(2002) Duke Ellington's Finest Hour

Duke Ellington

... read morePerhaps the most beautiful thing about this entry in Verve's Finest Hour series is that it covers 46 years in Ellington's career, from the very beginning of his recording career in 1926, to the very end in 1972. There are brilliant stops along the way with the Blanton/Webster edition of the band...

01:02′:58″ 17 Songs

1
Duke Ellington
East St. Louis Toodle-Oo (1St Version)
2:51
2
Duke Ellington
Black And Tan Fantasy
3:16
3
Duke Ellington
Jubilee Stomp
2:40
4
Duke Ellington
Black Beauty (2Nd Take)
3:11
5
Duke Ellington
The Mooche
3:11
6
Duke Ellington
Rent Party Blues
3:24
7
Duke Ellington
Double Check Stomp
2:54
8
Duke Ellington
Mood Indigo
2:53
9
Duke Ellington
Creole Rhapsody (Pt. 1)
3:07
10
Duke Ellington
Creole Rhapsody (Pt. 2/Take A)
3:18
11
Duke Ellington
Stompy Jones (Album Version)
6:38
12
Duke Ellington
Self Portrait (Of The Bean)
3:50
13
Duke Ellington
In A Sentimental Mood
4:12
14
Duke Ellington
Take The A Train (Live At Cote D'azur, France, 7/28/1966)
5:16
15
Duke Ellington
Prelude To A Kiss (Live At Cote D'azur, France, 7/28/1966)
4:26
16
Duke Ellington
Sophisticated Lady / Solitude (Live At The Whitney Museum/1972)
4:44
17
Duke Ellington
Satin Doll (Live At The Whitney Museum/1972)
3:07
Released 12 February 2002, A Verve Label Group Release; This Compilation ℗ 2002 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Review

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about this entry in Verve's Finest Hour series is that it covers 46 years in Ellington's career, from the very beginning of his recording career in 1926, to the very end in 1972. There are brilliant stops along the way with the Blanton/Webster edition of the band, and many of the '30s versions of his classics as well. Both parts of "Creole Rhapsody" are here, as are rather unexpected entries like "Stompy Jones," and "Self Portrait (Of a Bean)." There are better collections to be sure, but this is not one to discount for its cheesy title or for its sound, which is exceptionally good. ~ Thom Jurek