Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Duke Ellington and Ray Brown

  • This One's for Blanton [Pablo, 1972] A-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

This One's for Blanton [Pablo, 1972]
That the man played with such lithe ambition in his seventies is a challenge not only to the senescent theory of youth culture but to all lingering truisms about youthfulness. That is, this is alive, and what else matters? I wish the movements of the suite that occupies side two were as attractive in themselves as each of the songs on side one is. But any pianist who can suggest the severe understatement of a Basie or Monk and the rather juicy extravagance of a Tatum or Garner in successive phrase has obviously earned the right to make big big statement--as if that's not obvious already. A-