Up Jump, 1969

Duke Ellington

Paul Gonsalves jams an uptempo piece with the Duke Ellington Orchestra

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Paul Gonsalves, who joined Duke Ellington’s big band in 1950 and stayed for 24 years, was a very valuable asset to Duke’s orchestra.

While the tenor-saxophonist could play warmly on ballads, he was most notable for his ability to create marathon solos on fast pieces.

Gonsalves’ spontaneous 27-chorus solo on “Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue” at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival was not only the hit of the weekend but helped Duke Ellington to have a major “comeback.”

Here is Paul Gonsalves at a Copenhagen concert with Ellington on November 2, 1969 digging into “Up Jump,” taking a passionate solo and a forceful cadenza.

-Scott Yanow


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