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mjzee

Alice Babs & Duke Ellington - Serenade To Sweden

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Reissue date September 25:

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Real Gone Music is proud to present what is probably the rarest album in the voluminous Duke Ellington discography, his 1963 date with Swedish singer Alice Babs, Serenade to Sweden. That year, Ellington was hired by the Reprise label as an A&R man, free to sign any artist he wanted and to record them. His first choice was Babs, who, in Ellington s words, was the most unique artist I know...She sings opera, she sings lieder, she sings what we call jazz and blues, she sings like an instrument, she even yodels, and she can read any and all of it! For her part, Babs (born Hildur Alice Nilson) had a hit in Sweden when was only 15 ( Swing It Teacher ), and was an iconic figure in her homeland, appearing in 14 Swedish films from 1938 to 1959. The result of this meeting of legendary musical minds was a sublime cool jazz masterpiece that, sadly, never received a proper release in the U.S. and appears to be the only Ellington album never to be reissued on CD or even digitally, having eluded even the most comprehensive compilers. Needless to say, original copies go for big Swedish krona online, and not just because it s rare; Babs wordless vocals and scat singing on The Boy in My Dreams, Strange Visitor, and Babsie are positively Ella-worthy, and Ellington s masterful arrangements at times filigreed with a French horn section provide the perfect accompaniment. We ve added liner notes by Scott Yanow, while the album boasts remastering by Aaron Kannowski. Fascinating for any jazz fan essential for Ellington enthusiasts!

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I've had a copy of this on cd from this label for a few years now. . . ! Great music, nice soiund. . . but not this month "never on cd before."

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15 minutes ago, jazzbo said:

I've had a copy of this on cd from this label for a few years now. . . ! Great music, nice soiund. . . but not this month "never on cd before."

Me too. 

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I think they have brought it back into print or found some more copies and have just reused the blurb from the original release. 

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Her first hit "Swing it, magistern" (=teacher) at 16 (from 1940"):

https://youtu.be/3aLYNrwrr4M

(BTW, how do I embed the video?) 

Edited by Daniel A

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Seems you did all right, but it will not work as usual. No idea why, but sometimes this happens, although the link works.

BTW Peter Giger once told me he was proud to be on that record. He replaced Christian Garros on some tracks (no idea if it is in the album credits - at least it is now listed correctly in the Lord Disco).

Kenny Clarke was not on this album!

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