Diminuendo & Crescendo In Blue

Duke Ellington and Don Byas


Don Byas sits in with Duke

In 1969, while on a European tour to celebrate his 70th birthday, Duke Ellington had veteran tenor-saxophonist Don Byas sit in with his orchestra during a concert in Paris.

Tenor-saxophonist Paul Gonsalves had made “Diminuendo & Crescendo In Blue” famous at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival when he took 27 choruses.

This version from 13 years later has two solos from Don Byas, one apiece from Norris Turney and Harold Ashby, and a tradeoff by the three tenors.

The results are loose but fun.

-Scott Yanow