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Paul Gonsalves

The greatest moment of Paul Gonsalves' musical career occurred at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival when, to bridge the gap between "Diminuendo in Blue" and "Crescendo in Blue," Duke Ellington urged him to take a long solo, egging him on through 27 exciting choruses that almost caused a riot. That well-publicized episode resulted in Ellington having a major "comeback," and Gonsalves forever earning Ellington's gratitude.

Gonsalves had already earned a strong reputation during his stints with Count Basie (1946-1949) and the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra (1949-1950). Joining Ellington in 1950, Gonsalves' warm breathy tone and harmonically advanced solos were a constant fixture for 24 years (except for a brief time in 1953 when he was with Tommy Dorsey) and he was well-featured up until his death, just ten days before Ellington passed on. In addition to his countless number of recorded performances with Ellington, Gonsalves led dates of his own on an occasional basis, including for Argo, Jazzland, Impulse (highlighted by a combative meeting with Sonny Stitt), Storyville, Black Lion, and Fantasy. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Comments

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poppa_bear49
Smooth...rem i n d s me a little of Desmond.
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blivramento
I was there and did not know that history was being made. Paul and my husband were personal buddies who lived together in NYC. He was one of a kind. Extraordinar i l y gifted playing guitar and the saxophone. Loved him. Was also gifted in sketching. Have a few.
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raykeating54 8
I was there, On of the most memorable experiences of my life.
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Nice, very very nice jam. I can feel all the instruments playing in my head (phones)
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I love the atmosphere of this tune. Kind of sad.
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That solo at the Newport Jazz Festival with Ellington blew me away! Never forgot his name after hearing that.
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wazell
a toss-up between ben webster and gene amos
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Pre-Smooth Jazz, Smooooth Jazz. For Real!!!
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elcue
Oh, wow. Way to soothe a Monday morning.
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Incredible! Jazz at it's best.
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I saw him with the Ellington orchestra in the late sixties.He was terrific and he also drew a caricture of a friend,a very good likeness.
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Very smooth.
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I agree with Velvet it is good to read stories about artists that you do know and don't.
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i love to read stories about artist such as this. good times! :)
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quicksilver3 2 1
A very smooth player...A lot of Ben Webster qualities... . v e r y nice
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Legend has it that Ellington had Gonsalves solo at Newport - and keep going – as bit of diabolical payback for Gonsalves having previously shown up with a profound hang over. Bless that bender.

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