Digitally remastered and expanded CD edition in mini LP sleeve.
During his long and prolific career, Duke Ellington composed music for concerts ranging from the most prestigious venues to dance halls. He also wrote for the theatrer, for movies (with and without him on screen), and, of course, for records. The work contained on this album, however, originates from an early television special. 'Another great opportunity occurred later in the year ,' wrote Duke Ellington in his memoirs, 'when we presented a DRUM IS a WOMAN on the U.S. Steel Hour.'
This musical fantasy or allegory told the story of Jazz in terms of the adventures of Madam Zajj and Carribee Joe, from the Caribbean to the moon via Congo Square and 52nd Street. It was in four parts with a dozen selections, two reprises, and a finale. Extra percussion, a harp, and the voices of Margaret Tynes, Joya Sherrill, and Ozzie Bailey were used, but what could not be experienced on the album was the radiant presence of Carmen de Lavallade, who danced so superbly in the television version.
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