This set came about, in part, as a result of Ellington's signing to Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in November 1962, with the ending of his exclusive contract to Columbia. Six numbers from the three Paris dates were initially edited and released by Reprise as part of the ten-song Duke Ellington's Greatest Hits, but the bulk of the performances from those shows didn't surface until many years later as The Great Paris Concert on two LPs.
This album “The Great Paris Concert” is raw and largely unedited, and depicts the full Ellington band in extraordinary form, oozing excitement -- from the saxophone showcase on the opener, "Rockin' in Rhythm," the various sections of the band take flight at different points throughout this set, which includes such contemporary numbers as Ellington's theme music for an all but forgotten television series, The Asphalt Jungle, and excerpts from Such Sweet Thunder.
Johnny Hodges is showcased in several solos, most notably on "Suite Thursday," a work whose original studio incarnation he missed appearing on;Cootie Williams ("Tutti for Cootie"), Paul Gonsalves ("Cop Out"), Ray Nance ("Bula"), and Cat Anderson ("Jam with Sam") get their own moments in the spotlight. By Bruce Eder/AMG
Personnel: Cat Anderson, Roy Burrowes, Cootie Williams - trumpet
Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors, – trombone
Paul Gonsalves, Johnny Hodges, – saxophone
Harry Carney, Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope – clarinet, saxophone
Ray Nance – violin, cornet , Duke Ellington – piano, Ernie Shephard – bass,
Sam Woodyard – drums Milt Grayson – vocals
Side A: 1.Kinda Dukish/Rockin’ In Rhythm 2. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
3. The Star-Crossed Lovers 4. All Of Me 5. Theme From Asphalt Jungle"
Side B: 1. Concerto For Cootie 2. Tutti For Cootie 3. Suite Thursday In Four
Movements: Misfit Blues/Schwiphti/Zweet Zurzday/Lay-By
Side C: 1. Perdido 2. The Eighth Veil 3. Rose Of The Rio Grande 4.Cop Out 5.Bula
Side D: 1. Jam With Sam 2. Happy-Go-Lucky Local 3. Tone Parallel To Harlem