Duke Ellington

The Private Collection, Vol. 6: Dance Dates, California, 1958

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The sixth of ten CDs in this series of previously unknown private recordings is actually related to Vol. 2. Some of these performances are from the same concert at Travis Air Force Base while the remainder were recorded the next day at Mather Air Force Base. Although altoist Johnny Hodges and high note trumpeter Cat Anderson were absent, the music did not suffer in the slightest, for Ellington still had ten other distinctive soloists. Quite informal and sometimes a bit loose, these spirited performances (mostly of standards) gives such players as trumpeters Shorty Baker, Clark Terry and Ray Nance along with the many other stars plenty of opportunities to stretch out. Recordings like this one give one a chance to hear how Ellington rearranged tunes to make them sound fresh year after year and sometimes decade after decade.

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