Duke Ellington Orchestra: Liederhalle Stuttgart 67
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Upon nearing the age of seventy, Duke Ellington was looked upon as the great historical figure of African American music, honored with academic degrees and appearing on the front pages of renowned magazines. Still, he had to and wanted to perform as much as he could and therefore toured the world with his orchestra, from Japan to North Africa to South America and Eastern Europe. During his travels, he was able to stop off in Stuttgart in March 1967 to present a colorful mixed programme made up of a few tried-and-true pieces and many lesser-known compositions. By Ellington's standards, it was a modern concert, exuberant in mood and at times mischievous in arrangements, which allowed some shrill coloring. And it also showed that even an ultimately traditional jazz orchestra in the rocky sixties could develop enough charisma to enthrall an audience like that in the Liederhalle. The revolutions were now being made by others, but Duke Ellington remained the brilliant master of the grand musical gesture.
Liederhalle stuttgart, Germany, March6, 1967