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The Style of Ellington
Jazz Review was perhaps the most ambitious jazz magazine ever. It was founded in 1958 by Nat Hentoff and Martin Williams among others and they were the editors of the magazine during its three years of publication.
A fairly recent quality assessment says: “While all of the material is of high quality, several features are particularly distinctive: the regular reviews of musicians’ work by other musicians; Hentoff’s regular column “Jazz in Print”, which deals with the politics of the music business as well as of the nation; and the incorporation of a wide range of musical styles and approaches to discussing jazz” (Jazz Studies Online).
The magazine published several articles about Ellinghton and the first one appeared in the April 1959 issue.
It is written by Mimi Clar and the topic is “The Style Of Duke Ellington”. Clar was a writer for Los Angels Time in the late 1950s and early 1960s and also famous for her Double M Jazz Salon events at her home.
In the article Clar basically describes how the Ellington sound is formed by merging different elements – the stylistic elements of the individual musicians, the timbre of the instruments, the interplay between soloists and ensemble, his piano etc – into a whole. This is of course not revolutionary idea 67 years later but the article is still worth reading particularly since Clar makes her point with numerous examples.
One of the longer ones is Ellington’s recording of I Don’t Know What Kind Of Blues I’ve Got with Al Hibler but there are many other ones.
The full article can be read here.