As I surf the internet tubes I’m always on the look out for music for Sunday morning. This Sunday’s piece started with a recommendation in a recent post on science fiction writer, Spider Robinson’s blog. He suggested we would all be better if we listened to a recently recorded (2018) version of Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige performed by Wynton Marsalis. I couldn’t find that but I did find this performance that included A selection of Count Basie standards and Duke Ellington‘s Black, Brown and Beige too, performed by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra.
It is a bit long, almost 2 hours but this morning it made for a relaxing time as I cooked breakfast, ate it and did house work afterward.
Notes from the video
In this performance, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis plays essential big band music by Duke Ellington and Count Basie. For the first part of the concert, the JLCO swings through a number of classic Basie standards, including “April in Paris,” “Swinging the Blues,” and “Jumpin’ at the Woodside.” Count Basie’s band always brought a party with them when they came to town, and this performance will channel the unstoppable swing and iconic blues riffs that brought down the house wherever they went. The second half of the concert features a full performance of Ellington’s groundbreaking masterpiece Black, Brown & Beige. Originally composed for his 1943 debut at Carnegie Hall, it was advertised as “Duke Ellington’s first symphony,” and Ellington described the powerful three-movement suite as a “tonal parallel to the history of the American Negro.” Stung by the criticism of so ambitious and unexpected a work, he spent the rest of his life revising and updating it, leaving us with a distinctive suite of music that continues to inspire.