Thursday, December 15, 2011

Diminuendo & Crescendo in Blue

Let's get swinging for the holidays! First, this is a great concert to have in its entirety, so here is an Amazon link. The setting: Newport Jazz Festival, 1956. Duke Ellington and company do fine work all throughout, but there is one segment of this concert that is easily one of my favorite live musical performances of all time, "Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue." Ellington's prefatory remarks are integral to the performance. He says the two segments of the piece will include "an interval by Paul Gonsalves." That's a classic understatement. What follows is one of the coolest saxophone solos in history. It gets you dancing on your seat. In fact, that's the story: at one point a striking blonde woman started dancing on her seat, and the crowd went wild. You can hear it happen. When the band kicks in full-force afterward, holy cow. Not to be missed!

I'll provide a link to the song as reference, but as I say, go to Amazon for more. There are also digital versions of the original recording that are much less than the complete performance.

Download MP4 here:


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