Harlem (Podcast #17-005)

Duke Ellington lived in Harlem and celebrated the city and the people in song. Continue reading

1932 map of harlem nightclubs

“Harlem is a place, a place in New York City, bordered on the south by Central Park and on the north by 145th Street, the Harlem and East River on the east, and the Hudson River on the west……

We would like now to take you on a tour of this place called Harlem. It has always had more churches than cabarets. It is Sunday morning. We are strolling from 110th Street up Seventh Avenue, heading north through the Spanish and West Indian neighborhood toward the 125th Street business area. Everybody is nicely dressed, and on their way to or from church. Everybody is in a friendly mood. Greetings are polite and pleasant, and on the opposite side of the street, standing under a street lamp, is a real hip chick. She, too, is in a friendly mood. You may hear a parade go by, or a funeral, or you may recognize the passage of those who are making our Civil Rights demands. (Hereabouts, in our performance, Cootie Williams pronounces the word on his trumpet – Harlem!)”

– Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress



“Civil Rights demands” and activism landed Duke Ellington in the cross hairs of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. Click here to view his FBI file.



Video – Cab Calloway remembers the music clubs of Harlem



The Harlem Renaissance



harlem air shaft score



Journal of Jazz Studies article on Harlem Air Shaft by Dr. Edward Green



Duke Ellington performing A Tone Parallel to Harlem in London, 1964:



Harlem as performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra:

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

uptown

Take the “A” Train (CD: “Ellington Uptown” Columbia Legacy 87066)

Recorded 30 June 1952, New York City

Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Ray Nance – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, Juan Tizol – trombone; Russell Procope, Hilton Jefferson, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Louie Bellson – drums; Betty Roche – vocal.


 

armstrong ellington

Drop Me Off in Harlem (CD: “The Complete Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington Sessions” Roulette Records / Blue Note 5245462)

Recorded 3 April 1961, New York City

Louis Armstrong – trumpet, vocal; Trummy Young – trombone; Barney Bigard – clarinet; Duke Ellington – piano; Mort Herbert – bass; Danny Barcelona – drums.


 

Highlights

Harlem Air Shaft (CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942 Band” Avid AMSC1143)

Recorded 22 July 1940, New York City

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

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Sugar Hill Penthouse (CD: “The Treasury Shows, Volume 4” Storyville Records 903 9004)

Recorded 10 October, 1945, Live at The New Zanibar, New York City

Rex Stewart, Taft Jordan, Ray Nance, Shelton Hemphill, Cat Anderson – trumpet; Joseph “Tricky Sam” Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Al Sears, Jimmy Hamilton, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

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Harlem Speaks (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)

Recorded 15 August 1933, New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Freddie Jenkins – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

Great Paris Concert

Echoes of Harlem (CD: “The Great Paris Concert”  Collectables 7818)

Recorded 23 February 1963, Paris

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance, Roy Burrowes – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Ernie Shepard – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


 

Reprise

Harlem [aka A Tone Parallel to Harlem] (CD: “The Reprise Studio Recordings” Mosaic Records #193)

Recorded 31 January 1963, Paris

Cootie Williams, Roy Burrowes, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Ernie Shepard – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Paris Symphony Orchestra.

 



 

Introduction (Podcast #17-001)

An overview of the format of the “Ellington Reflections” podcast series. Continue reading

 

“Jazz is many things to many people. To me, it has been a banner under which I have written and played most of life, almost all the way around the world.” – Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress

This blog, Ellington Reflections,  is the accompaniment to my bi-weekly podcast of the same name. The Ellington Reflections podcast is available for FREE on iTunes and Stitcher. Join me as I highlight different facets of the long and distinguished career of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974). We’ll do this through his compositions, arrangements and recordings. We’ll also dive into the contributions of his sideman and other artists. There will no shortage of places to go!

Referenced in the first episode:

Transcription and analysis of Duke Ellington’s solo on The Clothed Woman, by Los Angeles based pianist Scott Healy.



Recordings heard during this podcast episode:



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Take the “A” Train (CD: “Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra 1941: The Complete Standard Transcriptions,” Soundies SCD4107)

Recorded 15 January 1941, Los Angeles

Wallace Jones, Ray Nance –trumpets; Rex Stewart – cornet; Lawrence Brown, Juan Tizol, Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton – trombones; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster, Barney Bigard, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


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Portrait of Bert Williams (CD: “The Webster Blanton Band,” Bluebird 74321131812)

Recorded 28 May, 1940 Chicago

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpets; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombones; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges,  Otto Hardwicke, Ben Webster, Harry Carney -reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


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The Clothed Woman (CD: “The Complete Duke Ellington, Vol. 2 (1947-1952),” Sony Music Distribution COL4629862)

Recorded 27 December, 1947 New York City

Al Killian, Harold Baker – trumpets; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


MI0001923424

(I’m Just Wild About) Animal Crackers (CD: 1924-1926: Birth of a Band, Vol. 1 EPM #HS151042)

Recorded 21 June, 1926 New York City

Bubber Miley, Charlie Johnson – trumpets; Joe Nanton – trombone; Harvey Boone, Prince Robinson, Otto Hardwicke – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Mack Shaw – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


MI0001691166

Thanks for the Beautiful Land on the Delta (CD: “New Orleans Suite,” Warner Bros. 7411644)

Recorded 27 April, 1970 New York City

Cootie Williams, Al Rubin, Mercer Ellington, Fred Stone – trumpets; Booty Wood, Julian Priester, Malcolm Taylor – trombones; Russell Procope, Norris Turney, Johnny Hodges, Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Joe Benjamin – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.


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Thanks for the Beautiful Land on the Delta (CD: “Never Before Released Recordings (1965-1972),” Music Masters 5041-2-C)

Recorded 23 July, 1970 Milan

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Mercer Ellington, Fred Stone, Nelson Williams – trumpets; Booty Wood, Chuck Connors, Malcolm Taylor – trombones; Russell Procope, Norris Turney, Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Joe Benjamin – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.


MI0002463979

Thanks for the Beautiful Land on the Delta (Stefon Harris, “African Tarantella: Dances with Duke” – Blue Note 41090)

Released 2006

Personnel: Stefon Harris – vibraphone, marimba; Xavier Davis – piano; Derrick Hodge – bass; Terreon Gully – drums; Anne Drummond – flute; Greg Tardy – clarinet; Steve Turre – trombone; Junah Chung – viola; Louise Dubin – cello.


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It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA 63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960 in New York City

Paul Gonsalves- tenor sax; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Ray Nance – cornet; Mitchell “Booty” Wood – trombone; Jimmy Jones – piano; Al Hall – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums.


Ellington Reflections

stevencbowie@gmail.com