Personnel: Duke Ellington (arranger, piano); Billy Strayhorn (arranger); Kay Davis, Al Hibbler (vocals); Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Russell Procope, Al Sears, Jimmy Hamilton (reeds); Ray Nance (trumpet, violin); Harold Baker, Al Killian, Francis Williams, Shelton Hemphill (trumpet); Tyree Glenn (trombone, vibraphone); Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones (trombone); Fred Guy (guitar); Oscar Pettiford, Junior Raglin (bass); Sonny Greer (drums).
Recorded live at Carnegie Hall, New York on December 26 & 27, 1947. Original release liner notes by J.R. Taylor.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1991, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley).
Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Kay Davis, Al Hibbler (vocals); Fred Guy (guitar); Ray Nance (violin, trumpet); Harry Carney, Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Russell Procope (reeds); Harold Baker, Al Killian, Shelton Hemphill, Francis Williams (trumpet); Tyree Glenn (trombone, vibraphone); Lawrence Brown , Claude Jones (trombone); Sonny Greer (drums).
Liner Note Author: J.R. Taylor.
Recording information: Carnegie Hall, New York, NY (12/26/1947).
Arrangers: Duke Ellington; Billy Strayhorn.
This essential two-CD set captures the Duke Ellington Orchestra at a time when they did little recording, due to health problems and a year-long recording ban by the American Federation of Musicians, and includes four pieces never otherwise recorded. The late '40s was a transistional era for Ellington and his orchestra: "Harlem Airshaft" is recast with a new feel acknowledging the bebop revolution, while Ellington's piano solo "The Clothed Woman" flirts with Monk-like atonality in spots while recalling the boogie-woogieish stride style of Ellington's early days.
Vocalist Kay Davis' wordless trills throughout "On A Turquoise Cloud" foreshadow the third-stream work of not only Ellington but vocalist Jeanne Lee. Meanwhile, star soloists Johnny Hodges and Ray Nance each get an extended medley to showcase their astonishing chops and Ellington debuts one of his best extended pieces, "The Liberian Suite." This release is both historically important and immensely entertaining.