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Wisteria (Mercer Ellington)

This track is one of the band's Ellington tunes—but not by the Duke. This one's by his son, Mercer, who also composed the moody "Moon Mist," the rocking Johnny Hodges vehicle "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," "Jumpin' Punkins," and the elegant "Blue Serge"—all at the same two-day 1940 session at Chicago's Sutherland Hotel in which Billy Strayhorn also polished off a remarkable batch of tunes (see "Take the A Train").

The Safe Sax version is voiced for the big-band sax section sound (alto, two tenors, and baritone sax). Herman Reyes' smokey alto for the out chorus is featured.

Safe Sax musicians include Herman Reyes (alto sax), Steve Koerner (tenor sax), Mario Mongello (tenor sax), Glenn Broadhead (baritone sax), Bill Reda (guitar), Michael Daly (bass), and Steve Magnone (drums).

Recorded in 2007 by Nick Eipers and his students at Columbia College (Chicago).