Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

Ellington Jazz Party

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This is one of the more unusual recordings in Duke Ellington's vast discography. Recorded over two sessions in early 1959, it includes two new numbers (the infectious "Malletoba Spank" and explosive "Tymperturbably Blue") featuring nine symphony percussionists in the forefront with the full band, a new suite ("Toot Suite") showcasing many of his best soloists (with Russell Procope and Paul Gonsalves taking top honors), a brisk setting of "All of Me" for his star alto saxophonist, Johnny Hodges, along with a guest appearance by Dizzy Gillespie on "U.M.M.G." This CD reissue adds two numbers recorded during the sessions ("Satin Doll" and "Fillie Trillie") that were omitted from the original record. Perhaps the most exciting number is the closing blues "Hello Little Girl," with Ellington leaving the piano to direct the band (Jimmy Jones takes over on piano, doing a fine job), as Jimmy Rushing belts out its swinging lyrics, embellished by Gillespie's muted horn. One thing that is extremely odd about this reissue: an audience was audible on the initial LP (Ellington liked to record with friends outside the studio to watch the action, so having them sitting around the perimeter isn't much of a stretch), but this CD reissue has no trace of any audience response, even though these tracks are otherwise identical to those heard on the original record!

blue highlight denotes track pick