Duke Ellington’s Orchestra 1943

A trio of musicians from Duke Ellington’s orchestra, New York April 1943 Photo Gordon Parks

A trio of musicians from Duke Ellington’s orchestra,

New York April 1943

Photo Gordon Parks 

AUDIO

“Acht O’Clock Rock”

The Private Collection of Duke Ellington 1995

Duke Ellington’s “Acht O’Clock Rock” was initially debuted in 1967during an extended engagement at the Rainbow Grill, while the bandleader was featured leading a stripped down octet. Originally composed as a feature for his long time alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges and the volatile trumpeter Cat Anderson, the pianist continued to play the piece but didn’t get around to recording a studio version until 1971, following the death of Hodges and the departure of Anderson. Unfortunately, by the time the song was taped, the addition of a rock rhythm and organist Wild Bill Davis watered down the composition rather badly. Even though tenor saxophonist Harold Ashby and alto saxophonist Norris Turney make valiant efforts to salvage the piece with their solos, Ellington fans will likely be more interested in obtaining copies of earlier versions featured during radio broadcasts from the Rainbow Grill, one of which appeared on the rather rare bootleg Famed Fieldcup Concert.source:Allmusic by Ken Dryden

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