It's hardly surprising that RCA's 24-disc set The Complete Duke Ellington on RCA
was only affordable to the scholars and the fanatical, so the appearance of a compilation of consolidated highlights was inevitable. The thing is, a three-disc set of highlights would still be considered a box set by most standards; after all, Columbia/Legacy's centennial Ellington
set was a three-disc set of the highlights of his time at Columbia and OKeh. That said, the three-disc Highlights From the Centennial Edition (1927-1973)
is still a great bargain for anyone that can't sink two month's salary into the full set. Trainspotters and fanatics alike will spot missing recordings among these 49 tracks, but nearly all of the essentials from his stint at RCA are here, making it a good alternative for the budget-conscious.