What makes Ellington's music sound so powerfully, unmistakably individual? To begin with, he was the first jazz composer to write music that used the still-new medium of the big band with the same coloristic imagination brought by classical composers to their symphonic works. "You know, Stan Kenton can stand in front of a thousand fiddles and a thousand brass and make a dramatic gesture, and every studio arranger can nod his head and say, 'Oh, yes, that's done like this,' " said André Previn, one of his best-informed admirers. "But Duke merely lifts his finger, three horns make a sound, and I don't know what it is!"
Saturday, October 12, 2013
… Duke Ellington, King of Jazz - WSJ.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)