This CD presents the complete original album "At the Bal Masque", on which Duke Ellington departs from his usual repertoire (with the sole exception of Satin Doll) to play a set of choice standards, most of which he had never recorded before and would never record again. Presented on the original LP as a live recording with applause between tracks, this music was in fact recorded in the studio during various sessions.
As a bonus to this album, a rarely heard 1960 Ellington session in its entirety. Equally uncommon, it was recorded in a small group format and also presents an unusual program, this time revisiting mostly forgotten tunes from the Dukes repertoire from the 1920s through the 1940s.
01. Alice Blue Gown 3:02
02. Whos Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf 2:53
03. Got A Date With An Angel 2:25
04. Poor Butterfly 3:40
05. Satan Takes A Holiday 3:15
06. The Peanut Vendor 3:33
07. Satin Doll 3:48
08. Lady In Red 2:49
09. Indian Love Call 3:36
10. The Donkey Serenade 2:13
11. Gypsy Love Song 3:54
12. Laugh, Clown, Laugh 3:03
13. Everything But You 3:32*
14. Black Beauty 3:16*
15. All Too Soon 3:12*
16. Something To Live For 2:45*
17. Mood Indigo 3:48*
18. Creole Blues 2:30*
19. Dont You Know I Care 2:57*
20. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing 3:12*
21. Mighty Like The Blues 3:19*
22. Tonight I Shall Sleep 2:42*
23. Dual Highway 2:52*
24. Blues 4:57*
Total time: 77:25 min.
Tracks #1-12, from the 12" album
"At the Bal Masque" (Columbia CS8098)
(*) Bonus tracks not on the original album
Personnel on tracks #1-12:
Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Willie Cook, Harold Shorty Baker (tp), Ray Nance (tp, vln), Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, John Sanders (tb), Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts), Russell Procope (as, cl), Johnny Hodges (as), Bill Graham (as, ts, bs), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Harry Carney (bs, cl, b-cl), Duke Ellington (p), Jimmy Woode (b), and Sam Woodyard (d).
New York, March 20, 31 & April 1, 1958
Personnel on tracks #13-24:
Duke Ellington Small Band
Ray Nance (tp), Lawrence Brown (tb), Johnny Hodges (as), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Harry Carney (bs, b-cl), Duke Ellington (p), Aaron Bell (b), and Sam Woodyard (d).
Recorded in Hollywood, California, on July 14, 1960
"What is particularly pleasing and consistent here is the complete relaxation of the band. Thoroughly recommended."
Vic Bellerby -Jazz Journal
"One of Duke Ellington's more unusual albums of the '50s, this live session finds the orchestra performing such songs as "Got a Date with an Angel," "The Peanut Vendor," "Indian Love Call" and even "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf." Amazingly enough the music works quite well for Ellington and his all-star orchestra manage to transform what could be a set of tired revival swing into superior dance music and swinging jazz. While certainly not the most essential Ellington record, At the Bal Masque is a surprise success."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide