Duke Ellington
Indigos | Impex Records Reissue

Impex Records

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A TAV Curator's Pick.

The Duke at his most soulfully nocturnal. An elegant, romantic set of ballads from the master of American large-group jazz. The 1958 album features performances of jazz standards such as "Mood Indigo", "Autumn Leaves", and "Prelude To a Kiss".

“Duke Ellington and his all-star ensemble lay back on this beautiful set of swinging, romantic ballads now available for the first time in pristine 180-gram vinyl. Ellington was often imitated, never equaled. There's a clear "blue mood" at work in these sessions and Kevin Gray's all-analog mastering brings out a nocturnal mood, while keeping things warm and mellow. A deep and wide soundstage, mellifluous lows and crystalline highs make Indigos a perfect accompaniment to your late night listening.” – Impex Records

"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

"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!


  • Duke Ellington - piano
  • Ray Nance, "Cat" Anderson, "Shorty" Baker, Clark Terry, Willie Cook - trumpet
  • Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves - saxophone
  • Sam Woodyard - drums
  • John Sanders, Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson - trombone
  • Jimmy Wood - bass

Side 1:
1. Solitude
2. Where Or When
3. Mood Indigo
4. Autumn Leaves
Side 2:
1. Prelude To a Kiss
2. Willow Weep For Me
3. Tenderly
4. Dancing In the Dark


About Duke Ellington:

"Duke Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category. He remains one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music and is widely considered as one of the twentieth century's best known African American personalites. As both a composer and a band leader, Ellington's reputation has increased since his death, with thematic repackagings of his signature music often becoming best-sellers. Posthumous recognition of his work include a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Simply put, Ellington transcends boundaries and fills the world with a treasure trove of music that renews itself through every generation of fans and music-lovers. His legacy continues to live onand will endure for generations to come. Winton Marsalis said it best when he said "His music sounds like America." Because of the unmatched artistic heights to which he soared, no one deserved the phrase “beyond category” more than Ellington, for it aptly describes his life as well. He was most certainly one of a kind that maintained a llifestyle with universal appeal which transcended countless boundaries.

Duke Ellington is best remembered for the over 3000 songs that he composed during his lifetime. His best known titles include; "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing", "Sophisticated Lady", "Mood Indigo", “Solitude", "In a Mellotone", and "Satin Doll". The most amazing part about Ellington was the most creative while he was on the road. It was during this time when he wrote his most famous piece, "Mood Indigo"which brought him world wide fame.

Duke Ellington's popular compositions set the bar for generations of brilliant jazz, pop, theatre and soundtrack composers to come. While these compositions guarantee his greatness, whatmakes Duke an iconoclastic genius, and an unparalleled visionary, what has granted him immortality are his extended suites. From 1943's Black, Brown and Beige to 1972's The Uwis Suite, Duke used the suite format to give his jazz songs a far more empowering meaning, resonance and purpose: to exalt, mythologize and re-contextualize the African-American experience on a grand scale."" - DukeEllington.com

Item description:        


Duke Ellington




Impex Records / Columbia


Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo



Release Date:

This reissue: 2012 | Original issue: 1958




Big Band

Catalog No: