Late Ellington

There is little question that the 1940-41 edition of the Duke Ellington orchestra, the so-called Blanton-Webster band, was Ellington's finest. Legions of Ellington lovers have listened to it so often that they can sing along with its arrangements and the solos by Webster, Ray Nance, Johnny Hodges, Ellington and the other members. Still, I've always had a soft spot for the band Ellington took on the worldwide road in the 1960s until shortly before he died in 1974. The musicianship was … [Read more...]