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The Blanton Webster Import
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
35 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
This music is as good as any music written this century. Whether you come from post-Bird jazz, rock 'n roll, alternative, or rap, Blanton-Webster is a momentous discovery. Give it some time, though. The style may be a little foreign at first, and there's a lot going on in most of the songs. . . . However, unless you've just got to have the set now or have deep pockets, wait for a new BMG remastering, or buy the French Classic versions. The quality of the RCA set is awful. Errors in A Train have not been fixed. The overall sound of the set is very muffled.
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Par Dennis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Among the countless issues in 83 years of recorded jazz there are thousands of highly recommendable albums, a few hundred of must-haves and a rucksack full of desert island discs. But if we had to load a time capsule in order to show future generations what the 20th century has achieved in musical terms, the instant choice would be - besides four or five other recordings - this set. I regrettably admit that I don't manage to listen to all my records, but through the years I listened to these titles over and over. Never before and after did an orchestra produce such thrilling music. The Duke and his men were riding on an, even to Ellingtonian measures, incredible wave of forward-romping, unprecedented energy. Some of Duke's best-loved compositions were made during these years (1940-42) and they cover the whole range of the Ellingtonian style, from his inimitable renditions of the blues, pieces of exotica and simple hits-of-the-day to tonal portraits, concertos, roaring instrumentals and mood pieces with all shades of colour. Billy Strayhorn had already joined the band in 1938 and blended his way of composing/arranging perfectly with Duke's. Jimmy Blanton came in 1939 and changed bass-playing forever. ...and at the beginning of 1940 Ben Webster added his wonderful tenor sax to the sound palette. All the old instrumentalists were still in the band and at the pinnacle of their technical and artistic power (Hodges, Cootie, Rex, Carney, Tizol, Brown, Nanton, Sonny, Barney,...). Instead of praising on and on I'll give you two selections of these great masterpieces: "I Don't Know What Kind of Blues I Got" - Duke's musical heritage was not rooted in the blues tradition, like those of Count Basie and Charlie Parker. As a youngster he admired the masters of stride and ragtime, the world of blues remained strange to him all his life. Nevertheless he left us a bunch of immortable blues compositions, harmonically undoubtedly blues, but arranged and performed in a way that no other jazz or blues musician did till the present day. The title is a lesser-known composition, yet it contains some of the essentials of the "Ellington-Effect". he dissonant piano chords in the introduction show us two elements of his genius: 1.He did everything his way. 2.Once we have heard his solutions, we are convinced that this is the only way it should be done. After the piano, Barney Bigard plays his clarinet in the deep reister, then Lawrence Brown's trombone softly joins from behind and they both create the famous "Mood-Indigo"-effect, a cloud dwelling on a gentle breeze. Then we moeet the three muted trumpets with an obligato by Ben Webster, soon supported by the unparalleled reed section, and Barney takes a flight over the crescending orchestra, now in his high register. Lawrece improvises over the original melody. Two thirds of playing time are already over and no other leader would place a vocal part so late. But Dike is different, and Herb Jeffries delivers the unusual lyrics convincingly. Then the trumpets and the saxes seem to stray from each other, polaying in different keys - which they actually don't - portraying the doubtful mood evident in the words. As the record comes to a close, we have learned of the beauty in the "World of Ellingtonia". "In a Mellotone" - For years, this has been the representative Ellington recording to me. The music as well as the title perfectly demonstrate what Duke's music was all about. The band always played in a mellow tone, never too loud, even when the volume was turned up high. Duke used the chord structure of the old tune "Rose Room" (which he recorded in 1932). But he did not only write a new melody on the old harmonies (as it was usual in the bebop era), it's the call-and-response theme between the three trombones and the five saxes that really carries the song and makes it so unique. The two sections play together as one, individually. The whole arrangement does not contain any ground-breaking device, no chords or harmonies presaging the modern jazz to come (like Duke had done so many times before). It's just a plain old swing tune executed in a simply perfect manner. The musical material is excellent and the band really shows why this is probably Duke's best orchestra and certainly the best jazz orchestra ever. The sound of the sections,the brilliant soloists, the rhythmic drive of Jimmy Blanton's bass, the importance of the underrated Sonny Greer and Freddie Guy and, last but not least, Duke himself - the piano player, who directs his sound machine from his keyboard with Dukish chords and a strong, percussive beat. There's only one flaw in this box. Its sound is inferior to the mammoth-box of RCA (24 CDs), but nevertheless I recommend it to every one. Just buy it! The sooner, the better.
19 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Par Michael Ebert - Publié sur Amazon.com
As RCA/BMG just reissued a /wonderfully-remastered/ 24-CD set, which includes all of these titles, a better version of these tracks (about 7 CDs' worth, including alternate takes) is on the horizon. Save up for that instead! The sound on these newer remasterings is 300% better. No joke.
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Par ABH457 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD Achat vérifié
I have to disagree with the review of "Music Fan from Seattle WA" dated May 11, 1998, who claims the "little 'faux pas' (of the previous edition) have been ironed out." "Music Fan from Westchester" dated April 17, 1999 is correct. They persist. I now have a 12-13 year old set and one sent last week by Amazon. The problems referred to -- which did not exist on earlier earlier LPs, nor on some foreign CDs -- are still there in all their gory. Unless Amazon sent me old stock, RCA (that is, General Electric) has had the slovenliness not to redigitize these recordings for the Duke Ellington Centennial (April 29) over a period of 13 years. The good news is that those who are not familiar with this music may notice little wrong. Those who are may find it akin to publishing the American Constitution with several ugly typos! I suggest that the best approach to acquiring this music is to buy one of the foreign CDs (e.g. RCA/GE France: Indispensable Ellington vols 5/6 and 7/8 on the Black and White label). It would be interesting to see if the Complete RCA recordings are similarly marred. I certainly won't buy them until I know for sure. Five stars for the music, but minus at least one for the slick accountants at GE/RCA.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Impossible to overpraise. True, BMG screwed up the first time around, flattening out the sound during the digital transfer and snipping off the first seconds of "Take the A Train" (for shame!). In the current edition, however, these little faux pas have been ironed out--which means that there's no longer any excuse not to buy this killer collection.By the mid-1930s, Ellington's orchestra was already a world-class ensemble--indeed, how could it be otherwise, with such musical personalities as Johnny Hodges, Bubber Miley, Harry Carney, and Sonny Greer in its ranks? Still, the addition of Ben Webster in 1940 gave the orchestra its first great tenor stylist. And Jimmy Blanton's singing, horn-like lines erased the last hint of stuffed-shirt, two-beat archaism from the band's sound. Ellington himself responded with a clutch of masterpieces: "Harlem Air Shaft" and "Warm Valley," "What Am I Here For?" and "Jack the Bear" and "Concerto for Cootie" and dozens more. So did Billy Strayhorn ("Take the A Train" and "Chelsea Bridge") and even Ellington's son Mercer, who stepped out of the Oedipal shadow long enough to produce gems like "Blue Serge." The Blanton-Webster Band really is a reason for living.
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