Duke Ellington (featuring Paul Gonsalves): Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue


Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue (1956)


Duke Ellington & His Orchestra


Ellington at Newport 1956: Complete (Columbia/Legacy C2K64932)

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Big band featuring soloists Duke Ellington (piano), Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax), Johnny Hodges (alto sax), Cat Anderson (trumpet)


Recorded: Newport, R.I., July 7-8, 1956


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

(Editor's note: Duke Ellington introduced this tune at Newport ’56 by stating the following: “And now we would like to play some of our 1938 vintage Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue. These are separated by an interlude by Paul Gonsalves.” Little did Duke know what an understatement this would become. E.N.)

The legendary 27-chorus solo by Paul Gonsalves on Diminuendo in Blue during the Ellington band’s performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956 nearly caused a riot! The relentless intensity, inventiveness, and swing is a marvel to listen to and behold.

Reviewer: Peter Erskine (for Desert Island Dozens)

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