Due to the second recording ban, Duke Ellington made no studio recordings in 1948, which makes the concert tapes from that year especially interesting. The Cornell University concert in December is especially interesting in contrast to Ellington's sixth annual Carnegie Hall appearance, which had occurred four weeks earlier and which had premiered such works as "Lady Of The Lavender Mist" and "The Tattooed Bride," which were repeated here. In the course of a difficult roadtrip, the band got a good reception at Cornell, and they played well. (Note that the group included tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, on his second and final sojourn with the band, which would last only until the spring of 1949.) The MusicMasters CD, the fourth in its Travelog series, released in January 1996, contains 15 tracks and runs 75 minutes. It is an adequate mono recording with occasional rough spots.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann