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Masterpieces by Ellington

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Masterpieces by Ellington

Masterpieces by Ellington
Duke Ellington
Released 1951
Recorded December 18, 1950
Bonus tracks August 7 & December 11, 1951
Genre Jazz
Label Columbia
Duke Ellington chronology

Great Times
Masterpieces by Ellington
Ellington Uptown

Masterpieces by Ellington is an album by American pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington recorded for the Columbia label in 1950 as Ellington's first LP album.[1] The album was one of the earliest 12 inch LP's to take advantage of the extended time available and consisted of 4 tracks.

Release history

The original 1951 release under the "Columbia Masterworks" banner featured a red cover which was relaced by the more modern blue cover in 1956.[2] The album was re-released on CD in 2004 with additional bonus tracks recorded at later sessions.


Jazz critic Gary Giddins called the album "One of the first genuinely innovative 12-inch LPs".[3] He noted that "Ellington eschewed the suite format in favor of continuous long-form works that reflected a liberation made possible by the LP. The vividly languorous 15-minute "Mood Indigo" (on Masterpieces) exemplifies Ellington's new found freedom".[4]

The Allmusic review by Bruce Eder awarded the album 4½ stars and stated "For the first time in his recording career, Ellington was able to forego the three-minutes-and-change restrictions in running time of the 78-rpm disc — he and the band rose to the occasion".[5]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[5]

Track listing

:All compositions by Duke Ellington except as indicated

  1. "Mood Indigo" (Ellington, Barney Bigard, Irving Mills) - 15:27
  2. "Sophisticated Lady" (Ellington, Mills, Mitchell Parish) - 11:29
  3. "The Tattooed Bride" - 11:43
  4. "Solitude" (Ellington, Mills, Eddie DeLange) - 8:26
  5. "Vagabonds" (Ellington, Juan Tizol, Johnny Burke) - 3:11 Bonus track on CD reissue
  6. "Smada" (Ellington, Billy Strayhorn) - 2:48 Bonus track on CD reissue
  7. "Rock Skippin' at the Blue Note" (Ellington, Strayhorn) - 2:27 Bonus track on CD reissue
  • Recorded in New York on December 18, 1950 (tracks 1-4) and August 7 (tracks 6 & 7), & December 11 (track 5), 1951.



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