The best of the best, the créme de la créme, the Duke Ellington Proper Box is 98 tracks on four CDs filling five hours of the digital time/space continuum with the greatest jazz there ever was. It simply doesn’t get any better than this. Really. This is music that can't be outgrown. No on can be disappointed with this music. It can be listened to over and over again for a lifetime, and will renew the listener's spirits each time without fail. Duke Ellington was arguably (and we're ready, willing and able to argue this case!) the most significant composer of the twentieth century. When he said, "We love you madly," he meant it. The music here is an expression of that love.
Some of the recordings on this 4CD box set are among the very best in Duke Ellington's unmatched career, and are therefore, by definition, among the very best in 20th century music. Duke Ellington's music has been described as being "beyond category," and nowhere is this more apparent than on the incredible range displayed in the music presented here, which sprung from collaborations with a disparate collection of stellar performers and composers, many in their prime.
On these discs, collaborators range from: Johnny Hodges, Ellington's greatest musical collaborator, who spent almost the entirety of his career with Duke; Count Basie and Louis Armstrong, arguably his two greatest peers; Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane, the alpha and the omega of saxophone mastery and improvisation; Mahalia Jackson and Rosemary Clooney, two greart vocalists with widely differing approaches and aims; and, the one-of-a-kind collaboration between Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach on the stunning Money Jungle, one of greatest Jazz LPs of all time (at least, in our estimation).Duke Ellington – His Classic Collaborations 1956-1963
Enlightenment – EN4CD9131Tracklist Blue Rose (1956) 1-1 Hey Baby 1-2 Sophisticated Lady 1-3 Me And You 1-4 Passion Flower 1-5 I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart 1-6 It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) 1-7 Grievin' 1-8 Blue Rose 1-9 I'm Checking Out - Goombye 1-10 I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) 1-11 Mood Indigo Black, Brown & Beige (1958) 1-12 Part I 1-13 Part II 1-14 Part III (aka Light) 1-15 Part IV (aka Come Sunday) 1-16 Part V (aka Come Sunday) 1-17 Part VI (23rd Psalm) Back To Back (1959) 2-1 Wabash Blues 2-2 Basin Street Blues 2-3 Beale Street Blues 2-4 Weary Blues 2-5 St. Louis Blues 2-6 Loveless Love 2-7 Royal Garden Blues Recording Together For The First Time (1961) 2-8 Duke's Place 2-9 I'm Just A Lucky So And So 2-10 Cotton Tail 2-11 Mood Indigo 2-12 Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me 2-13 The Beautiful American 2-14 Black And Tan Fantasy 2-15 Drop Me Off In Harlem 2-16 The Mooche 2-17 In A Mellow Tone First Time! The Count Meets The Duke (1961) 3-1 Battle Royal 3-2 To You 3-3 Take The "A" Train 3-4 Until I Met You 3-5 Wild Man 3-6 Segue In C 3-7 B D B 3-8 Jumpin' At The Woodside Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins (1962) 3-9 Limbo Jazz 3-10 Mood Indigo 3-11 Ray Charles' Place 3-12 Wanderlust 3-13 You Dirty Dog 3-14 Self Portrait (Of The Bean) 3-15 The Jeep Is Jumpin' 3-16 The Ricitic Money Jungle (1963) 4-1 Money Jungle 4-2 Fleurette Africaine 4-3 Very Special 4-4 Warm Valley 4-5 Wig Wise 4-6 Caravan 4-7 Solitude Duke Ellington & John Coltrane (1963) 4-8 In A Sentimental Mood 4-9 Take The Coltrane 4-10 Big Nick 4-11 Stevie 4-12 My Little Brown Book 4-13 Angelica 4-14 The Feeling Of Jazz 'Nuff said.