After big bands ceased to be profitable following World War II, only a few survived into the 1950’s. Given this decline of dance orchestras, and the continued non-commerciality of jazz, one of the only ways promoters could attract a large audience was to book a top-heavy bill featuring several name acts. In 1952, such an event was the concert featured here, presented at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Duke Ellington was in a lull artistically, but still had the panache and draw to be a headliner. Joining him was that greatest of all jazz singers, Billie Holiday, here just at the end of her best years. The modernists were featured prominently, as you can see here with the inclusion of both Dizzy Gillespie with his band, and Charlie Parker, fronting his “strings” for one of the last times. Stan Getz, in a declining spiral with his heroin addiction, and ten years before his bossa nova revival, filled out the bill along with the gifted, young Ahmad Jamal, making his first appearance outside of a small club. We’re not privy to the reviews of that night’s show, but we’ve heard the bootleg recordings of the live WNBC radio broadcast made that Friday night so many years ago, and we think it was great playing—and singing—by all concerned. This is a re-creation of the actual poster used to promote that evening’s performance.