April 2013 CD of the Month
Duke Ellington Orchestra The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse Fantasy Records
The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse was recorded in 1971 at the National Recording Studio of New York City on February 17, 1971. Despite the retirement or passing of several Ellington orchestra key members and the advanced age of Duke, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney and Cootie Williams, the Duke Ellington sound was still compelling as the core of the band was augmented by many veteran players including Duke’s son, Mercer. Mr. Ellington was never satisfied just composing and playing the “same ol’, same ol’” songbook, even in the last stage of his glorious career so his final recordings and concerts reflected the experiences and cultural influences he and the orchestra enjoyed in their joyful journeys around the world. Duke was motivated to compose The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse after reading an article by the Canadian philosopher, Marshall McLuhan who coined the terms "global village" and "the medium is the message" as well as predicting the existence of a world-wide web decades before it was created. Over 40 years since it’s recording, The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse has stood the test of time as it doesn’t sound antiquated nor is its concept dated, in fact it sounds as if it was recorded in the 21st century, that’s the genius of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington.