The ’10s: Best Jazz Releases Of The Decade

by Henry Cherry

In the last decade of his life, Duke Ellington, probably America’s greatest composer, had a resurgence. Jazz, was in turmoil, expanding and contracting at the same time, not unlike a star going supernova. In Ellington’s case, he was reincorporating various musical influences. He returned to the sacred music of his early life, to New Orleans, to the songbook of his musical foil, Billy Strayhorn, after Strayhorn died in 1967. But it is the sacred music that truly reinvigorated what would be the master’s last era.