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Bluebird Releases Rare Ellington in June

A three-disc set of Duke Ellington performances will arrive in stores June 11 via Bluebird’s First Edition Series. Don’t groan. The tracks on the discs are rare, worthy of making space on the CD-rack for. The set collects live tracks from the Duke’s late (and often neglected) period when he was writing a lot of suites dedicated to foreign nations (“Togo Brava Suite,” “Far East Suite,” “Latin American Suite,” etc.). It’s true that some of this material was issued in 1999 within RCA’s limited edition 24-CD Duke Ellington Centennial Edition set, but not everyone had the scratch to buy that monstrous set and in fact, a lot of this music has never seen a U.S. release save for bootlegs-and bootlegs are illegal. Included are bits of interviews with Ellington, rehearsal takes and the sessions he did for Reader’s Digest.

Disc by disc synopses:

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