The Piano Player is a fantastic CD that focuses on and demonstrates the unique Piano talents of Duke Ellington. This previously unreleased material includes works which were unusual for Ellington, such as The River Ballad Suite which was composed for a Ballet by Alvin Ailey.
These performances were recorded during eight different sessions in New York, Paris and Tokyo between 1961 and 1971 and includes thirteen Piano solo plus three more accompanied by Wild Bill Davis –Organ, Joe Benjamin –Bass and Rufus Jones-Drums who together with Ellington form a formidable band. These are all Duke Ellington originals, most of which hadn’t been recorded before these sessions.
Recordings of the Duke playing solo are very rare so this collection is a real treat for Ellington fans, once again proving he was a true stylist, innovator and exciting originator on the piano.