During 1928, the main stars of Duke Ellington's orchestra (in addition to the leader/pianist/composer/arranger) were trumpeter Bubber Miley, trombonist Joe Tricky Sam Nanton, clarinetist Barney Bigard, and (starting in June) altoist Johnny Hodges. All of the master takes (including ones for different labels) are being reissued in the Classics series. This disc is highlighted by "Black Beauty" (particularly Ellington's solo piano version), the heated "Hot and Bothered" (featuring guest guitarist Lonnie Johnson and singer Baby Cox), "Louisiana," and "I Can't Give You Anything but Love." Two songs feature singer Ozie Ware backed by a small combo taken from Ellington's big band. This CD has plenty of timeless classics, most of which are also available in other reissue programs.
As usual with the Classics series, the music on this CD is released complete and in chronological order, covering the music originally released by several record labels but without including alternate takes. In the case of Duke Ellington, because he would frequently record the same song slightly rearranged on several occasions for different companies, there are multiple versions of some titles on this CD, but the alternate versions that he made for the labels have been left out. During the very important period covered by this disc, the Duke Ellington Orchestra (having recently found their sound) was hired by the Cotton Club as the house band and they hit the big time…
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Duke Pearson returned to a big band setting for Now Hear This!, once again proving his agility and inventiveness as an arranger and leader. Working with a larger band than before – the total number of musicians weighs in at 17 – Pearson nevertheless keeps things clean and uncluttered. His compositions, as well as the songs he covers, cover a broad range of emotions, styles, and tonal colors, with lush ballads taking the center stage. Even if much of this music is beautiful, Pearson's arrangements take chances and are unconventional, which means it rewards close listening as well.
The Sony/BMG Original Album Classics series brings together 5 CD's of rare and out of print titles with some best sellers from the Sony/BMG Rock catalog. Many of these albums have been unavailable on CD for some time and are sought after by collectors. Each set is presented in a high quality, rigid cardboard slipcase containing five vinyl replica mini LP sleeves. This 5 CD collection of original releases featuring George Duke includes the albums From Me To You, Reach For It, Don't Let Go, Follow The Rainbow, and A Brazilian Love Affair.