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Label:
  Columbia - http://www.columbiarecords.com/
Serial:
  CS 65571
Title:
  Ellington/Basie: First Time! The Count Meets the Duke
Description:
  "First Time! The Count Meets the Duke"

Duke Ellington
Count Basie
Track listing:
  1. Battle Royal
2. To You
3. Take the A Train
4. Until I Met You
5. Moore
6. Seque in C
7. Jumpin' at the Woodside
8. One More Once
9. Take the A Train
10. Jumpin' at the Woodside
11. B D B
12. Blues in Hoss' Flat
13. Wild Man
14. Battle Royal
Genre:
  Jazz
Content:
  Stereo
Media:
  Single Layer
Recording type:
  Analogue
Recording info:
 

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Reviews: 5 show all

Review by rsbeck April 6, 2004 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This SACD is a hell of a lot of fun. These bands are swinging in full glory. The disc is engineered in a way that could have been gimmicky. I was a little worried, but it succeeds beautifully. Basie's band is often in one channel, while Ellington's band answers from the other. These are big bands. Together, they make a really big band and yet there is so much definition and air around so many different instruments, so much exquisite taste exhibited in the arrangements, both by the talented bandleaders and by the recording engineer, it is a delight. I note what another reviewer said about the horns sounding "tinny" on some cuts. I noticed that, too. My guess is that the bandleaders (and engineer) wanted the horn section to sound a little brassy a couple of times to cut through the rest of the band, which sounds rich, full, and yet detailed, to punctuate. For me, it works. Big time. I cannot sit still. I want to get up and dance! The Sonics are excellent, not demonstration quality, but I wish some symphonies were recorded this well. I find this SACD extremely satisfying. It is going to be in heavy rotation.

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Review by analogue March 2, 2009 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Fantastic collaboration from the early 60's between two jazz giants. Both big bands playing together.......one from the left speaker and one from the right.

The fidelity, while not being the highest level of sonic bliss is still perfect enough four our listening purposes and is still excellent. The musicianship is unbelievable. There is a lot of music to be had here and lots of bonus tracks.

This sacd has fairly deep bass, tinny brass , good soundstage, nice instrumental layering...all in all very good sound. It's hard to sit still listening to this and virtually impossible to not tap your toes.

If you love classic jazz you cannot pass this one up. As I said the music is just fantastic and both Ellington and Basie nothing back. Nor do their bands.

Highly recommended.

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Review by JW July 28, 2003 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of Jazz...that is how many Ellington stories begin. Wherever you look in jazz you'll find his signature. Count Basie, though not a composer, was synonymous with big bands and the swing era (no I'm not forgetting 'Pops', Louis Armstrong).

Put Ellington and Basie them together and you have this explosive disc, a great representative for big band swing at its peak. Ellington and Basie are playing the piano and their bands do the rest. These were BIG bands, counting about 16 members each, and they work wonderfully well together. This is not a battle between two bands one trying to get the upper hand over the other. But rather it's a very interesting coop between two people who have enormous respect for each other and work together to sort out how best to solve this 'problem'. There is more about this in the liner notes that accompany this disc. And free drinks had something to do with it as well :-)

The booklet that comes with the SACD provides really interesting detail about the bands, the people, the soloist on each track and the interplay between the orchestra's. Plus you get some very nice studio pictures. What they have done to get this entire thing to work is to use one rhythmn section to act as the one rhythmn section for both bands. This they alternated on the various songs. Also Freddie Green from the Basie band was the only rhythmn guitar used for both bands. In fact the Ellington band did not feature any guitars for this joint session.

The sound on this SACD is not top notch but it's good enough to enjoy this wonderful music in some decent fidelity. I would give it between 2 and 3 stars. The horn sections at full tilt can sound a little tinny, but never ear piercingly so. The soloists are rendered pretty good, so overall it makes for entertaining listening. The volume knob needs to be cranked up a bit because it's recorded at fairly low levels which given the massive presence of horn sections in this case was a good thing. If you want to know how these big bands used to sound look no further!

JW

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