My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Ellington and his orchestra, like many of the other big bands of the era, had been facing a severe decline in popularity. This all changed after their performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956. The subsequent release of this performance led to a resurgence popularity and reputation to the current day. The catch…. this album isn’t really the Newport performance. Bad audio quality led the band to go to the studio to re-record that performance. Only forty percent of what is on the album is the actual live performance. The actual performance was discovered in 1999 and was released as an album: http://rd.io/x/QVpb1yJc5DA/
What I liked: I really enjoyed the vibe and the slow build of the band.
What I Didn’t Like: This has been my most difficult album of this project so far. I want to love it, I just don’t. There is something about vocal that is burnt into me and music without has never been my thing. So while I love jazz in a pop song format (I’m thinking Louis Armstrong), I can’t get into the traditional formats (Miles Davis, Duke Ellington). I hold out hope that someday my tastes will change and I’ll fall in love with this stuff.
My Overall Thoughts: It’s just not my thing as much as I want it to be…
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I actually disagree with this one. It was well known by the time this book was released that this was not the actual performance from the Newport festival. As a live album it would be a great performance, but I don’t think that stands up as a studio performance.
Rating (Out of 5): 2/5
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (6/6)