New Orleans Suite

New Orleans Suite is the eighth studio album by American pianist, composer, and bandleader Duke Ellington recorded and released on the Atlantic label in 1970.[1] The album features the final recordings of longtime Ellington saxophonist Johnny Hodges, who died between the album's two recording sessions.[2] The album won a Grammy Award in 1971 for Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band.[3]

New Orleans Suite
Studio album by
RecordedApril 27 & May 13, 1970
StudioNational Recording Studio, New York City
Duke Ellington chronology
The Pianist
New Orleans Suite
Orchestral Works

The suite was commissioned by George Wein for the 1970 New Orleans Jazz Festival.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Penguin Guide to Jazz[5]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[6]

In his review for Sounds, Jack Hutton remarked that "a Creole influence permeates the work, a lazy Delta feel laden with nostalgic sadness which is a probably a[sic] truer reflection of the historic city than the good-time trad which has helped to popularise it." He praised the solos of Norris Turney, criticized those of Cootie Williams, and concluded that "This suite, while it doesn't rank with Ellington's greatest works, proves that the piano player is still vitally creative well into his seventies."[2]

The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow awarded the album 3 stars and states "Interesting if not essential music with a few memorable themes being the main reason to acquire this release".[4] The Penguin Guide to Jazz includes the album as part of its suggested "Core Collection," and awards it a four-star rating.[5]

Track listing

All compositions by Duke Ellington.

  1. "Blues for New Orleans" - 7:40
  2. "Bourbon Street Jingling Jollies" - 4:00
  3. "Portrait of Louis Armstrong" - 3:02
  4. "Thanks for the Beautiful Land on the Delta" - 3:38
  5. "Portrait of Wellman Braud" - 4:05
  6. "Second Line" - 6:00
  7. "Portrait of Sidney Bechet" - 3:55
  8. "Aristocracy a la Jean Lafitte" - 3:57
  9. "Portrait of Mahalia Jackson" - 4:53
  • Recorded at National Recording Studio in New York, NY on April 27 (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6 & 8) and May 13 (tracks 3, 5, 7 & 9), 1970.



  1. A Duke Ellington Panorama accessed April 13, 2010
  2. Hutton, Jack (28 August 1971). "Jazz Albums". Sounds. Spotlight Publications. p. 10.
  3. Grammy Awards Database
  4. Yanow, S. Allmusic Review accessed April 13, 2010
  5. Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2008) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (9th ed.). London: Penguin. p. 439. ISBN 978-0-14-103401-0.
  6. Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 69. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
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