't have Hodges, there's no diminuendo and crescendo in blue...)it has so many highlights and classics it is actually strange it's not mentioned more often in general evaluation of orchestral jazz, swing, mainstream, Ellington and jazz classics in general...
And, yes, some of the orchestrations show some influence of modernity, as do Gonsalves on tenor and Betty Roche on vocals... But it's a testament of Duke's (and, probably, Strayhorn's) constant search and development, not just a passing sign of times. It is one of those lovely albums that are at the same time essential and good introduction to artist's work.
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