Duke Ellington (featuring Al Hibbler): Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Track

Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Group

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

CD

Duke Ellington's Greatest Hits (Columbia 65419)

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Musicians:

Duke Ellington (composer, arranger, bandleader), Al Hibbler (vocals), Shelton Hemphill (trumpet), Frances Williams (trumpet), Dud Bascomb (trumpet), Harold 'Shorty' Baker (trumpet), Ray Nance (trumpet, violin), Lawrence Brown (trombone), Claude Jones (trombone), Tyree Glenn (trombone), Johnny Hodges (alto sax), Russell Procope (clarinet, alto sax), Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor sax), Al Sears (tenor sax), Harry Carney (baritone sax), Billy Strayhorn (piano), Fred Guy (guitar), Oscar Pettiford (bass), Sonny Greer (drums).

Composed by Duke Ellington and Bob Russell

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Recorded: New York, November 20, 1947

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Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

As most Ellington fans know, "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" was the pop song version of Duke's 1940 instrumental "Never No Lament". What is lesser known is that there are quite a few differences between the two versions.The song was in the standard AABA form, but the instrumental didn't adhere to that form, with as many as 4 A sections in a row before the bridge. The bridge of the song maintains only the first phrase of the instrumental bridge (which is a little surprising since the song's bridge seems like such a natural creation). In keeping with the title, the 1940 recording of "Never No Lament" is jaunty and laid-back; the definitive 1947 vocal version of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" is aggressive and menacing. Johnny Hodges' wailing saxophone and Ray Nance's growling trumpet lead the way for Al Hibbler's stunning vocal. In Hibbler's voice, we can hear all kinds of emotions at the same time: frustration at his inability to enjoy a night out and loneliness for his lost love. Hibbler's emotionally direct vocal style made him a big hit on the R&B scene, but jazz fans loved him for his fine rhythmic approach. After Hibbler, Hodges and Harry Carney exchange thoughts for a half-chorus with Nance jumping in for the bridge. Hodges comes back for a few bars, but Hibbler returns for the exuberant coda, "Do-on't Gey Hay Round Much Hen-ty Mo-ah".

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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