Editors’ Notes Perhaps the most sonically alive and dynamic recording in the Ellington catalog, Blues in Orbit revisits a few chestnuts from the old repertoire and adds several appealing new compositions. The two tracks recorded in 1958 are both standouts: the title track features a call and response between the band and Ellington on piano, while “Track 360” is a tense, dramatic audio reproduction of a train collision. The remainder of the tracks were recorded in December of 1959 and feature Ray Nance as the band’s only trumpeter. His growl is used to good effect on “Sweet & Pungent,” a moody, unhurried blues, while the distinctive “Blues in Blueprint” is a quiet and reflective interlude that finds Nance at his most delicate. On the old standby, “C Jam Blues,” Nance picks up the violin for an impressive solo turn. Alto Johnny Hodges takes center stage for tender readings of “Sentimental Lady” and “Brown Penny.”

SONG
Three J's Blues
1
2:52
 
Smada
2
2:36
 
Pie Eye's Blues
3
3:25
 
Sweet & Pungent
4
4:01
 
C Jam Blues
5
4:50
 
In a Mellow Tone
6
2:40
 
Blues In Blueprint
7
3:41
 
The Swingers Get the Blues, Too
8
3:07
 
The Swinger's Jump
9
3:51
 
Blues In Orbit
10
2:27
 
Villes Ville Is the Place, Man
11
2:31
 
Track 360
12
2:01
 
Sentimental Lady
13
4:00
 
Brown Penny
14
3:00
 
Pie Eye's Blues
15
3:30
 
Sweet & Pungent
16
3:50
 
The Swinger's Jump
17
3:49
 
Blues In Orbit
18
2:37
 
Track 360
19
2:01