Duke Ellington: Cocktails for Two
Cocktails For Two
Duke Ellington (piano)
The Essence of Duke Ellington (Essence 33302)
Duke Ellington (piano), Arthur Whetsol (trumpet), Freddy Jenkins (trumpet), Cootie Williams (trumpet), Juan Tizol (trombone), Lawrence Brown (trombone), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Johnny Hodges (alto sax, soprano sax), Harry Carney (baritone sax), Fred Guy (guitar), Wellman Braud (bass), Sonny Greer (drums).
Composed by Sam Coslow & Arthur Johnston.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, April 12, 1934
Rating: 83/100 (learn more)
Among Duke Ellington's 7 singles and 2 albums enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame, the 2007 choice is least explicable. Why did Grammy's eminent and knowledgeable professionals, tasked to honor recordings of qualitative or historical significance, elect this non-Ellington composition over "Caravan," "Cotton Tail," "It Don't Mean a Thing" (not inducted until 2008), "Rockin' in Rhythm," "Solitude" and "Sophisticated Lady"? With mincingly staccato trumpets, plus vibrato-oozing saxes and trombone, this is hardly among the Seven Wonders of Duke's World. Hollywood's pros are evidently more eminent than knowledgeable.
Dr. Jazz.com's Recommended Antidote: Funnyman Spike Jones's "Cocktails For Two" (1945). Consume aurally as needed.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz