Duke Ellington

The Bethlehem Years, Vol. 1

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In this two-volume series, Duke Ellington mostly revisited some of his songs from the '30s but, as was his custom, the standards were rearranged and came out sounding nearly brand new. With Johnny Hodges back in the orchestra, the all-star ensemble once again had no weak points and, other than an overly rapid "Ko-Ko," this set is a gem.