Were this the only remaining LP in my collection, it would constitute sufficient argument to keep my turntable, cartridge, stylus, etc. in top playing condition. It's been digitalized, but as we're increasingly being made aware, the transferring of priceless music from vinyl to digital and its subsequent reissue on compact disc represents little else than a brief stay of execution: it's far from assurance of the music's preservation. Perhaps only Miles' "Kind of Blue" promises to be around for the unforeseeable future--or at least until the public can no longer afford to purchase CDs or MP3 downloads.
By common consensus the 4 essential, seminal, transformative artists in this music--those creative minds who clearly deserve the otherwise overused, cheapened word "genius"--are Armstrong, Ellington, Parker/Gillespie (take your pick), and Coltrane. (My personal experience requires the expansion of the list to 5, if only to make room for pianist Bill Evans--admittedly, not the polymath player that Art, Oscar, or Bud was.) The point is that despite such canonization, then doubling it with a program of music by 2 of the aforementioned giants, then tripling it with the release of a musical masterpiece, the precarious state of much "timeless" recorded music is an ever-present reality. Without intending to demonize the word "capitalism" (of late being treated by a sizable faction of the population as some sort of endangered species!), I'm quite afraid music such as this simply will not be available much longer (perhaps even existent) if left wholly to the whims of the marketplace.
This album may not contain the most meditative version of Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge," but it's the most thrilling--and with Diz' effortless execution (when it comes to the piece's climactic, stratospheric high notes he doesn't "blow" them as much as "exhale" them), it combines some of the inherent excitement of Diz' trumpet artistry with some of the introspective, complex and bittersweet strains we associate with Swee' Pea's best songs.
If your only shot at this one is picking it up as an LP, what's to stop you? There's still a demand for vinyl, and manufacturers are answering it with affordable record-playing equipment.