This CD is the second of two volumes recorded during a 1958 Paris concert. None of the music will be unfamiliar to Ellington fans. "El Gato," a feature for the four trumpets, includes high-note specialist Cat Anderson as well as Clark Terry, Shorty Baker, and Ray Nance in smaller roles. The sound on "Stompy Jones" is a little erratic due to flaws in the master tape, though baritone saxophonist Harry Carney, clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton, and trombonists Britt Woodman and Quentin Jackson all shine. "Hi Fi Fo Fum" is not as common a piece on live Ellington releases, though the lengthy (and mandatory) "dread" medley of Ellington's greatest hits is present. The CD wraps with yet another rendition of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' famous solo that became a hit after the historic 1956 Newport concert. Although there were better songs recorded during this concert that were not released, most Ellington fans should consider acquiring this CD and its companion volume.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden