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Magazine

week 26 | vrijdag 1 juli 2022 15:46 uur | 1 bezoekers

The Race For Space. Duke Ellington’s Utopia

This is superb stuff. I’m really into big bands lately and I can’t stop playing one of the best: Duke Ellington’s Orchestra.
1 Bluebird Of Dehli
2 Afrique
3 Portrait Of Wellman Braud
4 Blues For New Orleans
5 Blue Pepper
6 Acht O’Clock Rock
7 Agra
9 Didjeridoo
10 Ad Lib On Nippon
11 Tang
12 Isfahan

Reading Graham Lock’s intriguing – though not convincing - “Blutopia. Visions of the Future and Revisions of the Past in the Work of Sun Ra, Duke Ellington and Anthony Braxton” (1999), I realized, in order to compile a mixtape, I should focus on Duke’s later works, produced in the sixties after writing his (unpublished) essay “The Race For Space” (1957), a hopeful, utopian testimony in which Ellington combines the unknown possibilities of space travelling with the unknown possibilities for mankind: “We Americans, collectively and individually, need a new sound. A new sound of harmony, brotherly love, common respect, and consideration for the dignity and freedom of men.” Ellington actually created that new sound (which he refused to call “jazz”) and I hope this soundtrack to his essay proves he was on the right track. Again, this is really superb stuff.


 
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