Duke Ellington: The Ellington Suites (2013)
The three suites included here were recorded between 1959 and 1972. "The Queen's Suite" was composed shortly after the coronation of Great Britain's Elizabeth II in 1955 and contains a solo piano (supported by string bass) composition, "Single Petal of a Rose." The Goutelas and Uwis Suites are 1970s products. The latter is supplemented with "The Kiss" recorded at the same time as the suite. Ellington still featured Paul Gonsalves and Johnny Hodges, whose voices loom large on this recording.
Ellington's suites may have suffered from under exposure for their forward thinking approach of melding jazz and classical forms. But listening to these pieces, the thread of Ellington, that creative remnant that matured in the late 1920s is in fully flowered evidence on these relatively late career recordings. These pieces make it hard to dispute Ellington's supremacy in American jazz.
Track Listing: The Queen’s Suite; The Goutelas Suite; The Uwis Suite; The Kiss.
Personnel: Duke Ellington: piano and composition; The Duke Ellington Orchestra
Record Label: Original Jazz Classics Remasters
Style: Big Band