king ubu

*** The Duke Ellington Corner ***

338 posts in this topic

I think it would be appropriate if we had our own Duke Ellington corner on this board. The reason I start this now, is that I have been in hospital for the last weekend (nothing bad, luckily, but still...) and let me bring the Reprise box, as well as the Great Paris set (which holds the live recordings made during the Reprise years). And I have to admit it was the very first time I really listened to the Mosaic in its entirety and not while doing something else.

I have since been on some sort of an Ellington trip, listened to the "Unknown Session", to Johnny Hodges' "Used To Be Duke" and "Everybody Knows" and some other Ellington related music. And of course I enjoyed it very very much.

Now to have everything neatly linked, here is what we have already:

Duke Ellington Photo Album (Started by our greatest Ellington fan EKE BBB)

Album of the Week: Black, Brown & Beige (Columbia 1959) (again courtesy of EKE)

A thread on recent and upcoming CD reissues

Another thread about a batch of Columbia reissues

Ellington Treasury Shows

The Jazz Violin Session

Ellington on LP

The Ellington Suites

Favorite Ellington LP Cover

and another recent Ellington thread

Mosaic Single: Newport 1958

Reprise Mosaic and Collectables reissues of same material

Variety/Vocalion/Okeh Small Group Mosaic and again

The Storyville "Duke Box"

Ellington in the 60s and 70s

The Blanton/Webster Years (RCA 3CD Set)

Of course there are lots of other threads were some Ellingtonia were/are being discussed, but I think the man deserves his own little corner.

ubu

edited to add a couple of more links to other Ellington threads

Edited by king ubu

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Really Ubu, do you think that Duke has enough material to discuss to have a Corner of his own?

:g:g:g:g:g:g:g:g:g:g:g

Now you have me thinking I should start a thread called "The Strayhorn Satelite Thread"!

How about those recent reissues? Now where's "A Drum is a Woman!"

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Duke never met the corner he couldn't get out of.

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Thanks for starting this thread, ubu!

:wub:

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Jungle music: the Cotton Club Era

One of my favorite (is there any non-favorite, period?) eras from the Duke Ellington big band.

I love their Jungle music, Bubber´s sound with the plunger mute, Nanton´s growling trombone, the smoother tone of Whetsol, Bigard´s brilliant clarinet, the first gems added by Hodges and Cootie...

Ellington, with the irreplaceable help of their colleagues, composed some of his landmarks: East St. Louis toodle-oo (it was the Band´s theme, long before "A-train"), Black and tan fantasy, Jubilee Stomp, Down in your alley blues, Creole love call, The blues I love to sing, Black beauty, The mooche, Swampy river, The blues with a feeling, Double check stomp, Mood indigo, Rockin´ in rhythm...

Fortunately for us, they recorded millions of sides! These are my recommendations for their recorded work:

-Recordings made for Brunswick and Vocalion, now owned by MCA:

Every existing recording Ellington made for Brunswick between 1926 and 1931 is included in the three-disc set, Early Ellington (Decca Jazz GRD-3-640), including several alternate takes. A number of the same recordings can be found also on The Brunswick Era, vol. 1 1926-29 (Decca MCAD-42325) and vol. 2 1929-31 (Decca MCAD-42348).

-Those made for Columbia, Okeh and others, now owned by Sony:

The Columbia holdings are represented by a two-disc set, The Okeh Ellington (Columbia C2K 46177), covering the years 1927-30. Very good sound.

-Recordings made for Victor, now owned by BMG:

Selected Victor recordings recordings have been released on three CDs: Early Ellington, 1927-1934 (Bluebird 6852-2-RB); Jungle Nights in Harlem, 1927-1932 (Bluebird 2499-2-RB); and Jubilee Stomp (Bluebird 66038-2), which covers 1928-34.

Of course, if you have the Centennial Edition box... DON´T BUY THESE BLUEBIRD CDS!!!

-The best way to cover 1924-27 years could be Classics 539 (24-27). This disc includes ten sides that predate the first Brunswick session, three of which are Ellington co- compositions, interesting for collectors or Ellington freaks (do you know any Ellington Freak? :) )

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EKE, your post makes me want that MCA set even more badly!

I listened to the Okeh set last week, and I really love the music!

And then let me put in a good word for Freddie Jenkins! He was no slouch either!

And Lon, thanks a lot for the Strayhorn corner - if there's one for the Duke, there ought to be one for Billy, too. (And to EKE thanks for linking things together, no need for me to edit my fist post :tup )

As an aside: I was listening to the Cootie Williams on that Jazz After Midnight Jazz in Paris CD again this morning. And somehow that music never really grabs me. The organ player is horrible, the sound of the guitarist awful. The tenor is alright, very much in a rhythm'n'blues manner, but alright. Cootie then even fails to grab me on the slow numbers.

What a contrast to the basie-ish tracks on the same CD, led by Joe Newman and featuring Frank Wess, Henry Coker etc!

ubu

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Here's the thread on Duke's JumpForJoy 1941 civil-rights musical, about which I just did a one-hour radio program. The program should be archived online early next week--I'll post an update when it is available for listening.

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Here's the thread on Duke's JumpForJoy 1941 civil-rights musical, about which I just did a one-hour radio program. The program should be archived online early next week--I'll post an update when it is available for listening.

Please do post the link, ghost, and forgive me for not linking your thread in my first post!

ubu

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And here is question of mine for all of you:

What period of Duke's career you like the most and why?

Is it Blanton/Webster band, early sides or period when he recorded famous Gonsalves solo at Newport?

For an example, some critic hate Blanton/Ellington duos when they showed up on records. It is interesting!

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And here is question of mine for all of you:

What period of Duke's career you like the most and why?

Is it Blanton/Webster band, early sides or period when he recorded famous Gonsalves solo at Newport?

For an example, some critic hate Blanton/Ellington duos when they showed up on records. It is interesting!

Can´t choose only one, Milan!

I love the Jungle music period, the Blanton/Webster era, and even the transitional period (mid-to-late fourties)...

Early fifties, the Newport years, the 60-70´s (where Duke composed some of my favorite suites)...

I like the small group recordings, the big band sound.... I even love those weird vocals through the fourties... :D

Studio, live, broadcastings, transcriptions, private sessions....

Song form recordings, larger form recordings (concertos, suites), sacred music...

With good sound quality, with poor sound quality...

Simply just can´t pick one!

;)

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Simply just can´t pick one!

Word! :tup

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If I had to pick one, it would be the Blanton/Webster period (which I sometimes think of as the Smithsonian era).

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If I had to pick one, it would be the Blanton/Webster period (which I sometimes think of as the Smithsonian era).

As an Ellington fan of 40+ years, I can't choose an era. If I had a bright "ignorant" fan in front of me I'd recommend the Decca box.

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I can't choose one either. I flit in and out of all of them. I used to think I could ignore the final five years or more. Well that's clearly wrong! I love his pianoplaying especially in the final years.

I find the Columbia fifties materials really good food for converts!

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I'm still waiting for Columbia to do an adequate job with their pre-1940 Ellington material. Like RCA did with their Centennial edition. And like Columbia is doing now with their Duke material from the fifties.

Tons of extraordinary sides there and the CD reissues so far just don't make it as a tribute to the greatness of the music.

French CBS when Henri Renaud was in charge of the jazz department there issued double LPs of everything but the sound on most of the albums did not do justice to these gems.

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As an Ellington fan of 40+ years, I can't choose an era. If I had a bright "ignorant" fan in front of me I'd recommend the Decca box.

To that mythical, eager fan I'd recommend the Time/Life Giants of Jazz box, which you can now get in some used stores for $5.

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The recent one-hour documentary that I did on Ellington's 1941 musical Jump for Joy is now archived for listening at WFIU:

JumpForJoy

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DukeDjango1946.jpgWeird. I was thinking about this Chicago concert of Ellington's with Django as a guest, and then looking for something else entirely a few minutes ago found this!

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Honor Duke Ellington on his birthday (105) !!!

18.jpg

duke.gif

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Just picked up Jazz Party and Masterpieces By Ellington to add to Money Jungle. That makes 3 Ellingtons in my collection, yeehaw! :rolleyes:

Seriously though, Jazz Party is really sounding good to me. Third time through!

:tup:tup:tup:tup

Gonna have to add to that low number of Ellingtons. No doubt about it. Checking the recs in this thread, may go with one of the boxes...when I'm rich.

Masterpieces on deck!

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And here is question of mine for all of you:

What period of Duke's career you like the most and why?

Is it Blanton/Webster band, early sides or period when he recorded famous Gonsalves solo at Newport?

For an example, some critic hate Blanton/Ellington duos when they showed up on records. It is interesting!

My favorite Ellington period is from the mid 20s till the beginning of the 70s of the past century.

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:g Edited by jazzbo

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I became an Ellington addict in 1947. That was the year I bought my first Ellington 78 - a British coupling of Harlem Airshaft and Sepia Panorama It was also the year I learned the title of the recording that CBC announcer Dick McDougall used as his theme on Jazz Unlimited It was the wonderful Cotton Tail. It wasn't long before that one too became part of my collection. The flip side of that 78 was a piece called Never No Lament. An alternate title - Don't Get Around Much Anymore was shown underneath the original title in brackets.

As such a longtime Ellington lover it's still somewhat shocking for me to discover that even now there are musicians out there who find the Duke overrated. Years ago I recall reading that bandleader Hal McIntyre admitted to liking Duke's compositions, but said he couldn't listen to the Ellington orchestra's recordings because they were always "out of tune". Jack Teagarden apparently felt the same way about Duke's music and his recordings. Recently, I discovered that at least two well-known Canadian jazz musicians - one a world-famous valve trombonist/arranger/bandleader, the other an excellent piano player, feel the same way about Ellington. One of these gentlemen even went so far as to say he found Ellington's compositions "pretentious".

I was wondering if any other Ellington admirers have encountered these kinds of reactions among musicians of their acquaintance.

Edited by Don Brown

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I guess most "famous" Ellington detractors are from Canadia. :P

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