Two Hundred Fifty-Plus Words on Ellington, Part III.
is the third in a trio of remastered and reconfigured Columbia releases to the Legacy imprint. The other two are Ellington Uptown and Masterpieces by Ellington, both worthy of purchase considering the amount of reconstruction and updating the releases have undergone since the 1950s. All three recordings are comprised of old and new songs. Festival Session was recorded following a successful series of festivals the Ellington Band had performed in the summer of 1959. In addition to the tried and true ("Perdido" and "Things Ain’t What They Used to Be"), Ellington offers some experimental suites in "Duael Fuel," which was composed to 1959’s concert season, highlights two Ellington drummers, Sam Woodyard and Jimmy Johnson. The suite "Idiom ‘59" spotlights the clarinets, Russell Procope and Jimmy Hamilton.
"Copout Extension" allows Paul Gonsalves room to stretch out in comfort. The recently restored "V.I.P.s Boogie" features Harry Carney’s warm baritone and the Jimmy Hamilton’s clarinet again. "Things..." features Johnny Hodges. All performances are essential Ellington and make you realize that in jazz, giants did walk the earth.