Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington: Jazz Icons 1958 DVD 2007


Duke did his first full-scale tour of Europe in ’58-and this Dutch performance from that year is his earliest-known filmed full-length concert. Clark Terry, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves and Ray Nance are in his brilliant band as he does The Mooch; All of Me; Caravan; Solitude; Sophisticated Lady; Mood Indigo; My Funny Valentine; Black and Tan Fantasy; Creole Love Call , and more!

Product Reviews

The two sets captured on the Jazz Icons: Duke Ellington DVD consist of 80 minutes by the 16-piece Ellington Orchestra. The personnel includes a star-studded horn section with Johnny Hodges (alto sax), Russell Procope (alto sax/clarinet), Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax), Jimmy Hamilton (tenor sax/clarinet), Harry Carney (baritone sax/clarinet/bass clarinet), Cat Anderson (trumpet), Harold “Shorty” Baker (trumpet), Ray Nance (trumpet/violin/vocal), Clark Terry (trumpet), Quentin “Butter” Jackson (trombone), John Sanders (valve trombone), and Britt Woodman (trombone). The rhythm players were equally impressive as Duke Ellington (piano) led Jimmy Woode (bass) and Sam Woodyard (drums) through their paces. The concurrent renaissance of Ellington’s music was brought on in large part by their landmark performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. (Note: No jazz collection should be without the At Newport 1956 Complete [1999] two-CD set) As such there are a number of similarities between the two.

Once the aggregate takes the stage of Amsterdam’s venerable Concertgebouw, Ellington gets things underway by assuring the assemblage that “the kids in the band want you to know that we do love you madly.” They launch into a transcendent medley that hits upon “Black and Tan Fantasy,” “Creole Love Call,” and a slightly truncated “The Mooch.” Undoubtedly the edit — which occurs between the latter two tunes — was done to shorten the program to an acceptable broadcast length. Although collectors have seen much of this footage before, no one sans the evening’s attendees have been previously privy to these versions of “Harlem Air Shaft,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Jack the Bear,” and “You Better Know It” — featuring a sublime vocal from Ozzie Bailey. This is thanks to the producer’s consultation with Ellington expert Patricia Willard. Not only is she a former Historical Consultant to the Ellington Collection in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institute, she also inked the amazingly detailed liner notes essay within the accompanying 24-page booklet that boasts a short forward from Edward Kennedy Ellington II — Duke’s grandson.

The songs are played with uniform brilliance and are at once a living history of early 20th century popular music possessing the same ability to melodically mesmerize listeners from any era. Standout moments are many, but the short list touches on the intimacy in “Butter” Jackson, Ray Nance, and Russell Procope’s fugue-like conversations during “Black and Tan Fantasy.” Sam Woodyard’s percussion showcase “Hi-Fi Fo Fum” premiered at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival and essentially became the follow-up to “Skin Deep.” As if further proof were needed, the ten-minute “Ellington Medley” reiterates the practically unfathomable talents of the man with excerpts of “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Do Nothing Til You Hear from Me,” “Don’t You Know I Care,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Mood Indigo,” “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “Caravan,” “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Solitude,” and “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart.” In the wake of the 1956 Newport showstoppers, no Duke Ellington Orchestra concert could be considered complete without the double-barrel onslaught of “Diminuendo in Blue” and “Crescendo in Blue.” ~ Lindsay Planer, Rovi


Duke Ellington
Jazz Icons: Duke Ellington
Music Video & Concerts, Pop
Big Band, Music Video (Concert / Performance)
4 September 2007
Duke Ellington, Clark Terry, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves
Not Rated

Technical Information

4 September 2007
04 Sep 2007
0 : Region-Free
1.33:1 (Pre-1954 Standard), Black and White
PCM Mono, English
Discs:1 ~ Format:Ntsc ~ Region:0
Clark Terry, Duke Ellington, Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Quentin Jackson, Ray Nance
Ellington,Duke Clr Dvd-Standard
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