Duke Ellington recorded “Happy Reunion” a full decade before this performance. Prior to joining Duke band, tenor sax soloist Paul Gonsalves played with those of Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie in the late '40s.
Gonsalves is often credited with turning around the career of Duke's band, with a stellar performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. To “Happy Reunion” he lent a sweet, almost innocent sound.
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