A sharp early 60s session from the Duke Ellington group – one that seems to draw strongly on the best late 50s work for Columbia Records, but which also seems to add in an extra crackle too! The tunes are relatively short, but the group pack plenty of punch in the small space – especially on the more rhythmic numbers, which almost seem to borrow a bit from Basie's bag – yet with more of the sophistication you'd expect on the Ellington horns. The work of Aaron Bell on bass and Sam Woodyard on drums is especially strong on this session – but there's loads of great interplay from reedmen who include Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Hamilton, Russel Procope, Harry Carney, and Paul Gonsalves – plus trumpet from Bill Berry, Cat Anderson, Roy Burrowes, and Harold Baker. Titles include "Taffy
Twist", "Flirtbird", "Smada", "What Am I Here For", "Boo Dah", "Black & Tan Fantasy", and "I'm Gonna Go Fishin".