ELLA & DUKE AT THE COTE D'AZUR contains three previously unreleased tracks.
Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Duke Ellington, Jimmy Jones (piano); Ray Nance (vocals, trumpet); Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Paul Gonsalves, Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone); Cat Anderson, Wilbur Bascomb, Mercer Ellington, Herbie Jones, Cootie Williams (trumpet); Lawrence Brown, Chuck Connors, Buster Cooper (trombone); Jim Hughart, John Lamb (bass); Grady Tate, Sam Woodyard (drums).
Recorded at Juan Les Pins, France in 1966.
Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Duke Ellington (piano); Ray Nance (vocals, violin, trumpet, cornet); Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope (alto saxophone); Paul Gonsalves, Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone); Cootie Williams, Dud Bascomb, Wilbur Bascomb, Sr., Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Lawrence Brown , Chuck Connors, Buster Cooper (trombone); Jimmy Jones (piano); Grady Tate, Jo Jones , Sam Woodyard (drums).
Liner Note Author: Michael Ullman.
Recording information: Juan Le Pins, France.
Editor: Peter Pullman.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Duke Ellington & His Orchestra; Duke Ellington Orchestra; Robert Silverberg.
Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington did not team up in concerts until relatively late in their careers (although she did record her Ellington Songbook with him in the '50s). This live double LP actually finds Fitzgerald singing six numbers with the Jimmy Jones Trio and only "Mack the Knife" and a scat-filled "It Don't Mean a Thing" with the orchestra. Ellington has eight numbers for his band, mostly remakes of older tunes (including a guest appearance by former associate Ben Webster on "All Too Soon," a remarkable Buster Cooper trombone feature, and a rowdy version of "The Old Circus Train Turn-Around Blues"). This is a spirited set of music that with better planning could have been great. [The 1997 CD reissue of At the Cote D'Azur was expanded to a double-disc set with the addition of several bonus tracks. The double CD was released as a teaser for the 1998 release of the eight-disc The Complete Ella & Duke at Cote D'Azur.] ~ Scott Yanow