The 29th in Classics' reissuance of Duke Ellington's recordings as a leader (which unfortunately skips most alternate takes) features his orchestra shortly after the recording ban of 1942-44 had finally ended. In addition to several vocal numbers for Joya Sherrill (including the hit "I'm Beginning to See the Light"), Al Hibbler and Kay Davis, there are features for trombonist Lawrence Brown ("Blue Cellophane") and altoist Johnny Hodges ("Mood to Be Wooed"), the original four-part studio version of "Black, Brown and Beige" (which totals 18 minutes), a four-song session headed by drummer Sonny Greer that features altoist Otto Hardwick, trumpeter Taft Jordan and clarinetist Barney Bigard (despite what it says in the liner notes, the pianist is the obscure Duke Brooks and not Duke Ellington) and the early V-disc version of "The Perfume Suite." Excellent music from an underrated edition of the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow