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Duke Ellington: Such Sweet Thunder

Such Sweet Thunder, Ellington’s inspired response to things Shakespearean, was recorded in five sessions between August 1956 and May 1957, by far the longest span of time taken for the completion of any of these projects. The original album, heard here for the first time in genuine stereo, is covered in the first 12 tracks, while the additional 10 tracks comprise previously unissued stereo masters and out-takes, the thematically unrelated “Suburban Beauty,” “A Flat Minor,”and “Cafe au Lait,” which were issued separately on other albums, the latter two on French CBS only, and five cuts of alternates, rehearsals, and out-takes that were once made available on an independent limited edition label, Up-To-Date. All of these, with the exception of one track of out-takes, are in stereo. Phil Schaap explains all of the technicalities of production in his thoroughly detailed notes.

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