I thought it would be worthwhile adding a few comments here. Unlike some of the other sets in this series, most of the CDs in this box are just a repackaging of the previous issues, with the bonus tracks being the same. In most cases this is fine, although as has been pointed out not good for Such Sweet Thunder. However, the few albums with new mastering here really do sound gorgeous. Drum Is A Woman is an album unlikely to hit my player very often, but sounds great, and it's lovely to hear Bal Masque without the fake applause. But the real beauty is Ellington Indigos. Remixed and remastered, it has a beautiful tone to it and what was previously a relatively bland entry in the Ellington cannon now has a depth of sound and a beauty that just weren't there before.
Let's hope a second set is released featuring the remaining studio Columbia albums: Festival Session, Anatomy of a Murder, Jazz Party, Nutracker Suite/Suite Thursday, Blues In Orbit, Piano in the Foreground, Piano in the Background, All American, Midnight In Paris
An excellent and worthwhile box set (and very reasonably priced, too) including 9 albums originally released in the 1950's and some that hadn't previously been available on CD. The sound is generally very good and the band (almost inevitably) on great form.
The individual CD's (most of which have extra tracks) are nicely housed in cardboard replica LP sleeves and the whole thing comes in a flip lid box with a brief but informative booklet including most importantly full recording details and personnel. Hard to pick out favourites but Black, Brown and Beige has always been a favourite of mine and Ellington Indigos is simply sublime. I was surprised how much I enjoyed Blue Rose with Rosemary Clooney supplying vocals