Live In Poland 1971Artist: Duke Ellington
The year is 1971 and the great Maestro Duke Ellington led his world famous orchestra on its final European tour. To collectors and expert listeners alike this performance is a rare document of his final band which includes a few remaining veterans and a healthy sprinkling of young blood who would keep the Ellington flame lit for some time after Duke's passing, as members of the Ellington Orchestra led by his son Mercer, who is playing trumpet in the band on this recording as well. Johnny Hodges was now deceased. Norris Turney had aptly taken over his lead alto sax chair and added a powerful new twist. Cootie Williams was still pumping out those fat notes. Malcolm 'Big Luv' Taylor shines with his own brand of 'Things Ain's' showing himself to already become a master of the 'plunger style' of Tricky Sam Nanton, while Booty Wood was still in tow. Vocalist Nell Brookshire was more a Soul singer than jazz, and brought Duke a quasi-Aretha Franklin vibe to 'Everybody Wants to Know'. At long last, we finally get another take of Harold 'Geezil' Minerve bringing forth the 'rock' blues 'Addi', an amazing Ellington piece of exotica, which showcases his sinewy avant-garde-mixed-with-bop lines. Johnny Coles evokes Miles Davis in his prime with 'Good', another wild Ellington take on the blues. Stalwart Harry Carney is majestic as always. This rare concert in Warsaw, Poland shows yet another glimpse of the 'Rugged Jungle' band at its most dark and mysterious.