Duke Ellington: Blood Count
Duke Ellington Orchestra
…And His Mother Called Him Bill (Bluebird RCA 63744)
Duke Ellington (piano), Cat Anderson (trumpet), Mercer Ellington (trumpet), Herbie Jones (trumpet), Cootie Williams (trumpet), Aaron Bell (bass), Lawrence Brown (trombone), Chuck Connors (trombone), Buster Cooper (trombone), Harry Carney (baritone sax), Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax), Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet), Johnny Hodges (alto sax), Russell Procope (clarinet), Sam Woodyard (drums).
Composed by Billy Strayhorn.
Recorded: New York, August 28, 1967
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Billy Strayhorn wrote or co-composed with Duke Ellington some of the best-loved pieces in the Ellington band’s repertoire. “Blood Count,” written while Strays (as his mentor called him) was hospitalized with terminal cancer, is one of his most beautiful and poignant works. The smooth, expressive alto sax of Johnny Hodges, one of the most revered altoists prior to Charlie Parker, is the ideal vehicle for its realization.
Reviewer: David Franklin