No, if it weren't for the liner notes I would NEVER have guessed that Shakespeare is the inspiration for Ellington's (and Strayhorn's) work here. But, it of small consequence to my listening enjoyment. Mature composer/arranger, Ellington reaches yet another of his peaks ("Blues in Orbit", "Black Brown&Beige", "Uptown", "Jazz Party"...) one can never get tired of.
Aided by the usual pack of great players - Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves... - the big band gives a richness of emotion, wide array of tones and musical innuendo;
something for every Ellington fan, recommendable to fans of swing and modern jazz alike.
The bonus tracks give additional pleasure.