Duke Ellington – “Bojangles”

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Music
April 17th, 2003 • 9:48 pm

A couple of years ago, I splurged and purchased the 24-CD Centennial Edition box set that features the complete recordings by Duke Ellington for RCA Records and spans his entire career. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Duke, and this was a way to ensure that I will always have something “new” to explore by him. (I also have many of his major recordings for other labels, including the essential Duke Ellington album Money Jungle.)

Two years later, I still haven’t listened to all 24 CDs, and some of them I’ve only listened to casually, which I really don’t like to do. (There is no such thing as “background music” for me. Either I listen and focus on the music, or I do something else.)

Today, I was fortunate enough to be able to focus on CD #8 for a few moments, and I was especially taken by tracks 10 and 11, “Bojangles” and “Cotton Tail”. (Track 16 is another version of “Bojangles”.) There is something so sharp about the Duke’s music at time that it is exhilarating. “Bojangles” in particular features all kinds of staccato horn sounds and is just irresistibly bouncy. Timeless stuff!

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