Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

Duke Ellington with Coltrane and the New “Avant Garde” Playlist

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Before the great Duke Ellington passed away, he managed to create numerous albums with other great Jazz musicians. I have actually featured a couple already and they are uniquely outstanding.

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DUKE ELLINGTON & JOHN COLTRANE begins with a remarkable performance of “In A Sentimental Mood.” Ellington’s chattering, bell-like accompaniment sets off Coltrane’s fulsome, rhapsodic interpretaion in sharp relief. For Johnny Hodges–one of Duke’s main men, and an early employer of Coltrane–“In A Sentimental Mood” was a showpiece. The Rabbit practically owned the tune, and yet Hodges considered Coltrane’s to be the finest version of the song he’d ever heard.

Which indicates how deeply rooted in the jazz and blues tradition Coltrane always was. DUKE ELLINGTON & JOHN COLTRANE represented an opportunity for Trane to step back and reflect upon the elemental lyricism and swing that were at the heart of even his most adventurous flights–and to silence those nay-sayers who were carping about how his band with Eric Dolphy was “anti-jazz.”

“Take The Coltrane” offers up one of Duke’s great vamp tunes, and illustrates just how well the master knew how to accomodate Coltrane and play to his strengths, gently prodding him into fresh melodic directions. with its insistent bluesy hosannas and tart, off-center harmonies, “Take The Coltrane” is an improviser’s delight, as the pianist offers elegant harmonic contrasts to Trane’s backwoods preacher. “Big Nick” is Trane’s tip of the hat to tenor man and raconteur Nick Nicholas, a tipsying, elusive little melody with a hint of Sidney Bechet (and Hodges) that allows the saxophonist to range up and down his soprano……Learn More

A New Playlist is up and running now and is named the “Avant Garde” Playlist, learn more about here.

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