Duke Ellington: Cotton Tail
Duke Ellington (piano)
Ken Burns Jazz: Duke Ellington (Columbia/Legacy CK 61444)
Duke Ellington (piano),
Composed by Duke Ellington.
Recorded: New York, May 14, 1940
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
Duke Ellington is jazz's most intimidating figure. His reputation (20th Century's Greatest Composer) is exceeded only by his mountainous output. For a mere reviewer to do the Maestro justice would demand years of fulltime listening and study. AND NO TV! Luckily, for the indolent among us, there is "Cotton Tail." Starting abruptly (no intro), "Cotton Tail" hops like an indecisive rabbit in a newly discovered cabbage patch, dramatically expanding from Ben Webster's magisterial solo to a crisp brass unison and sensational sax section soli, only to trail off surprisingly to Carney & Blanton's final low note. No PhD required. Enjoy.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz