This disc is a surprising success. Duke Ellington was somehow persuaded into revising and recording a dozen songs from the score of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, and the results are actually quite memorable. With such soloists as altoist Johnny Hodges, baritonist Harry Carney, trumpeter Cootie Williams, tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves, clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton, and trombonist Lawrence Brown getting their spots, Duke Ellington & His Orchestra turn such songs as "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Chim Chim Cheree" (a much happier version than John Coltrane's), "The Life I Lead," and even "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" into swinging jazz.
Duke Ellington Plays Mary Poppins Review
by Scott Yanow