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Such Sweet Thunder is a 12-part suite that Ellington co-wrote with long-time collaborator Billy Strayhorn. Ellington and his Orchestra premiered the work in April 1957. The disc includes not only the the suite in it's entirety (about 35 minutes of music), but 10 bonus tracks that are a mix of alternate takes and other music from (I gather) around the same time. Duke really does have an orchestra here: the ensemble is 15 musicians in total, including Duke on the piano.The music is just wonderful. Ellington, Strayhorn, and Orchestra really put everything they've got on display. "Such Sweet Thunder" is sly and ominous, "Lady Cinq" is a swinging, dancey tune, "Star Crossed Lovers" is melancholy (and beautiful), "Circle of Fourths" is driving and brassy. Every part of the orchestra gets a feature part, and Duke and Strayhon blend instruments to get great color and mood. I'm a big fan of classical music, and I think many of the best orchestrators (Ravel, Tchaikovsky, etc) would be jealous of what Ellington & Co. accomplish in this music--there is a tremendous range of colors, harmonies, melodies and emotions.
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.