Duke Ellington

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Toodle-oo

This is early Ellington, when he first started moulding the new music that had spontaneously evolved in America to his own artistic purposes. The music has a sound that jazz never really recaptured: it evokes the suffering, joys, and aspirations of a certain people at a certain time and place, but jazz soon gathered its own momentum and became a more universal art form. Apart from the historical interest, however, this is compelling music its own right, and it’s great fun listening out for the characters: Bubber Miley’s ‘speaking’ plunger mute work on cornet, and Tricky Sam Nanton going ‘yah yah’ on the trombone, in particular.