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.


 

treasury show vol 4

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.

 



 

“Take A Train” (Podcast #17-004)

Trains were a preferred mode of transportation for Duke Ellington and he captured their essence in several great compositions. Continue reading

atrainduke a train

“You know the record, Daybreak Express? Well, when we were in the South, we’d travel by train in two Pullmans and a baggage car. Duke would lie there resting, and listening to the trains. Those southern engineers could pull a whistle like nobody’s business. He would hear how the train clatter over the crossing, and he’d get up and listen to the engine. He’d listen as it pulled out of a station, huffing and puffing, and he’d start building from there. Then, for when it was really rolling, he’d put something that [Sidney] Bechet played into the song. He had the whistles down perfectly, too. He’s quite a man!” – Ellington clarinetist Barney Bigard, The World of Duke Ellington


 

This video includes a snippet of Daybreak Express:

 

You can get the score and/or band parts to Daybreak Express from the Smithsonian. Click here for details.

daybreak


 

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Riding On Duke’s Train, by Mick Carlon, is in the process of being made into an animated feature. Click here for details! And here’s the link to their Facebook page.


 



atrain



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

Ella and Ellington

Take the “A” Train (CD: “Ella Fitzgerald sings the Duke Ellington Songbook” Essential Jazz Classics EJC 55426)

Recorded 24 June 1957, New York City

Ella Fitzgerald – vocal; Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Harold Baker, Clark Terry, Ray Nance, Dizzy Gillespie – trumpets; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders – trombones; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.



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Daybreak Express (CD:“Highlights from the Duke Ellington Centennial Edition (1927-1973)” RCA Victor 09026636722)

Recorded 04 December 1933, New York City

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


 

ellington 55

Happy-Go-Lucky Local (CD: “Ellington ’55” EMI Music Distribution 0688827)

Recorded 17 January 1954, Chicago

Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Ray Nance, Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet;  Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, George Jean – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Rick Henderson, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Dave Black – drums.


 

tpt

Night Train (LP: “The Solid Trumpet of Cootie Williams” Moodsville MVLP-27)

Recorded 4 April 1962

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Nat Jones – piano; Harold Dodson – bass; Bill Peeples – drums.


 

blues in orbit

Track 360 (CD: “Blues In Orbit” Columbia / Sony Music 88697492062)

Recorded 4 February 1958, Los Angeles

Cat Anderson, Harold Baker, Clark Terry, Ray Nance – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders – trumpet; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Bill Graham, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


 

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The Old Circus Train (CD: “Never Before Released Recordings (1965-1972) Music Masters Jazz 5041)

Recorded 15 August 1966, New York City

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; John Lamb – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


 

ellington suites
Loco Madi (from the Uwis Suite) (CD:  “The Ellington Suites” Original Jazz Classics OJC 34614)

Recorded 5 October 1972, New York City

Cootie Williams, Mercer Ellington, Harold “Money” Johnson, Johnny Coles – trumpet; Booty Wood, Vincente Prudente, Chuck Connors – trombone; Russell Procope, Norris Turney, Harold Minerve, Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Joe Benjamin – bass; Wulf Freedman – bass guitar; Rufus Jones – drums.