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Duke Ellington - At Newport 1956 Complete (1999 Columbia Jazz Reissue) 2-CD Set

$14.99 USD

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One of the greatest live jazz festival recordings ever — and the best-selling jazz record of all time —  has gotten better, and more interesting as well, with this SONY/Columbia Jazz 1999 reissue to celebrate Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington's 100th birthday. A result of the kind of effort that most record companies normally won't even discuss.

Ellington's original 1956 Newport album was his best-selling long-player ever, and re-established him, after a two-year drought in the wake of his unsuccessful stay at Capitol, as a vitally popular jazz artist, perceived as worth courting by the major labels. But that record was, in keeping with Columbia's standard operating procedure of the day, a cut-and-paste job made up of studio re-recordings of the festival's repertory.

The producers of the 1999 double-CD reissue, containing 20 tracks, have assembled the complete live performance in true, real stereo as well as the studio-produced tracks. The result is the first complete consideration of the actual Newport performance, as well as a complete account of the studio-generated portions of the original release.

The highlight is an extraordinarily vivid account of  Paul Gonsalves' legendary 27-chorus tenor sax solo on "Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue." The latter ends Disc One, and Disc Two gives a vivid account of the aftermath of Gonsalves' moment of glory and finishes the live set. The concert portion is followed by the original LP's studio-generated fake-live productions, which aren't as exciting as the live renditions, but are worth hearing.  - Review by Bruce Eder


  • Condition: New
  • Reissued: 1999
  • Label: SONY / Columbia Jazz/Columbia Legacy
  • AISN: C2K 64932
  • Tracks: 2 CDs - Disc One - 21 tracks; Disc Two 19 tracks14 (See Track Listing below)
  • Rating:★★★★★ (See FAQs)
  • Disc one

    "The Star Spangled Banner" - 1:10

    Father Norman O'Connor Introduces Duke & the Orchestra / Duke Introduces Tune & Anderson, Jackson & Procope - 3:36

    "Black and Tan Fantasy" - 6:21

    Duke Introduces Cook & Tune - 0:26 "Tea for Two" - 3:34

    Duke & Band Leave Stage / Father Norman Talks About The Festival - 2:30

    "Take the 'A' Train" - 4:27

    Duke Announces Strayhorn's A Train & Nance / Duke Introduces Festival Suite, Part I & Hamilton - 0:41

    "Part I - Festival Junction" - 8:10

    Duke Announces Soloists; Introduces Part II - 0:38

    "Part II - Blues to Be There" - 7:09

    Duke Announces Nace & Procope; Introduces Part III - 0:19

    "Part III - Newport Up" - 5:33

    Duke Announces Hamilton, Gonsalves & Terry / Duke Introduces Carney & Tune - 0:25

    "Sophisticated Lady" - 3:52

    Duke Announces Grissom & Tune - 0:17

    "Day In, Day Out" - 3:50

    Duke Introduces Tune(s) and Paul Gonsalves Interludes - 0:23 "Diminuendo In Blue and Crescendo In Blue" - 14:20

    Announcements, Pandemonium - 0:44

    Pause Track - 0:06

    Disc two

    Duke Introduces Johnny Hodges - 0:18

    "I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)" - 3:38

    "Jeep's Blues" - 4:36

    Duke Calms Crowd; Introduces Nance & Tune - 0:42

    "Tulip or Turnip" - 2:49

    Riot Prevention - 1:08

    "Skin Deep" - 9:13 "Mood Indigo" - 1:30

    Studio Concert (Excerpts) - 4:01

    Father Norman O'Connor Introduces Duke Ellington / Duke Introduces New Work, Part I & Hamilton - 1:02

    "Part I - Festival Junction" - 8:46

    Duke Announces Soloists; Introduces Part II - 0:32

    "Part II - Blues To Be There" - 7:48

    Duke Announces Nance & Procope; Introduces Part III" - 0:16

    "Part III - Newport Up" - 5:20

    Duke Announces Hamilton, Gonsalves & Terry / Pause / Duke Introduces Johnny Hodges - 0:41

    "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)" - 3:47

    "Jeep's Blues" - 4:31

    Pause Track - 0:06

    Tracks 9-19 on CD2 were not part of the original performance.