A rare batch of small group studio sessions recorded by Duke Ellington between 1956 and 1958. Included are the eight amazing quartet tracks with Paul Gonsalves, as well as quintets, sextets and septets, showcasing not only the Dukes amazing talents but also those of his selected soloists.
As a bonus, three orchestral tracks that complete the 1956 septet session, with many Ellingtonians, including : Johnny Hodges, Clark Terry, Paul Gonsalves Jimmy Hamilton, Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance, Russell Procope and Harry Carney.
This release compiles all known small group sessions recorded by Duke Ellington in the studio during the 1950s. They are worth listening to these sessions not only to hear such musicians as Gonsalves, Hodges or Terry in small group settings with Ellingtons long-time rhythm section of Jimmy Woode on bass and Sam Woodyard, drums, but also to have an all too rare chance to hear the Dukes marvellous piano playing.
01. IN A MELLOW TONE [Take 1) )3:16)
02. IN A MELLOW TONE [Take 2] (3:00)
03. HAPPY REUNION [Take 1] (3:28)
04. HAPPY REUNION [Take 2] (2:45)
05. DIMINUENDO AND CRESCENDO IN BLUE (7:21)
06. WAILING BOUT (2:48)
07. I COVER THE WATERFRONT (3:27)
08. DEEP BLUES (3:30)
09. CIRCLE OF FOURS (2:12)
10. PERDIDO (3:13)
11. THE RIFF (2:25)
12. BLUER (2:14)
13. SLOW BLUES ENSEMBLE (3:13)
14. BLUES A LA WILLIE COOK (4:03)
15. THREE TRUMPS [A.k.a. SPACEMEN] (2:46)
16. WAY BACK BLUES (3:28)
17. WHERES THE MUSIC? (3:12)
18. RUBBER BOTTOM (2:49)
19. PLAY THE BLUES AND GO (4:32)
20. PRELUDE TO A KISS (3:29)
21. MISS LUCY (3:18)
22. MARCH 19th BLUES (5:26)
Total time: 76:05 min.
Tracks #1-8, Quartet: Duke Ellington (p), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Jimmy Woode (b) and Sam Woodyard (d). Recorded in Chicago, June 24, 1958 [#1-5) and January 17-29, 1957 [#6-8].
Tracks #9-10, Quintet: Same as above except Clark Terry (tp) added. Recorded in Chicago, on January 29, 1957.
Tracks #11-13, Septet: Same as above except Ray Nance & Willie Cook (tp) added. Recorded in Chicago, January 17-29, 1957.
Track #14, Quintet: Same As Above Except Paul Gonsalves & Clark Terry omitted. Recorded in Chicago, on January 29, 1957.
Track #15, Sextet: Same As Above Except Clark Terry (tp) Added. Recorded in Chicago, on January 29, 1957.
Tracks #16-19, Septet: Duke Ellington (p), Clark Terry (tp), John Sanders (v-tb), Jimmy Hamilton (cl), Johnny Hodges (as), Jimmy Woode (b) and Sam Woodyard (d). Recorded in Chicago, on March 19, 1956.
Bonus tracks #20-22, Orchestra: Same session and personnel as #16-19 with the addition of Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance (tp), Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson (tb), Russell Procope (as, cl), Paul Gonsalves (ts) and Harry Carney (bs).