- Released: February 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Three J's Blues
- 3.Pie Eye's Blues
- 4.Sweet & Pungent
- 5.C Jam Blues
- 6.In A Mellow Tone
- 7.Blues In Blueprint
- 8.The Swingers Get The Blues, Too
- 9.The Swinger's Jump
- 10.Blues In Orbit
- 11.Villes Ville Is The Place, Man
- 12.Track 360
- 13.Sentimental Lady
- 14.Brown Penny
- 15.Pie Eye's Blues (Alternate Take)
- 16.Sweet & Pungent (Alternate Take)
- 17.The Swinger's Jump (Alternate Take)
- 18.Blues In Orbit (Alternate Take)
- 19.Track 360 (Alternate Take)
Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Russell Procope (clarinet, alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (bass clarinet, baritone saxophone); Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone); Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone); Clark Terry, Ray Nance, Shorty Baker, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Matthew Gee (trombone, baritone horn); Quentin Jackson, Johnny Sanders, Booty Wood, Britt Woodman (trombone); Billy Strayhorn (piano); Jimmy Woode (double bass); Jimmy Johnson, Sam Woodyard (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Patricia Willard; Teo Macero.
BLUES IN ORBIT is a spectacular, well-rounded assembly of early and latter-day Ellington material. Most of these recordings were made in 1959, when the popularity of the LP was changing the ways in which music was conceived and made. While Ellington is known for his "extended works," most of the tracks here resemble--in form, length, and feel--the style of the musician's early catalog. Spacious, conversational pieces (such as the title track) and the slinky exotica of "Smada" fit nicely alongside such favorites and standards as "C Jam Blues," "Sentimental Lady," and "In A Mellotone."
Pacing and tone vary according to the standard Ellington program scheme. Wailing up-tempo blues ("Pie Eye's Blues," "Three J's Blues"-in which instrumentalists Jimmy Hamilton and Ray Nance get to stretch a bit) alternate with tracks such as the meltingly beautiful "Brown Penny," this last number featuring an incomparable solo by Johnny Hodges. Ellington delivers with grace, prowess, and supreme creativity, and BLUES IN ORBIT, with its superb playing and diverse, wonderful track list, is a keeper.