Duke Ellington
Ellington Uptown


5.0
classic

Review

by musicman USER (3 Reviews)
December 16th, 2006 | 17 replies | 3,185 views


Release Date: 1951 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ellington Uptown is a must-have record for anyone looking to understand the history of jazz and for anyone looking for a great record!

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Duke Ellington is one of the most important figures in jazz history. Ellington's big band showcased his creativity by the unorthodox use of each instrument and section. Max Roach, a world-class jazz drummer, once said that records are the textbooks of jazz. Ellington Uptown is a must-have record for anyone looking to understand the history of jazz.

The first track on the record is the most famous song from Duke Ellington's book, "Take the 'A' Train". The song opens up with Ellington on the piano being accompanied by Wendall Marshall (Bass) and Louie Bellson (Drums). Bellson's light brushwork makes the introduction to the song swing lightly in the pocket. Betty Roché, the featured singer on this track, performs amazingly in her rendition of the famous song. Her scat solo is sweet sounding and includes some "Call & Response" with some of the members of the band. This is my favorite version of the song.

"The Mooche" is my favorite big band composition. This tune is an example of Duke Ellington's creativity. The trumpeters make the most interesting sounds out of their horns. They are using hats to make sort of a "wah-wah" effect with the trumpets. Also, the traditional role of the drummer is changed. On this track, Bellson is playing rhythmic patterns on the toms with mallets. This is not your ordinary "four on the floor" swing tune.

"Skin Deep" is my favorite recording of all time. This tune has a great melody that swings hard. After the main melody is over, that is when Bellson takes off and starts what I consider one of the best drum solos. Bellson's use of two bass drums and a cowbell make the drum solo not only stronger, but also show the creativity of the drummer and the entire band. In fact, Bellson was actually the pioneer for the use of two bass drums. The band comes in and out throughout the tune to add contrast to the solo.

The other four tracks are spectacular as well, especially trombonist, Juan Tizol's, "Perdido." If you are interested in jazz, big band and/or any type of music you need to get this record.

5/5


user ratings (20)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tv Party
December 16th 2006



98 Comments


Good review. I wouldn't exactly call this a 5/5 though.

The Jungler
December 16th 2006



4827 Comments


Big Band isn't my favorite genre, but Jazz reviews are always cool (especially when they're well-written, like this one) and Duke is pretty awesome. Nice job.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
December 16th 2006



2806 Comments


Cool review, you're very good for a new guy. Just a few helpful suggestions: make more general statements about the album rather than describing a few tracks. Still, it's really nice to see someone else reviewing jazz and doing it well.

ohcleverhansyou
December 16th 2006



885 Comments


Excellent, another Duke review. And this one has some of his best stuff, I should probably get this when I get another Ellington album. Either this or At Newport 1960.

The Door Mouse
December 16th 2006



2092 Comments


I love take the 'A' train. Good reivew. We gotta bring the jazz genre back to life again.

Eliminator
December 16th 2006



2067 Comments


JAZZ IS DEAD

ohcleverhansyou
December 16th 2006



885 Comments


It's alright, jazz has been dead since the 30s. It's like Latin, just...cooler.

Eliminator
December 16th 2006



2067 Comments


What the fuck are you talking about?

Jazz isn't dead and certainly hasn't been dead since the '30s.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2006



17914 Comments


but zepdude said it was!

The Door Mouse
December 16th 2006



2092 Comments


When I said what I said before I meant the review section of Jazz is dead.This Message Edited On 12.16.06

ohcleverhansyou
December 16th 2006



885 Comments


What I meant was it's been out of the mainstream since World War II. It was only truly popular with the masses in the 20s and 30s. I read it...in a book.

Slaapkamers
June 12th 2007



596 Comments


yep the bestselling jazz albums were from the 20s and 30s

PaperCities
June 12th 2007



199 Comments


This was like six months ago

Slaapkamers
June 12th 2007



596 Comments


of course i did not realize that!!!!!

PaperCities
June 12th 2007



199 Comments


yeah but why did you have to go back and finish it

Slaapkamers
June 12th 2007



596 Comments


because i had rated the album and felt like replying as i read through the comments


PaperCities
June 12th 2007



199 Comments


Oh alright thats a wonderful reason nevermind



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