Duke Ellington, At the Crystal Gardens, Salem, Oregon, 1952 (Hep, two CDs). This album captures the Ellington band in public performance at an awkward juncture in its long life: Clark Terry had recently come aboard, and Johnny Hodges and Sonny Greer had been replaced by Willie Smith and Louis Bellson. It was a tough time for the Duke, but he made the most of it, and this set, privately recorded in excellent sound at a West Coast dance date, reveals the band to have been in colossally fine form. The fare includes The Tattooed Bride, one of Ellington’s most effective large-scale pieces. Outstanding liner notes by Andrew Homzy (TT).