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Published on Oct 14, 2011
Ellington At Newport 1956 Often regarded as the best performance of his career, in 1956, Duke Ellington and his band recorded their historic concert at the Newport Jazz Festival, revitalizing Ellington's waning career. Jazz promoter George Wein describes the 1956 concert as "the greatest performance of Ellington's career... It stood for everything that jazz had been and could be." Ellington had lately been connecting the songs "Diminuendo in Blue" and "Crescendo in Blue" in a medley via a tenor solo from saxophonist Paul Gonsalves. At Newport, Gonsalves summoned a 27-chorus workout so inspired and transcendent that the audience was practically rioting by the time he had finished. Orchestra and audience both remained at a fever pitch for the rest of the show (vividly captured on the live album Ellington at Newport),