A compendium of 11 famous selections by Ellington, played by Dizzy and his Orchestra in hi-res.

A Portrait of Duke Ellington – Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra – Verve/ HDTT, 41:09 192K/24-bit DVD-A *****:

High Definition Tape Transfers has taken the old Verve 4-track pre-recorded tape from a 1960 NYC session and made a hi-res DVD copy using the ultimate in tape-to-digital equipment. Economic pressures forced Dizzy to give up his big band in 1950, but they appeared overseas after that and made this terrific recording. The HDTT liner notes have quite a bit of information about Dizzy and his playing of the unusual trumpet with the horn up at a 45-degree angle, and his cheeks blown out to drastic size.

The package looks just like an ordinary CD but it is not. Although it says DVD-Audio, it will play on most any DVD deck or universal player.  The sonics and the performances can’t be beat.


1 In A Mellow Tone
Written-By – Ellington* 3:44
2 Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
Written-By – Ellington*, Persons* 4:50
3 Serenade To Sweden
Written-By – Ellington* 4:23
4 Chelsea Bridge
Written-By – Strayhorn* 2:34
5 Upper Manhattan Medical Group
Written-By – Strayhorn* 3:05
6 Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me
Written-By – Russel*, Ellington* 2:38
7 Caravan
Written-By – Ellington*, Mills*, Tizol* 5:18
8 Sophisticated Lady
Written-By – Ellington*, Mills*, Parish* 3:19
9 Johnny Come Lately
Written-By – Strayhorn* 3:35
10 Perdido
Written-By – Drake*, Longsfelder*, Tizol* 4:47
11 Come Sunday
Written-By – Ellington* 2:56

—John Henry