The Duke Ellington Orchestra of 1971 is well documented; it’s the one that recorded both The Afro Eurasian Eclipse (in February) and Togo Brava Suite (at a series of English concerts in late October). Other dribs and drabs of the orchestra’s autumn world tour have surfaced, but nothing in the way of a full concert. The recently discovered tape of Uppsala 1971 fills that gap with an entire Swedish set from November. It conclusively shows that this late-period version of the band still burned.
In particular, they do so on a revelatory “One More Time (for the People),” a.k.a. “One More Once.” Suitably swinging on Ellington’s 1961 summit with Count Basie, here it’s a rollicking—even frugging—soul number, with a wild lead vocal from Nell Brookshire and backing from Tony Watkins. It is, to say the least, an unexpected (and exciting) turn for the then-72-year-old Ellington.