WW II is over in Europe, but not Japan, and Duke Ellington is on the road, still patriotically selling US war bonds via live radio shows. The music here is from the Paradise Theatre in Detroit and the Regal Theatre in Chicago (May, 1945), and the Café Zanzibar (October, 1945). The recordings from the Café Zanzibar has never been released before now. The musical program presented here is blended for both listening and dancing, and includes many Duke Ellington standards, plus several new or rarely performed tunes. Even though this 2-CD presents a relatively “standard” version of the Duke Ellington Orch. from the mid-40’s, it is still the best big band in the U.S. and the music is full of tasty solos by Rex Stewart, Sam Nanton, Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges, Joya Sherrill and the Duke, himself.
Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn - piano, arranger, Rex Stewart, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance - trumpet, Sam Nanton, Lawrence Brown - trombone, Al Sears - tenor sax, Jimmy Hamilton - clarinet, Johnny Hodges - alto sax, Harry Carney - baritone, Fred Guy – guitar, Junior Raglin – bass, Sonny Greer - drums, Al Hibbler, Joya Sherrill, Kay Davis, Marie Ellington - vocal