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Three From FiveFour: Jazz Label Offers Gil Evans on Hendrix, Plus Don Ellis and Duke Ellington

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Ellington Jazz PartyCherry Red’s recently-reactivated FiveFour label’s latest trawl into the Sony jazz archives has delivered another three rare titles to CD.  All have been available in the format before, though one is particularly difficult to find, and all three should have great appeal.

The oldest selection of the trio hails from 1959.  Duke Ellington’s Jazz Party welcomed Dizzy Gillespie as well as Jimmy Rushing, Jimmy Jones and Ellington’s longtime sax man, Jimmy Hodges.  Ellington and his frequent collaborator and co-writer Billy Strayhorn brought new tunes to the party, including the four-part, punningly-titled “Toot Suite” featuring Britt Woodman (trombone) on Part One, Jimmy Hamilton (saxophone) and Shorty Baker (trumpet) on Part Two, Russell Procope (saxophone) and Quentin Jackson (trombone) on Part Three, and Paul Gonsalves (saxophone) on Part Four.  The already-legendary Gillespie got his chance to show off his horn on Strayhorn’s “U.M.M.G.” (for Upper Manhattan Medical Group), while pianist Jones and former Count Basie Band vocalist Rushing join the Duke for Ellington’s “Hello, Little Girl.”  Two tracks not on the original 1959 Columbia LP, “Fillie Trillie” and the ubiquitous “Satin Doll,” have been included in the album sequence here.  Jazz Party makes a fine addendum to Ellington’s recently-released Complete Columbia Albums Collection 1951-1958 on the Legacy label, as it was released the following year after that set’s final album, Cosmic Scene.

After the jump: Al Kooper meets Don Ellis, and Gil Evans pays homage to Jimi Hendrix!  Plus: full track listings and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 3, 2013 at 08:44