Before it spilled out onto the world, Duke Ellington‘s music existed in an inaccessible world of creative genius, a solitary realm deep inside his soul where uncharted sounds swirled wildly. His gift lay in his ability to move inside himself, explore, and return from solitude to forcefully express his inner musical visions. Duke was on intimate terms with his soul, and he understood how to conjure up emotional landscapes that could be felt by anyone else with hearts and ears. He didn’t simply commit his ideas to paper, but wrote out parts with the individual voices of his musical partners in mind. He knew how to get the very best out of saxophonists Johnny Hodges and Paul Gonsalves, how to push and direct them so that they could flower in the fertile realm of his ideas.