Fortunately for posterity, Duke Ellington not only liked to hear what he had written the night before, but was in the habit of recording rehearsals in which he was, in effect, auditioning the composer. Whether or not he intended them for eventual release, many of the recordings of these works adorning or in progress have survived. This collection from Duke's "stockpile" was made over a four-year period in the late 1960s and early Seventies. It contains fascinating glimpses of Ellington's writing, some tracks in which sketchy musical ideas were on trial, some old scores revisted, and plenty of good solos, including those by Cootie Williams, Paul Gonsalves, and the maestro himself.
with Cat Anderson, Lawrence Brown, Harry Carney, Johnny Coles, Mercer Ellington, Tyree Glenn, Paul Gonsalves, Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Owens, Julian Priester, Russell Procope, Cootie Williams, Booty Wood, and others