Revolutionary jazz composer Duke Ellington’s Conny Plank Session will finally see the light of day this July. For those unfamiliar with German sound engineer and producer Conny Plank, he rose to prominence for his work with Kraftwerk and Cluster. Stories have been told of this collaboration for many years, and we will finally have a chance to hear it this summer thanks to Gronland Records.
While each tale varies greatly, nearly all of them contain Ellington re-listening to the takes and admiring Planks’ work. German musician/writer Henrik Von Holtum writes, “the likelihood of finding a good, unreleased Duke Ellington recording is slight at best. When Grönland Records called and told me they had found exactly that in Conny Plank’s estate and asked me if I wanted to give it a listen, I felt pretty honored, and excited.”
Von Holtum continues, “The music of Duke Ellington is – in my worldview – to jazz what Bach’s oeuvre is to classical music: THE great benchmark.” From the sounds of it the session is unbelievable and may even be considered a crucial perspective on Ellington’s storied career. Ellington rose to stardom throughout the 30’s and 40’s and played what many consider to be some of the most important standards in jazz such as “Take the A Train,’ which was originally written by Billy Strayhorn. The Conny Plank Session comes out on July 10th via Gronland.