Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
Columbia "Originator Of The Modern Long Playing Record" ML 4639
Saxophones: Paul Gansalves, Harry Carney, Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope & Hilton Jefferson
Trumpets: William Anderson, Clark Terry, Willie Cook & Ray Nance
Trombones: Juan Tizol, Quentin Jackson & Britt Woodman
Drums: Louis Bellson
Bass: Wendell Marshall
Piano: Billy Strayhorn & Duke Ellington
From the back cover: The most important date in the Ellington chronology is December 4, 1927, when he and his then-new orchestra opened at the old Cotton Club in Harlem. At the time, Paul Whiteman was the King Of Jazz (sic), and to the extent that Whiteman represented popular music, originality gasped for breath in what essentially was a pseudo-symphonic treatment of the business man's bounce. A lot of brilliant musicians evolved from this atmosphere, somehow, and if any single focus can take the credit for the evolution, it would be Duke Ellington's orchestra. An audience which couldn't quite accept the roughness of Bessie Smith or an Armstrong at the time was nevertheless ready to toss out the front-porch ballads and the dormitory novelties, and the blast of fresh air which Ellington and his men let in was a revelation. So caustic a critic as the late Constant Lambert was willing to cede Ellington an important place in the music of the Twenties, and subsequent writers have been no less generous. Since 1927 the Ellington orchestra has changed radically, and so has popular music, both influencing the other. The evidence of that change, and an exciting summation of it, is contained in this program. It remains only the listener to absorb and enjoy it, surely one of the most agreeable pastimes available anywhere.
From Billboard - April 11, 1953: For many, many Ellington fans this will be most welcome package. It's the new Ellington crew doing some new material and a couple of the old Ellinton favorites in new style. Material includes "Skin Deep," with Louis Bellson; "The Mooche," "Take The A Train," with a vocal by Betty Roche; "Perdido," and "A Tone Parallel To Harlem." It's delightful and a treat for sore ears.
Take The "A" Train
A Tone Parallel To Harlem