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Duke Ellington Orchestra: A “Very Special” Version of “Take the A Train”

When my Facebook friend Doofybass Kris shared this, I couldn’t wait to share it here. Not only does this 1964 clip of Duke Ellington and his orchestra include a rare glimpse at famed jazz composer Billy Strayhorn, the performance features bassist Ernie Shepard in what Duke calls a “very special operatic version” of “Take the A Train.”

The song starts at 1:28, but the real magic starts at 2:18.