"What distinguishes Ellington's best creations from those of other composers, jazz and otherwise, are their moments of total uniqueness and originality. There are many such flashes in his oeuvre, and it is a pity they are virtually unknown to most non-jazz composer colleagues. Perhaps this is due ot the fact that you cannot go into the nearest music store or library and obtain the orchestral scores of Duke Ellington. There is no Ellington Gesamtausgabe, alas, although this is something that should become someone's life work. However, even if such scores existed, they still would not readily disclose the uniqueness of which I speak. For Ellington's imagination was most fertile in the realm of harmony and timbre, usually in combination. And as played by some of the finest musicians jazz has ever known, the specific effect produced in performance and on records is such that no notation has yet been devised to capture it on paper."
- Gunther Schuller
Jack the Bear
The Clothed Woman
If this is not music indicative of the highest possible genius, then genius has no meaning.