Duke Got Rhythm

Based on the harmonies of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” Duke Ellington composed his colorful “Cotton Tail” in a 32-bar form. Within six brief choruses, Duke and his Orchestra pumps out tremendous energy from Ben Webster’s vigorous solos on the tenor, to imaginative sax soli, to the call-and-response patterns between the brass and reeds section. What grabs my attention, though, is Ellington’s little stride solo (at 1:57) in the fourth chorus. Duke’s the man.