Vol. 2 of Duke Ellington's "hits" from the Charly reissue label is an interesting collection of many well-known selections not included on the initial compilation, but also features quite a few obscure pieces. Among the 20 tracks are all-time favorites all lovers of Duke know: "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo," "Black & Tan Fantasy," "The Mooche," "Ring Dem Bells," "It Don't Mean a Thing," "Drop Me Off in Harlem," and "Warm Valley" are here. The pieces "Creole Rhapsody," "Slippery Horn," "Hyde Park," and "Country Gal," among others, might throw you for a loop, but they are interesting choices and make this CD one to seek out unless you are a completist and already have them. Both Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 combined provide a good beginner's retrospective of Ellington in the first half of his lengthy career, and at an affordable price to boot.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos