Duke Ellington Love You Madly + A Concert of Sacred Music At Grace Cathedral

Miles Davis once said that all the musicians in the world should get on their knees at one moment and thank Duke. This is not an unreasonable proposal considering the stature of Ellington as one of the major underrated and under-supported by his own country musical figures of the 20th century. It is also worth noting that Duke himself said that Love You Madly was the best documentary ever done on his music and himself. He's probably right. This DVD features the documentary plus the entire Concert of Sacred Music held at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, both produced in the late '60s. Love You Madly is an intimate and revealing look at Ellington as a master musician and a congenial and pragmatic human being. Ralph J. Gleason, one of the finest jazz critics America has produced, conducts conversations with Duke in the most spontaneous manner. You are transported to the status of being a person who came along with Gleason for the hand; it's that intimate. When Ellington laughs, as he says, "I can't get anything done without a deadline," you immediately smile in recognition. The doc itself is beautiful, in black and white, edited and shot with care, and communicating the life of the time. The concert is a bit more restrained and is valuable as a document with some peak performances, such as the band accompanying tap dancer Bunny Briggs and singer Jon Hendricks. The camera angles are more rigid, and considering the occasion and venue, one can forgive the conservatism. This is a must-have DVD for all fans of modern music. (Eagle Rock)