2021 Stereophile Magazine Record to Die For!
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Collaborative albums such as this one have always been something of a stunt on the part of the record label, with the artists themselves usually stuck with too little time to work out something that would easily act as a functional compromise. Many of these albums, then, have faded away with time. Impulse, however, had more than its share of solid collaborations. This one is a lot of fun, whether it's the daffy cut-up of "Limbo Jazz" or the slow New Orleans smoke of "Wanderlust". All present turn in nice performances on this set of Ellington numbers.
Many great moments have been recorded at Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, but this album is my favorite. It's a perfect presentation of the Ellington sound stew with sonic hot sauce on top from Coleman Hawkins. Producer Bob Thiele set the session up, stood back, and let the magic happen. When Hawkins enters the 'Mood Indigo' musical cloud, a holographic sax man appears from the right speaker. Close attention should be paid when listening to this album, preferably in dim lighting. And remember to have fun, because it's all about the joy of musical mastery.
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
|Coleman Hawkins||tenor saxophone|
|Johnny Hodges||alto saxophone|
|Harry Carney||baritone saxophone, bass clarinet|
|Ray Nance||violin, cornet|
- Limbo Jazz
- Mood Indigo
- Ray Charles' Place
- You Dirty Dog
- Self Portrait (Of The Bean)
- The Jeep Is Jumpin'
- The Ricitic