Duke Ellington recorded for many different record labels (sometimes simultaneously), which makes the assembling of a comprehensive compilation difficult. Drawing upon the RCA Victor catalog, Time-Life Music constructed a 21-song collection that took in the two sustained periods when Ellington recorded for the label, the early 1930s and the early 1940s. Included were the original hit versions of such Ellington standards as "Mood Indigo," "Take the 'A' Train," and "I'm Beginning to See the Light." There were also later re-recordings of other Ellington favorites, such as "Caravan" and "Sophisticated Lady." The result was a good Ellington sampler, but something less than the ideal single-disc compilation.
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