This instrumental version of sophisticated lady is unlike any other I have ever heard. The harp is used alongside some strange instrumentation and recording techniques to create a unique other worldly sound. There is also a Richard Maxwell trademark - an incongruous, rasping 50s style sax solo in the middle. He was a pretty interesting guy, all in all; his Decca albums pretty much all seem to be interesting.
Taken from his exquisite Latin American Suite, this is an unusual sounding track to me. Mid-tempo, with an unrelenting bossa nova style beat, the action is shared between the piano and various horns and saxophones. I guess it's the strange discordant tones that take this track higher for me. They remind me of some chords I've heard in the more adventurous Brazilian pop music of the late 1960s - basically taking what is fundamentally a sweet sounding, warm chord, and overlaying notes that provide a darker, more forboding feel.
Adding to this, the punctuating horns and reeds give the whole thing a gently groovy feel that's reminiscent of quirky 60s soundtrack music. Really cool stuff, and I recommend the whole album.
from Latin American Suite (Fantasy OJC20469-2), available on CD
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tracks composed by Ellington