Thankyou. I agree with your analysis fully, too broad a canvas indeed. As I said, we recorded loads of stuff that didn't make it into the movie, and even the excerpts of various numbers such as DAYBREAK EXPRESS, THE MOOCH, JUBILEE STOMP (and many more!) were recorded in their entirety. Whether dance-routines were ever filmed or staged for these numbers I do not know, as we recorded them separately from the shoot. These numbers were recorded as Duke or Cab recorded them at the time, (using the original scores where they still exist)and so there was no need to film-sync them. Needless to say the band(s) that appear in the movie are not us, but I figure actors(?) miming to our sound. The only guy that appears in the movie who actually performed on the soundtrack was, as far as I recall, Gere. (Singers excepted, of course). The film may well have been more interesting from a historical point of view if it had concentrated more on the club itself and the musical numbers, but I guess that is not what Copolla was ever trying to do. It would have had quite limited appeal too, so we're left with the mish-mash we have today. That it was made at all is very surprising. It could have been better, yes - but if it helped bring the wonderful music of Ellington to a slightly wider audience outside of the jazz-buffs, then at least it achieved something!
You're right, the music was wonderful and I can't help thinking what this film might have or could have been. Thank you for sharing your experiences on the film.