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Live at the Berlin Jazz Festival / Duke Ellington

Live at the Berlin Jazz Festival / Duke Ellington

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Since its inception in 1964, the Berlin Jazz Fest had been thought of as a festival that, if not avant-garde, welcomed the most progressive and experimental forms of music of a period rich in all types of modernistic trends, from radical free jazz to a multitude of fusions of pop, rock, soul and jazz. But in 1969, as if swimming against the tide of the revolutions that swept the West, the organizers took an audacious stand: it was Duke Ellington’s 70th birthday and not only did they welcome him at the head of his big band for the first time, but part of the program focused on his heritage; as a bonus and birthday gift, Ellington was featured on the publicity poster of the festival’s sixth edition.

The Berlin concert of 8 November 1969 is magnificent testimony to the extraordinary freshness of tone that Ellington’s big band still displayed on stage, when the sheer pleasure of playing took over from the routine of performance. The concert of 2 November 1973, on the stage of the Philharmonie, turned out to be Ellington’s last concert at the Berlin Jazztage.

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    • UPC/Barcode: 196587027520
    • Item Number: TLR 2204041