We Love Late Ellington Suites Madly.

In Stanford this past summer one of their friendly drivers had Duke Ellington’s Latin American Suite in his disc player. I started to really look forward to those rides…

Photo: Roberto Polillo

The late sixties/early seventies suites like The Queen’s Suite, the UWIS Suite, The Goutelas Suite were always among my favorites. I covered from the UWIS Suite on my first recording, Parallel Worlds. They’re very different than the 20’s, 30’s, 40′ or 50’s Ellington. Billy Strayhorn must also get a nod for the richness and complexity, as well as the down to earth quality of the band’s playing.

After my summer driving experience I pulled out some of the other late suites and they have just been flooring me (again). New Orleans Suite, Suite Thursday, Latin American Suite — there’s some crazy stuff in there. The length and breadth of Ellington’s career is just astounding.