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Caravan
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Performer Notes
  • Full performer name: Johnny Hodges All-Stars/Duke Ellington All-Stars/Billy Strayhorn All-Stars.
  • Personnel: Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone); Duke Ellington (piano); Billy Strayhorn (piano, organ); Willie Smith (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Al Sears, Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone); Taft Jordan, Harold Baker, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Lawrence Brown, Juan Tizol, Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman (trombone); Oscar Pettiford, Wendall Marshall (bass); Wilbur De Paris, Sonny Greer, Louis Bellson (drums).
  • Recorded between 1947 and 1951. Includes liner notes by Leonard Feather.
  • Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1992, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
  • This single CD, which reissues all of the music from a double-LP, has a variety of formerly rare sessions from 1947-51. Although the great altoist Johnny Hodges gets top billing, and he leads three sessions from 1947 (featuring such top Ellington stars as trombonist Lawrence Brown, tenorman Al Sears, baritonist Harry Carney and either Taft Jordan or Harold Baker on trumpet), he is actually absent on the second half of the release. With Billy Strayhorn and/or Duke Ellington as leader and Willie Smith on alto, these enthusiastic swing performances range in personnel from a three-trombone septet to a version of "Caravan" with Ellington on piano and Strayhorn making a rare appearance on organ. Although the music falls just short of classic, Ellington collectors will love these rarities. ~ Scott Yanow
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