Duke Ellington: The Reprise Studio Recordings
Released: Apr 2008
Label: Rhino/Warner Bros.
When Frank Sinatra started Reprise Records, he immediately signed Duke Ellington and gave his musical hero carte blanche to record whatever he saw fit. Ellington responded by highlighting all of his strengths, from swing-era covers to world rhythms to a mix of American populism and European artiness. The set also includes Ellington and his band doing pop hits of the 1960s, a jazz version of the score to Mary Poppins and a sumptuous small-group jazz violin set. The only thing missing is the underrated Sinatra/Ellington collaboration.