Saturday, July 22, 2017

Blue Goose

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Is there a better summation of Duke Ellington's mastery of swing and mood than 1940's sublime Blue Goose?  It starts off with grand but subtle piano. Johnny Hodges states the whimsical theme; Harry Carney restates it majestically. Cootie Williams steps in, then the full band comes in. Ben Webster solos over the groove before Lawrence Brown takes over the theme, then the full band comes in again, with almost dissonant chords and flourishes. Hodges then recapitulates the theme and takes it out, with Ellington having the last word (or syllable). All over a sumptuous bed of relaxed but insistent swing. All in a little over three minutes. Just marvelous.

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