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medjuck

Hey it's November: Where's the Mosaic Ellington Set?

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It still hasn't even made it to "Upcoming releases".

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Give them a break, November is not even 3 days old...

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The new Selects and Singles seem to be a bit delayed and shipping now through next week. . . . I imagine once those have been received and sent out and settled in we'll hear about the Ellington.

Doesn't hurt my feelings if they delay a little . . . .

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Fred Pustay said "probably mid to late November" when I talked to him last week.

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Thanks for the headsup! Another good thing to wake up to today! :)

I've preordered.

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Thanks for the headsup! Another good thing to wake up to today! :)

I've preordered.

DITTO!!! :tup

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Guess what I'm getting for Xmas!?

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It's now online.

See what happens when you kick the Republicans out!

Woo hoo!

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10,000 copies--and it isn't even a Universal set! :rolleyes:

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Hope this one doesn't sell out before middle of next year.

:mellow:

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Hope this one doesn't sell out before middle of next year.

:mellow:

Worry not.

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This looks like a great stocking stuffer. (I have big stockings) <insert your own joke here>

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I've got a Mosaic gift coupon. It will find good use with this ducal set :P

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Just read on the Mosaic site that the Ellington set will ship on December 13.

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Just read on the Mosaic site that the Ellington set will ship on December 13.

An email I got after pre-ordering said that all US orders will ship by DHL to arrive in time for Christmas.

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I have the two 2-CD sets in the Columbia Jazz Masterpieces reissue series, The Duke's Men: The Small Groups Vol. 1 (reissued in 1991) and The Duke's Men: Volume 2 (1938-39) (reissued in 1993).

Comparing the song listings in the CD booklets with the song listings on the Mosaic website for the new box, all of the songs on these two earlier CD sets are to be found on this new Mosaic box set, except for two songs--the first two songs on Vol.1 of the 1991 reissue-Rex Stewart's "Stingaree" and "Baby Ain'tcha Satisfied". Those two songs were recorded in 1934, and the Mosaic box set starts in 1936.

There is at least one Rex Stewart CD out there with those two songs on it.

The Mosaic box has several songs which are not on the two Columbia reissues, and many alternate takes not on the Columbia reissues.

Edited by Hot Ptah

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The Mosaic box has several songs which are not on the two Columbia reissues, and many alternate takes not on the Columbia reissues.

And presumably much better sound.

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A note on the Mosaic Ellington Small Groups set page:

"We have received a strong response to this set. All orders which are placed from this point forward (11 A.M. EST 12/12 ) will not be shipped until early January as the set is on backorder.

For all previous orders, this set will be released December 13th. For U.S. orders, the set will ship via DHL (except PO boxes) and therefore will arrive in time for the holidays."

Edited by J.A.W.

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YAY! Christmas with the Duke!

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Good Lord... glad I went ahead & pre-ordered this yesterday morning, as I really want to listen to it over Christmas break. So this means they already have to do a second pressing?

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Also--maybe the strong response will encourage them further to do a similar set covering the big band from that era. :tup

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Also--maybe the strong response will encourage them further to do a similar set covering the big band from that era. :tup

I hope so!!

Guy

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Will Friedwald review from the NY Sun that somebody posted over at Songbirds:

Small Talk with Duke

by Will Friedwald

New York Sun, December 12, 2006

Listening to 70-year-old Duke Ellington recordings on your iPod is not nearly as

incongruous as it might seem. As a new boxed set, "Duke Ellington: The Complete

1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion, and Okeh Small Group Sessions" (Mosaic Records),

makes clear, great music can often be inspired by technological innovation.

Indeed, the jukebox may well have been the iPod of the 1930s, in that it served

to disseminate the best popular music of the era and gave composers and

performers like Ellington the impetus to create some of their most durable work.

Coin-operated phonographs in public places date back to the 19th century, but

the concept was enthusiastically reborn with the end of Prohibition in 1933 and

the beginning of the swing era two years later. At the depth of the Great

Depression, most Americans couldn't afford to pay the cover charge at a big-city

nightclub, or even plunk down 75 cents for a new record. But they could drop a

nickel in the slot of a jukebox to dance and drink in the roadhouse

establishments that proliferated once liquor regained legal status. The juke

joints helped make superstars out of singer-player funsters like Fats Waller and

Louis Prima, and inspired Ellington and his longtime associate Irving Mills to

reach for a piece of the action.

At the time, Ellington (1899-1974) was already known as the aristocrat of the

jazz world, the first black bandleader to be regarded as a serious composer by

white Americans and, increasingly, by Europeans as well. Not yet 40, Ellington

was already the industry leader for American music, a position he would occupy,

despite changing trends in jazz, for the rest of his life.

Mills was already Ellington's manager and music publisher, and now, with the

jukes reviving the long-dormant phonograph industry, he sought to become

Ellington's record producer as well. As annotator and engineer Steven Lasker

explains in the Mosaic Records booklet, when Ellington's contract with Brunswick

Records expired at the end of 1936, Mills quickly formed a new recording

operation and signed Ellington to it. By 1937, Mills was releasing discs by the

full Ellington Orchestra on the 75-cent label Master Records, as well as tracks

by various smaller Ellington units on the 35-cent Variety Records.

The latter recordings were released under the names of the band's four biggest

instrumental stars: the cornetist Rex Stewart, the trumpeter Cootie Williams,

the clarinetist Barney Bigard, and Ellington's most famous sideman, the alto

saxophonist Johnny Hodges. Though each of these sidemen served here as leaders

and also wrote much of the material, it was understood that these were Ellington

productions, with the Maestro playing piano and contributing compositions and

arrangements to most of the dates.

By the 1940s, when Ellington began regularly turning out extended compositions,

such as his famous suites, his bread-and-butter three-and-four minute

stand-alone works were occasionally referred to as "miniatures." The small band

works of 1936-40 are even more miniature, and while they could be described as

"Chamber Ellington," they are not like any other chamber music, be it jazz or

classical. They don't sound like the Benny Goodman Quartet or the

baroque-informed jazz-classical hybrids of either Raymond Scott or John Kirby.

Ellington, who harbored a lifelong aversion to the notion of closure, was

continually tinkering with his basic material, and with these small groups, he

tended to revise and revisit perhaps even more than with his full orchestra.

When, at the end of 1936,the valve-trombonist Juan Tizol brought Ellington a

distinctive F-minor melody, Ellington tried placing it in two disparate musical

locales -- first and most successfully as the mystical "Caravan," then reworking

it into the somewhat less exotic "Alabamy Home." Likewise, another melody turns

up here both as a funky dance groove in "Have a Heart" and as a contemplative

ballad in "Lost in Meditation." There are also many typically sophisticated and

swinging permutations on the blues, most spectacularly the premiere recording of

Hodges's perennial showstopper "Jeep's Blues."

Although the main focus of this release is on pure instrumental compositions by

the Duke and his men, there are also many pop songs, by Ellington and others,

usually also published by Mills. Regrettably, there is only one session

featuring Ellington's superlative vocalist, Ivie Anderson, but the most notable

guests on these dates are a parade of obscure but winning boy and girl singers,

such as Scat Powell, Leon LaFell, and the amazingly hip female swingster, Jerry

Kruger. There are also two titles featuring future star crooner Buddy Clark, who

is surprisingly loose and jazzy on "Sailboat in the Moonlight" and "You'll Never

Get to Heaven."

Mills's experiment with running his own label lasted only a year, not long after

which Ellington severed his relationship with the ambitious publisher-manager

(whose typical tactic was to put his name down as co-composer of nearly

everything Ellington wrote). Yet the Maestro continued to record prolifically in

small group settings as well as in his full orchestra for the rest of his long

career, which spanned nearly 50 years. Ellington was one of jazz's great

pianists, but, as his son, Mercer, famously noted, "The orchestra is his

instrument." This essential boxed set shows that the small group was, too.

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