Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
Books:
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
Writings:
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  Contact
  What's New?
    RSS
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington

  • The Great Summit: The Master Takes [Roulette Jazz, 2000] A

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Great Summit: The Master Takes [Roulette Jazz, 2000]
The Penguin Guide reports Ellington was "more or less slumming" during this two-day 1961 session while allowing as how it's Armstrong's gig anyway and in the end a "moving and quietly eloquent" reflection on Ellington's songbook--a songbook I should mention is augmented by a simple, irresistible opener called "Duke's Place" that producer Bob Thiele claimed a piece of. Seventeen tracks, 11 vocal with an 18-minute instrumental segment in the middle, all rendered by not just Armstrong but his band, although clarinetist Barney Bigard put in 15 years with Ellington first. From "Duke's Place" to "Azalea," the woke simplicity and droll soulfulness of this music is something Ellington was too soulful not to take pride in and too smart to believe anyone but Armstrong could have imparted. Beyond "Duke's Place" itself, my faves include a hooky "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me" and the brief solo that precedes the "What good is melody" preamble to "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." Listen and come up with your own. A