Yes, this is the beautiful album where Betty Roche sings on Take the A-train, Clark Terry shines on Perdido, the whole band gives a classic re-working of The Mooche, Louis Bellson struts his stuff on Skin Deep, and there are some extra tracks and nice suites as well...
Maybe not the most famous Ellington albums (it's from early 1950s, it doesn't have Hodges, there's no diminuendo and crescendo in blue...)it has so many highlights and classics it is actually strange it's not mentioned more often in general evaluation of orchestral jazz, swing, mainstream, Ellington and jazz classics in general... And, yes, some of the orchestrations show some influence of modernity, as do Gonsalves on tenor and Betty Roche on vocals... But it's a testament of Duke's (and, probably, Strayhorn's) constant search and development, not just a passing sign of times. It is one of those lovely albums that are at the same time essential and good introduction to artist's work.
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