Counterstream Radio just played the World Saxophone Quartet's version of Prelude To a Kiss. While yesterday I hinted at my interest in early Ellington, this strikes me as a good example of an updated Ellington, although still authentic. More listening required. In particular, the MP3 download is $7.92 from Amazon. I won't link to that directly as it's not clear to me Counterstream gets a cut for non-CD purchases. Here's the page with the Counterstream buy button.
This work also leads me to a site, Jazz Standards, I've never seen before but is exactly what I have been looking for in book form. It's got musical analysis, recommended recordings, history, all apparently organized by composition rather than jazz artist. For example:
The chromatic nature of “Prelude to a Kiss” produces a plaintive sound, a sad serenade that Gordon and Mills reflect in their lyrics. It’s the bridge, however, that brings true emotional release, almost to the point of seeming celebratory. Its corresponding lyrics express Ellington’s dramatic change in mood, relating the transformation of a pitiful love song into a Schubert symphony.