Duke Ellington Indigos 180g LP
Michael Fremer Rated 9/11 Music, 9/11 Sonics!
Rated 4/5 Music, 3/5 Sonics in the December 2012 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Heavy-Weight 180 Gram Audiophile All-Analog Pressing! Mastered by Kevin Gray & Pressed at RTI!
"Absolutely a sonic masterpiece... Hugely recommended, and one of the Best Ellington reissues to date!"
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Impex Records makes your nights a little bit cooler with this Limited Edition, 180 Gram All-Analog shot of pure Duke at his most soulfully nocturnal. An elegant, romantic set of ballads from the master of American large-group jazz. Available for the first time on Pristine 180g Vinyl! Mastered by Kevin Gray and limited to only 2500 pressings! Ellington Indigos is a 1958 jazz album by Duke Ellington. Indigos features performances of jazz standards such as "Mood Indigo", "Autumn Leaves", "Prelude To a Kiss" and more!
"The legendary composer and bandleader Duke Ellington was so famous for his poise and charm that it should be no surprise that he had a pithy story at the ready whenever he was asked about one of his most famous and enduring works, "Mood Indigo." Of the song he and his orchestra recorded for the very first time on this day in 1930, Ellington was fond of saying, "Well, I wrote that in 15 minutes while I was waiting for my mother to finish cooking dinner." As neatly as that version fit with his well-tended reputation for effortless sophistication, the true account of the song's development reflects the gifts for collaboration and adaptation that were always critical elements of Ellington's genius."
"The genesis of "Mood Indigo" was a visit to New York City in 1930 by a New Orleans jazzman named Lorenzo Tio, Jr. Duke Ellington's clarinetist, Barney Bigard, was a former student of Tio's, and on Tio's visit to New York, he shared with Bigard a number of melodies he'd written, including one called "Dreamy Blues" that had served as the theme song for his group back home, Armand Piron's New Orleans Orchestra. "I asked him if I could borrow it," Bigard later wrote in his autobiography. "I took it home and kept fooling around with it...and got something together that mostly was my own but partly Tio's." Bigard's variation on "Dreamy Blues" would soon become the clarinet solo on "Mood Indigo," thanks to Duke Ellington's penchant for involving his band members in his composition process... With lyrics added by Mitchell Parish in 1931 (but credited to Ellington's manager Irving Mills), "Mood Indigo" became a vocal-jazz standard as well as an instrumental one, recorded memorably by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone among many others." - from This Day in History (October 15); www.history.com
"Just released, one of my favorite Duke Ellington LPs of all time, Ellington Indigos! Impex Records has re-mastered and pressed 2,500 Limited Edition stereo LPs from the masters at Sony/Columbia of this 1958 tour de force recording session. It was first released as Columbia CS 8053 in both stereo and mono, and was one of the first top jazz albums released in stereo at the time by Columbia. My friends, this Impex Records LP is absolutely a sonic masterpiece reissue of the first order!"
"The Impex LP was pressed by RTI and mastered from the bona fide master tapes with ultimate care... The original tapes were recorded on 1958 state-of-the-art Ampex 300 tape machines. The Ampex sound is rock solid, with oodles of soul. That is what the Impex reissue sounds like, too. The listener is bathed in the glorious sound of rich musical textures, warm delicious breezes, and sweet delicate airy highs, soaring trumpet tone, and velvety piano chords, developing waves of flowing notes all framed in silent grooves. You hear a soft tape hiss, which is very forgettable when you get into the melodies. Interestingly, the producers at Columbia loved Ellington. Miles Davis and many other jazz high fliers got the B-team of producers and engineers. Ellington always got the A-team, which was the best Columbia had to offer. The Impex reissue reflects this superb effort by the label."
"I am truly impressed how the Impex folks have preserved the authentic recorded sound and, from my personal experience with Ampex decks, added nothing. If you have a Grado Statement 1 Cartridge, a most neutral and fully fleshed out transducer, you will be in the studio with the Duke and the stellar band of great musicians with this reissue. Hopefully, this 33 RPM album will be followed with a 45 RPM someday... but until then, you have to add this amazing Impex LP of Ellington Indigos to your collection right away! It is uniquely perfect, a paradigm of quality LP production, and is a phenomenal value when compared to a good used six-eye that will not hold a candle to this reissue for you are there! sound. With only 2500 made, you had better hurry."
"The recording is superb in every way: texturally, harmonically and especially spatially. I guess it's difficult for some to imagine 1957 producing an utterly transparent, three-dimensional recording but trust me, everything you might be looking for sonically is here. Finding a quiet original is not easy, especially because of the purposely quiet and somewhat distant production. It's designed to make you step into it, not bring it to you. Kevin Gray's cut from a 1:1 copy at 30IPS from the original master is to my ears better than any of the originals I have here, particularly in terms of high frequency extension and transparency. Of course the RTI pressing is dead silent. What a treat!" - Michael Fremer, www.analogplanet.com, Music 9/10, Sound 9/10!
"Hugely recommended, and one of the best Ellington reissues to date!" - Robert H. Levi, Positive Feedback, Issue 61, May/June 2012
"The recording is superb in every way: texturally, harmonically and especially spatially. I guess it's difficult for some to imagine 1957 producing an utterly transparent, three-dimensional recording but trust me, everything you might be looking for sonically is here. Finding a quiet original is not easy, especially because of the purposely quiet and somewhat distant production. It's designed to make you step into it, not bring it to you. Kevin Gray's cut from a 1:1 copy at 30IPS from the original master is to my ears better than any of the originals I have here, particularly in terms of high frequency extension and transparency. Of course the RTI pressing is dead silent. What a treat!" - Michael Fremer, www.analogplanet.com, Music 9/11, Sound 9/11!
"'Solitude' begins with Ellington's quietly introspective solo, but when his band jumps in a huge grin will cross your face as this Kevin Gray-mastered platter from Impex bursts to life with a sound as enveloping as a warm bath... There isn't a filler in the bunch. I have no original for comparison, but Gray's work is as good as it gets, and whatever limitations are evident here - a large but mostly shallow stage and the piano are about it - hardly interfere with this musical treasure." - Wayn Garcia, The Absolute Sound, December 2012
Heavy-Weight 180 Gram Vinyl
Audiophile All-Analog Pressing
Mastered by Kevin Gray
Pressed at RTI
Duke Ellington and His Orchestra:
Ray Nance, "Cat" Anderson, "Shorty" Baker, Clark Terry, Willie Cook, trumpets
Sam Woodyard, drums
John Sanders, Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, trombones
Jimmy Wood, bass
Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, sax
Duke Ellington, piano
2. Where Or When
3. Mood Indigo
4. Autumn Leaves
1. Prelude To a Kiss
2. Willow Weep For Me
4. Dancing In the Dark