Duke Ellington: Wig Wise

Track

Wig Wise

Artist

Duke Ellington (piano)

CD

Money Jungle (Blue Note 7243 5 38227 2 9)

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Musicians:

Duke Ellington (piano), Charles Mingus (bass), Max Roach (drums).

Composed by Duke Ellington

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Recorded: New York, September 17, 1962

Albumcoverdukeellington-moneyjungle

Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

He didn’t step away from his orchestra very often, but we are thankful that Duke Ellington took the opportunity to do so in 1962 with bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach. It might seem like an usual teaming of strong personalities, but “Wig Wise” is a rip-roaring affair. Everyone plays with gusto – Roach beats some hard swing out of his kit, Mingus thwacks the hell out of his bass, and Ellington jams his hands right into the ivories. He sticks to the middle and lower end of the keyboard, and allows some interesting pauses to creep into his solos when he’s not on the attack. “Wig Wise” is a thick, hard-charging three minutes, and it makes the highlight reel for each of the three men who created it.

Reviewer: Steve Greenlee

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