2 great 60s sessions from Duke Ellington – both with a key tenorist! First up is Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins – the meeting of two classic talents late in their careers – in a setting that's ideal to bring out all the complexity of their well-honed genius! The approach of the album is mostly an Ellington one – as the group features some of Duke's stalwarts, like Ray Nance, Johnny Hodges, Harry
Carney, Lawrence Brown, and Aaron Bell – but Coleman Hawkins gets plenty of space as the main soloist on each number, alongside Duke, who also solos strongly on piano! As with most later records by the players, the writing is great – with a lot more dark moments than you'd expect – and titles include "The Rictic", "You Dirty Dog", "Limbo Jazz", "Wanderlust", and "Self Portrait Of The Bean". Next is Duke Ellington & John Coltrane – a seminal meeting of the old and new generations of jazz in the 60s – put together in perfect Impulse fashion! At some level, this is actually an early 60s John Coltrane Quartet album – with Duke Ellington sitting in for McCoy Tyner on piano, as that's the lineup on about half of the album – tracks that feature Coltrane on tenor, Elvin Jones on drums, and Jimmy Garrison on bass, all working with Ellington on the keys. On other titles, though, the album features Coltrane playing with a Duke-ish trio that has Aaron Bell on bass and Sam Woodyard on drums – slightly less modern, but with a nice sense of depth throughout! Overall, the the record does a great job of balancing between the best talents of both players – and titles include "Big Nick", "The Feeling Of Jazz", "Take The Coltrane", and "My Little Brown Book".
(80s MCA pressing. Cover has some wear.)