Duke Ellington & His Orchestra – In A Mellotone (1972)

FrontCover1This LP from 1972 is a straight reissue of an RCA album from the early ’60s.

Comprised of 16 performances by Duke Ellington’s Orchestra during what many consider to be his peak period, the program is highlighted by such classics as the original version of “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Just A-Settin’ and A-Rockin’,” “I Got It Bad,” “Perdido,” “Cotton Tail” and “All Too Soon.”

With such soloists as trumpeter Cootie Williams (who was replaced by Ray Nance) and Rex Stewart, trombonists Tricky Sam Nanton and DukeEllington1940Lawrence Brown, altoist Johnny Hodges, clarinetist Barney Bigard, Ben Webster on tenor, baritonist Harry Carney and the innovative bassist Jimmy Blanton (in addition to the leader/pianist), this was one of the all-time great orchestras.

Ellington’s recordings are available in more complete form elsewhere but this is a strong sampling. (by Scott Yanow)



Ivie Anderson (vocals)
Barney Bigard (clarinet)
Jimmy Blanton (bass)
Lawrence Brown (trombone)
Harry Carney (clarinet, saxophone)
Duke Ellington (piano)
Sonny Greer (drums)
Fred Guy (guitar)
Otto Hardwick (saxophone)
Johnny Hodges (clarinet, saxophone)
Herb Jeffries (vocals)
Wallace Jones (trumpet)
Ray Nance (trumpet, violin)
Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton (trombone)
Junior Raglin (bass)
Rex Stewart (cornet)
Billy Strayhorn (piano)
Juan Tizol (trombone)
Cootie Williams (trumpet)

Ad1940Ad for Duke Ellington’s first Vancouver show. Vancouver Sun, 15 April 1940

01. Take the “A” Train (Strayhorn) 2.577
02. A Portrait Of Bert Williams (Elli9ngton) 3.14
03. Main Stem (Ellington) 2.52
04. Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’ (Ellington/Gaines/Strayhorn) 3.37
05. I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) (Ellington/Webster) 3.21
06. Perdido (Drake/Lengsfelder/Tizol) 3.12
07. Blue Serge (Mercer/Ellington) 3.24
08. The Flaming Sword (Ellington) 3.10
09. In A Mellow Tone (Ellington/Gabler) 3.21
10. Cotton Tail (Ellington) 3.14
11. I Don’t Know What Kind Of Blues I Got (Ellington) 3.17
12. Rumpus In Richmond (Ellington) 2.51
13. All Too Soon (Ellington/Sigman) 3.33
14. Sepia Panorama (Ellington/Strayhorn) 3.27
15. Rocks In My Bed (Ellington) 3.10
16. What Am I Here For? (Ellington/Laine) 3.25