Another jubilant live album capturing Ellington's All-Star Road band at its finest. Adept as a soloist and as part of a combo, Ellington felt most at home when performing and recording with this band. Highlights include "Take the A-Train," "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good," and "Sophisticated Lady." Recorded live at the Holiday Ballroom Chicago, 1964.
Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, clarinet); Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Cootie Williams, Nat Woodward (trumpet); Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper (trombone); Chuck Connors (bass trombone); Peck Morrison (bass); Sam Woodyard (drums).
Recorded live at The Holiday Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois on May 31, 1964. Includes liner notes by Stanley Dance.
Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Ray Nance (vocals, cornet); 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, Cootie Williams, Nat Woodward, Harold Baker, Herbie Jones, Willie Cook, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Lawrence Brown , Quentin Jackson, John Sanders, Britt Woodman, Buster Cooper (trombone); Chuck Connors (bass trombone); Sam Woodyard (drums).
Audio Remixers: Jack Towers; Ken Robertson; Bob Thiele.
Liner Note Author: Stanley Dance.
Recording information: Carrolltown, PA (06/1957).
Featuring a May 1964, performance at Chicago's Holiday Ballroom, ALL-STAR ROAD BAND documents a sometimes-overlooked chapter in Ellington's late career. With the bulk of his time in the 1960s devoted to composing near-symphonic suites, Ellington funded the expense of maintaining a fifteen-person band with relentless touring. However, these dances were hardly rote exercises to pay the bills. In between classic crowd-pleasers like "Mood Indigo" and "Summertime," Ellington makes room for more complex works like a selection from his score for "Timon of Athens," featuring one of six solos by stalwart alto Johnny Hodges.
With Hodges in the spotlight, Ellington's other great soloists, trumpet Cootie Williams and tenor Paul Gonsalves, limit themselves to magnificent renditions of their trademark pieces, "Tutti for Cootie" and "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue." The Ellington Orchestra was nearing the end of its unparalleled career, but you wouldn't know it from hearing this remarkable, joyful music.