fredag 2 oktober 2015


A true love of mine for decades and one I've been aiming to post ever since I started the blog, but since I'm usually not a devoted jazz fan and not sufficiently familiar with the genre history and termology I didn't know how to put it. Then I read this Oliver Amnuayphol (Paul Mahoney?) reveiw on the "PF Music Reveiws" page, so good I decided to just copy it here (hope he don't mind). "...Recorded in 1960, Piano in the Background gives us elegant Ellington as we've always known him, moving between his roles as "the executive" and the piano player. Here Ellington is at his absolute finest, opening and closing every tune (except one) on piano with a full and ferocious band in between. And while every number on Background is large-scale jazz at its finest, there are definitely some standouts, like Kinda Dukish and Rockin' in Rhythm. Ellington uses the former as a tension-building, piano intro to the latter, where the band lets loose and completely brings down the house. Solos here are first rate, and the orchestral colors and sonorities are nothing short of amazing. Background closes with arguably one of the top three recorded versions of Take The A Train" with every band member swingin' like it's nobody's business..." (end of quote). My reasons to like it are simply emotional. A musical refuge - there whenever I need it and always providing warmth and security. A couple of 20th century top jazz numbers played by the best, but here with new more adventurous arrangements making them a lot cooler. A wind-up complicated core presented in a very relaxed way. One of those records where I can get in and stay for a while, forgetting all about the outside. Sitting in my listening chair with my eyes closed I'm in Dukes world and never wanna get out. The stereo here is interesting as an exemple of early two-channel mixes but doesn't add anything to the mono. The one-channel is so direct and natural it's like being in the studio, making the stereo mix, though very good, almost sound artificial in comparison. Premiere US on Columbia (CL 1546/CS 8346). First UK had rough structured label with large BPG/SBPG fonts as shown here and uncredited laminated flip/back cover. (CLÄZ*)(MÅW*)

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