0006. Duke Ellington – At Newport [1956]

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Oh man, forget it. If you want to hear a bunch of ridiculously talented musicians gathered in one swing jazz band, check this CD out. According to the 1,001 Albums book, the original recording of this live show was so flawed that Columbia sent Duke and the band into a studio to re-record the material. What eventually came out was a fusion of live recordings, studio re-recordings and canned applause. Then, in 1999, the album was reissued as a two CD set with the original live recording and that fusion album that came out 55 years ago. Pretty cool move, since it gives listeners the chance to A/B the two versions.

Anyway, please, PLEASE check this one out. It’s absolutely fantastic, and incidentally, the link above takes you to an MP3 download version of the 2 CD set. I only linked it there so you could hear some samples without having to navigate around too much. I emphatically urge you to pick up a physical CD copy of the album, because it’s the same price (about $17), which is a pretty fair price for such a tremendous record. I greatly encourage you to check out this knowledge base article I wrote for my company, Sonic Electronix, about the quality differences between MP3, AAC and uncompressed audio (WAVs, CD quality). I included audible examples of all the data that’s thrown out in the lossy audio compression process. As I’ve often explained it, listening to MP3s as opposed to CDs is like eating what you think are peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, being completely convinced that there’s peanut butter on there, but there actually being none. Enjoy!

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