Remastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering
In the aftermath of World War II and the demise of the vast majority of swing bands and orchestras, Duke Ellington fared better than most. Owing to his skills as a composer, sometimes arranger, and skillful bandleader, he weathered the storm. At the other end of that storm, the LP era exploded, with opportunity for the kind of extended-length compositions and concepts that Duke and his collaborator Billy Strayhorn were moving toward, away from the three-minute confines of the 78 rpm era.
Complicating matters was the impending departure of three key players (Johnny Hodges, Lawrence Brown, and drummer Sonny Greer), and a new sound that Duke was envisioning for his band, "the most significant juncture in the band's 47 year history," Grammy Award-winning writer Loren Schoenberg notes.
Ellington's relationship with Columbia in the LP era began with 1951's Masterpieces by Ellington, an excellent program of newly-recorded uncut concert arrangements of his familiar themes and one of the last with the aforementioned classic line-up. Includes extended takes on classics "Mood Indigo," "Sophisticated Lady," and "Solitude" plus the newer composition "The Tattooed Bride."
Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn, piano
Mercer Ellington, flugelhorn
Cat Anderson / Andrew Ford / Harold Baker / Nelson Williams / Ray Nance, trumpet
Quentin Jackson / Tyree Glenn / Lawrence Brown, trombone
Johnny Hodges / Paul Gonsalves, alto saxophone
Jimmy Hamilton, clarinet
Russell Procope, clarinet & alto saxophone
Wendell Marshall, bass
Sonny Greer, drums