Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Ray Nance (vocals, violin, trumpet); Albert Hibbler, Joya Sherrill, Kay Davis (vocals); Fred Guy (guitar); Harry Carney (clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwick (alto saxophone); Al Sears (tenor saxophone); Taft Jordan, Shelton Hemphill, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Rex Stewart (cornet); Joseph Nanton, Lawrence Brown , Claude Jones (trombone); Billy Strayhorn (piano); Junior Raglin (bass instrument); Big Sid Catlett, Sonny Greer (drums).
Arrangers: Duke Ellington; Billy Strayhorn.
Up until the '50s, live concert broadcast from studios, clubs, and concert halls were commonplace. This volume of THE TREASURY SHOWS captures the Ellington orchestra live from New York's 400 Restaurant, as well as from clubs in Chicago and southern California, with the years covered spanning the early '40's to mid-'50's. The early-to-mid-'50s edition of the Duke's orchestra was one of his very best, with top-level soloists, classy compositions, and elegant swing, mixing his famous hits with lesser-known gems. There are also some brief commercials for U.S. Savings Bonds scattered throughout. Not the best set for those new to Ellington, but history-minded enthusiasts will find this a treasure-trove.