Duke Ellington – Copenhagen 1965

There are mixed opinions of the Ellington Orchestra in the 1960s – some might say it wasn’t the tight and inspired ground-breaking unit he had led in 1940s, rather a constantly touring outfit with the pressures of that life starting to take it’s toll on some of the aging musicians in the ranks. Others however praise this era, not just for the feat of keeping a full big band recording and on the road, but for the inclusion of Ellington’s new and more impressionistic compositions and a willingness to give longer features to some outstanding soloists.

Here’s a full concert performance from 1965 with an illustrious line-up including Johnny Hodges, Ray Nance. and (when he’s not asleep) Paul Gonsalves.