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Ellington plays Strayhorn

Ellington plays Strayhorn


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If you are familiar with the work of Duke Ellington , you are accustomed, perhaps without knowing it, to that of Billy Strayhorn . Hired in 1939 by Ellington , Billy , pianist and composer admirer of the Maestro , very quickly became his indispensable collaborator, author of the orchestra's signature, Take The "A" Train , and of hundreds of works and arrangements which perfectly matched the colors of the Ellingtonian musical world. Duke and " Swee' Pea ", as he was nicknamed, shared the same refinement, the same elegance, the same taste for heady sound alloys and rich harmonies.

The forty recordings brought together here illustrate all the facets of his genius, from the sophisticated melodies of Chelsea Bridge , Passion Flower , Lush Life , Brown Penny or Something To Live For , dressed haute couture by sumptuous orchestrations, to the strong pieces swelling with swing like Rain Check , Clementine , Smada or All Day Long . Billy Strayhorn certainly had the chance to hear his music played by the most beautiful orchestra in the world. But he had the immense talent of knowing how to exploit all the resources.

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