Ellingtonian Geography (Podcast #19-016)

Geographically titled songs by Ellington and his associates. Continue reading

“Night Life was New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, Berlin; uptown, downtown; Harlem, out South; anywhere where they wore that gorgeous velvet mantle.”

– Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress




The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

centennial editionWashington Wobble (CD: “Duke Ellington, The Centennial Edition” RCA Victor ‎– 09026-63386-2)

Recorded 6 October 1927, New York City

Bubber Miley, Louis Metcalf – trumpet; Joe Nanton – trombone; Rudy Jackson, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo;  Mack Shaw – tuba; Sonny Greer – drums.


Complete Columbia Volume 2New York City Blues (LP: “The Complete Duke Ellington 1947-1952” CBS 462986 2)

Recorded 30 December 1947, New York City

Harold “Shorty” Baker – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Treasury Show Vol. 7Blue Belles of Harlem (CD: “The Treasury Shows, Volume 7” D.E.T.S. ‎– 903 9007)

Recorded 7 July 1945, New York City

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


duke small groups vol. 2Mobile Blues (CD: “The Duke’s Men, Volume 2” Columbia Jazz Masterpieces ‎– C2K 48835)

Recorded 21 December 1938, New York City

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


rem in tempoNew East St. Louis Toodle-oo (CD: “Reminiscing In Tempo” Legacy ‎– CK 48654)

Recorded 5 March 1937, New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor, Hayes Alvis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums; Freddy Jenkins – chimes.


all star road band vol 2Isfahan (CD: “All Star Road Band, Volume 2” Doctor Jazz FDC 5011)

Recorded  31 May 1964, Chicago

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Nat Woodard – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Peck Morrison – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


centennial editionDallas Doings (CD: “Duke Ellington, The Centennial Edition” RCA Victor ‎– 09026-63386-2)

Recorded  26 September 1933, Chicago

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Freddie Jenkins, Louis Bacon – 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.


latin am suiteOculpaca (CD: “Latin American Suite” Fantasy OJC20 469-2)

Recorded 5 November 1968, New York City

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Mercer Ellington, Willie Cook – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harold Ashby, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Jeff Castleman – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.


highlightsRumpus in Richmond (CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942” Avid EMSC1143)

Recorded 22 July 1940, New York City

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


piano reflectionsMontevideo (CD: “Piano Reflections” Capitol Jazz ‎– CDP 7 92863 2)

Recorded 3 December 1953, New York City

Duke Ellington – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Dave Black – drum, Ralph Collier – congas.


highlightsMoon Over Cuba (CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942” Avid EMSC1143)

Recorded 2 July1941, Los Angeles

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


early ellingtonOklahoma Stomp (CD: “Early Ellington – The Complete Brunswick And Vocalion Recordings Of Duke Ellington, 1926-1931” Decca/MCA Records GRD-3-640)

Recorded 29 October 1929, New York City

Cootie Williams, Freddy Jenkins – trumpet; Joe Nanton – trombone; Johnny Hodges – alto sax;  Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Teddy Bunn – guitar; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums; Howard “Blinky” Randolph – kazoo.


duke 100A Midnight In Paris (CD: “Duke Ellington: The Columbia Years 1927-1962” Columbia 5176872)

Recorded 21 June 1962, New York City

Bill Berry, Roy Burrowes, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance  – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Britt Woodman, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


featuring Paul GonsalvesParis Blues (CD: “Duke Ellington and his Orchestra featuring Paul Gonsalves” Fantasy ‎– F-9636)

Recorded 1 May 1962, New York City

Bill Berry, Roy Burrowes, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance – trumpet; Leon Cox, Lawrence Brown, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.

— Our closing music —-

0000120517It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, 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.

The Treasury Shows, Pt. V (Podcast #19-015)

This is the last part of our look at the 25 double CD set of Storyville’s Treasury Show series…. Continue reading

“In April 1945, Duke Ellington began what was to be the largest single recording project of his career, though it is most unlikely that he or anyone else thought of it in such terms at the time… [He] signed an agreement with the newly formed American Broadcasting Company to broadcast a series of hour-long Saturday afternoon network shows under the title “A Date With The Duke.”… The recordings of these complete broadcasts…make up the largest single block of material in the Ellington discography.”

– Eddie Lambert, A Listener’s Guide – Duke Ellington


 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



(Under construction…..)

— Our closing music —-

0000120517It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, 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.

 

Happy Birthday, Duke! (Podcast #19-009)

A belated podcast celebrating the 120th anniversary of Duke Ellington’s birth and the 2 anniversary of Ellington Reflections!
Continue reading

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

box

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald (Podcast #18-017)

A look at the magical teaming of Duke and Ella….
Continue reading

Ella Fitzgerald is a great philanthropist. She gives so generously of her talent, not only to the public, but to the composers whose works she performs. Her artistry always brings to mind the words of the Maestro, Mr. Toscanini, who said concerning singers, “Either, you’re a good musician or you’re not.” In terms of musicianship, Ella Fitzgerald is “Beyond Category.”

– Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress

e and d



ella stampduke stamp

 

 

 

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

cw jubilee

A-Tisket, A-Tasket/Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (CD: “The Jubilee Shows No. 77 & 78” Storyville Records 501 1004)

Recorded 1 May 1944, Los Angeles (Note – On the podcast, I mistakenly stated the year was 1942.)

Ella Fitzgerald – vocal; Cootie Williams, E. V. Perry, George Treadwell, Harold “Money” Johnson – trumpet; Ed Burke, George Edward Stevenson or Ed Glover, Robert H. Horton – trombone; Eddie Vinson, Charlie Holmes, Sam Taylor, Lee Pope, Eddie DeVertemil – reeds; Bud Powell – piano; Lenny Kirkland – guitar; Norman Keenan or Carl Pruitt – bass; Sylvester Payne – drums.


 

ella and duke58

Drop Me Off in Harlem/I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)/Day Dream/Chelsea Bridge (CD: “Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook” Verve Records ‎ 314 559 248-2)

Recorded 24-27 June 1957, New York City

Ella Fitzgerald – vocal; Cat Anderson, Willie Cook, Ray Nance, Clark Terry – trumpet; Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, John Sanders – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Billy Strayhorn (on I’ve Got It Bad, Day Dream and Chelsea Bridge), Duke Ellington (on Drop Me Off In Harlem) – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


 

stockholm concert

Duke’s Place/Satin Doll (CD: “The Stockholm Concert” Pablo Live ‎ PACD-2308-242-2)

Recorded 8 February 1966, at the Konserthuset, Stockholm
Ella Fitzgerald – vocal;  Cat Anderson, Mercer Ellington, Herbie Jones, Cootie Williams – 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. Jimmy Jones – piano; Joe Comfort – bass; Gus Johnson – drums.


Ella and Duke greek theatre

 

Cotton Tail (CD: “Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald Live at The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles”

Recorded 23/24 September 1966, Live at The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

Ella Fitzgerald – vocal; 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
Ella Fitzgerald and her trio : Jimmy Jones – piano; Jim Hughart – bass; Ed Thigpen – drums.


 

ella at dukes place

 

Brown-skin Gal (in the Calico Gown)/What Am I Here For? (CD: “Ella at Duke’s Place” Verve Records ‎  314 529 700-2)

Recorded 18-20 October 1965, Los Angeles

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

Where to Start? (Podcast #18-009)

These four CD sets are a great start to a Duke Ellington collection at a reasonable price. Continue reading


Duke Ellington recorded thousands of selections over a nearly 50 year career. If you’re new to him, where do you begin? It’s daunting! These four CD sets are a great start to a Duke Ellington collection at a reasonable price. 

517725954






 The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

Highlights

Take the “A” Train/Pitter Panther Patter/The Flaming Sword (Highlights of the Great 1940-1942 Band [2 disk set] Avid, AMSC1143)

Take the “A” Train was recorded 15 February 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.

Pitter Panther Patter was recorded 1 October 1940, Chicago

Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmie Blanton – bass.

The Flaming Sword was recorded 17 October 1940, Chicago

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams –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.


 

Great Paris Concert

Kinda Dukish-Rockin’ In Rhythm/Tutti for Cootie (The Great Paris Concert [2 disk set] Collectables, 7818)

Recorded 1 February 1963 in Paris, France

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


 

517tpCk0QcL

Hot and Bothered/Lady of the Lavender Mist/Solitude (Duke Ellington: The Columbia Years 1927-1962 [3 disk set] Columbia 5176872)

Hot and Bothered was recorded 1 October 1928, New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Bubber Miley – trumpet; Joe Nanton – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds;  Duke Ellington – piano; Lonnie Johnson – guitar; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums; Baby Cox – vocal.

Lady of the Lavender Mist was recorded 14 August 1947 in Los Angeles

Shelton Hemphill, Dud Bascomb, Francis Williams, Harold Baker, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones, Tyree Glenn – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.

Solitude was recorded 14 October 1957

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

 


ella and duke58

Day Dream/Caravan/Rockin’ in Rhythm (Ella Fitzgerald sings the Duke Ellington Songbook [3 CD set] Verve Records ‎559 248-2)

Recorded June 1957 in New York City

Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Harold Baker, Clark Terry, Ray Nance – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Billy Strayhorn (on Day Dream), Duke Ellington (Caravan and Rockin’ in Rhythm) – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Ella Fitzgerald – vocal

Portrait of Sonny Greer (Podcast #18-007)

William Alexander “Sonny” Greer was the Ellington band’s first drummer; his tenure was from 1923-51.
Continue reading

“Sonny would sit up behind the band, elevated high at his drums, an enormous array of blocks, bells, chimes, cymbals, snares and so on surrounding him, looking like the king of the band. At least, he always sat up high until one unfortunate occasion when he arrived for work having imbibed too much and fell from his lofty perch.”

–Rex Stewart, Boy Meets Horn


Sonny Greer autograph

Sonny-Greer.jpg

sonny and duke

Duke Ellington and Sonny Greer – front; Ray Nance, Rex Stewart, Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton, Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges – rear.

SONNY GREER DUKE


Sonny Greer in action in 1958

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

MI0001923424

Social Parlor De Lux // Oh, How I Love My Darling (CD: 1924-1926: Birth of a Band, Vol. 1 EPM #HS151042)

Recorded November 1924 in New York City

Social Parlor De Lux – Alberta Prime and Sonny Greer – vocal; Duke Ellington – piano.

Oh, How I Love My Darling – Sonny Greer -vocal; Otto Hardwicke – C Melody sax; Duke Ellington – piano; George Francis – banjo.


early ellington

The Mooche (CD: “Early Ellington 1927-1934” Bluebird 6852-2-RB)

Recorded October 1928 in New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Bubber Miley – trumpet; Joe Nanton – trombone; Barney Bigard(cl,ts); Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds;  Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.



works of duke vol. 7

Dinah (LP: “The Works of Duke, Volume 7” French RCA 741 085)

Recorded 9 February 1932 in New York City

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


 

carnegie

Jumpin’ Punkins (CD: “The Complete Prestige Carnegie Hall 1943-1944 Concerts Definitive Classics DRCD 11210)

Recorded 23 January 1943 at Carnegie Hall, New York City

Wallace Jones, Rex Stewart, Harold Baker – trumpet; Ray Nance – trumpet and violin; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Chauncy Haughton, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

world volume 3

Harlem Airshaft/Ring Dem Bells (CD: “World Broadcasting Series, Volume 3” Circle ‎ CCD-103)

Recorded 1 December 1943 in New York City

Wallace Jones, Rex Stewart, Harold Baker,Taft Jordan, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Skippy Williams, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums, chimes.


 

ellington hollywd bowl

Ring Dem Bells (LP: “The Hollywood Bowl Concert” Unique Jazz UJ-001)

Recorded 31 August 1947 Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

Shelton Hemphill, Dud Bascomb, Francis Williams, Harold Baker – trumpets; Ray Nance – trumpet, violin; Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones, Tyree Glenn – trombones; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums, chimes.


 

duke 100

Stomp, Look and Listen (CD: “Duke Ellington: The Columbia Years 1927-1962” Columbia 5176872)

Recorded 10 November 1947 in New York City

Shelton Hemphill, Dud Bascomb, Francis Williams, Harold Baker, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones, Tyree Glenn – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

hines

Cotton Tail (CD: “Once Upon A Time” Universal/Verve 6544922)

Recorded 10 January 1966 in New York City

Cat Anderson, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harold Ashby – reeds; Earl Hines – piano; Richard Davis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

0000120517

It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, 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.




 

Portrait of Ben Webster, Pt. II (Podcast #18-003)

A look at the music of Ben Webster after his tenure with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Continue reading

“He was considered the supreme ballad master. As great as Prez, Hawk and Byas were, they all had to take a back seat to Ben on ballads. Ben almost had a monopoly on the pretty ones. His breathy, whispy [sic] style, coupled with a most distinct tone enabled him to get an effect of a violin sound in his upper register playing. And when he would manipulate down to the lower register, he would nearly blow you out of your mind.”

-Bernard Montgomery



ben webster late




Alum

 Jet Magazine, 24 July 1958


BW website

Screenshot from The Official Ben Webster website





websterbenjamim

 Ben Webster’s ashes are buried at Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen


The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



atmosphere

Blue Light (LP: “Atmosphere for Lovers and Thieves” Black Lion Records 65117)

Recorded September 1965, Copenhagen

Ben Webster, Ole Kongsted – tenor sax; Arnved Meyer – trumpet; John Darville – trombone; Niels Jorgen Steen – piano; Henrik Hartmann – bass; Hans Nymand – drums.


bw with strings

What Am I Here For? (CD: “Music for Loving” Verve 314 527 774-2)

Recorded 9 September 1955, New York City

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Al Epstein, Danny Bank – reeds; Harold Colletta, Martin Donegan, Leo Kruczek, Harry Lookofsky, Eugene Orloff, Tosha Samaroff, Paul Winter – violin; Burt Fisch – viola; Abram Boradkin, George Ricci, Lucien Schmitt – cello; Hank Jones – piano; Chet Amsterdam, Wendell Marshall – bass; Osie Johnson – drums; Ralph Burns – arranger, conductor.

My Funny Valentine

Recorded 30 March 1954, New York City

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Teddy Wilson – piano; Ray Brown – bass; Jo Jones – drums.


BW emarcy

Pouting/The Iron Hat (CD: “The Complete Ben Webster on EmArcy” EmArcy 824 836-2(1))

Recorded 23 January 1953, New York City

Don Elliot – trumpet, mellophone; Eddie Bert – trombone; Sam Rubinowitch – alto sax, piccolo; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Sidney Brown – baritone sax; Billy Taylor – piano; Milt Hinton – bass; Jo Jones – drums; Johnny Richards – arranger.


 

See_You_at_the_Fair

In a Mellow Tone / The Single Petal of a Rose (CD: “See You At The Fair” Impulse! GRD-121)

Recorded 11 March 1964, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Hank Jones – piano; Richard Davis – bass; Osie Johnson -drums.


Ben-Webster-Meets-Don-Byas-cover

Caravan (CD: “Ben Webster meets Don Byas” Verve 827920-2)

Recorded 1/2 February 1968, Villingen, Black Forest, Germany

Ben Webster, Don Byas – tenor sax; Tete Montoliu – piano; Peter Trunk – bass; Albert “Tootie” Heath – drums.


ben and bean

It Never Entered My Mind (CD: “Coleman Hawkins encounters Ben Webster” Verve 9884036)

Recorded 16 October 1957, Los Angeles

Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins – tenor sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Herb Ellis – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; Alvin Stoller – drums.


side by side

Just A Memory (CD: “Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington – Side by Side” PolyGram
5214052)

Recorded 14 August 1958, New York City

Johnny Hodges – alto saxophone; Roy Eldridge – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Ben Webster – tenor saxophone; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Jo Jones – drums.


king of the tenors

That’s All (CD: “King of the Tenors” Verve 314 519 806-2)

Recorded 8 December 1953, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Harry “Sweets” Edison – trumpet; Benny Carter – alto sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Herb Ellis – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; Alvin Stoller – drums.


ben and art tatum

Gone with the Wind (CD: “The Tatum Group Masterpieces” Pablo J33J 20034)

Recorded 11 September 1956, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Art Tatum – piano; Red Callender – bass; Bill Douglass – drums.


slim gaillard

Potato Chips (CD: Slim Gaillard, “Laughing in Rhythm: The Best of the Verve Years” Verve 314 521 651-2)

Recorded 1952, New York City

Slim Gaillard – vocal; Ben Webster – tenor sax; others unknown.


newport

C Jam Blues/Chelsea Bridge (LP: Various Artists, “Newport Jazz Festival Live (Unreleased Highlights from 1956, 1958, 1963”) Columbia C2 38262)

Recorded 4 July 1958 live at The Newport Jazz Festival

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Rex Stewart – cornet; Tyree Glenn – trombone; Hilton Jefferson – alto sax; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


ella and duke

All Too Soon (CD: “Ella & Duke at The Cote D’Azur” PolyGram 539030)
Recorded 29 July 1966, Juan-les-Pins, France

Ray Nance – trumpet, violin; Ben Webster – tenor sax; 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.

 

Portrait of Ben Webster, Pt. I (Podcast #18-002)

The addition of Ben Webster in 1940 permanently brought Ellington’s saxophone section to five members. But Webster’s tenor voice was to impact the band far beyond his four year tenure. Continue reading

“After he had made a record date with us in 1935, I always had a yen for Ben. So as soon as we thought we could afford him, we added him on, which gave us a five-piece saxophone section for the first time. Although Barney Bigard used to play tenor saxophone, clarinet was his main instrument, so Ben Webster was really our first tenor specialist and soloist. His splendid performances on “Cottontail,” “Conga Brava,” “All Too Soon,” “Just a-Settin’ and a-Rockin’,” and “What Am I Here For?” were a sensation everywhere, and he soon became a big asset to the band. His enthusiasm and drive had an especially important influence on the saxophone section.

His influence didn’t end when he left either, because when Paul Gonsalves came into the band he knew all of Ben’s solos note for note.”

-Duke Ellington, Music is my Mistress

 

ben webster

cottontail

Ben Webster’s famous solo on “Cottontail.” Link to the full solo is here.

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

elling_duke_complete1_101b

(CD: “The Complete 1933-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)

Truckin’

Recorded 19 August 1935, New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums, Ivy Anderson – vocal.


In A Jam

Recorded 29 July 1936, New York City
Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Mood Indigo

Recorded 14 February 1940, Chicago

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



 

Highlights

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

All Too Soon

Recorded 22 July 1940, New York City

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


Cotton Tail 

Recorded 4 May 1940, Los Angeles

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


Blue Serge

Recorded 15 February 1941, Los Angeles

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


Rain Check

Recorded 2 December 1941, Los Angeles

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



 

Duke-at-Fargo-1

Bojangles/Star Dust (CD: “Fargo, ND, November 7, 1940” Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1019/20-2)

Recorded 7 November 1940 at The Crystal Ballroom in Fargo, North Dakota

Wallace Jones, Rex Stewart, Ray Nance – 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.



nance non ducal

Swinging in 4 (CD: “Ray Nance, The Complete 1940-1949 Non-Ducal Violin Recordings”)

Recorded 1941, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – clarinet; Ray Nance – violin; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.



 

carnegie 48

How High The Moon (CD: “Carnegie Hall, November 13, 1948” Vintage Jazz Classics 1024)

Recorded 13 November 1948 at Carnegie Hall, New York City

Shelton Hemphill, Al Killian, Francis Williams, Harold Baker, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Quentin Jackson, Tyree Glenn – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guy; Wendell Marshall – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, 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.


Reflections on “The Far East Suite” (Podcast #17-007)

Examining different interpretations of Ellington’s Far East Suite Continue reading



This podcast episode features three looks at Ellington/Strayhorn’s Far East Suite. The original, of course and then two interpretations that bend, yet don’t break, the  material to fit their creative impulses and their very different instrumentations.

The Tony Overwater Trio in conjunction with the Calefax Reed Quintet, has no keyboard or brass.

Slavic Soul Party! is in the brass band tradition, with accordion and tuba supplying the rhythm section’s harmonic functions.

Both groups creatively use their unique configurations to add stellar interpretations of the Ellington/Strayhorn canon.



Mount Harissa



“We especially thank Ellington and his colleagues for filling life with beauty and grace when so much was denied to them.”

– from the liner notes from Slavic Soul Party! Plays Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite



 

ellington and gonsalves in iraq

Paul Gonsalves and Duke Ellington sharing a hookah in Ctesiphon, Iraq during their State Department Tour in 1963.



 

The Ellington band was broadcast on TV on November 14, 1963 from Khuld Hall, Baghdad, Iraq. The resulting video, “Le Roi du Jazz Americain DUKE ELLINGTON ET SON ORCHESTRE” (The King of American Jazz, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra) is available to view (or download for free, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration) at this link.



 

ellington-accordion

Duke Ellington and the accordion



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 treasury show vol 23

Take the “A” Train (CD: “The Treasury Shows, Volume 23” Storyville 9039023)

Recorded 24 August 1946. Radio broadcast from the Meadowbrook Gardens Cafe in Culver City, California

Duke Ellington – piano


 

img_0796

Tourist Point of View//Depk//Blue Pepper (Far East of the Blues)//Agra//Amad//Ad Lib on Nippon (CD: “The Far East Suite” Bluebird 7640-2-RB)

Recorded 19-21 December 1966, New York City

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


 

overwater

Tourist Point of View//Depk//Agra//Amad//Ad Lib on Nippon (CD: “Ellington Suites” Jazz in Motion Records JIM 75219)

Recorded 16 February 2005, live at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam

Maarten Ornstein – tenor sax; Tony Overwater – bass; Wim Kegel – drums; Oliver Boekhoorn – oboe, English Horn; Ivar Berix – clarinet; Raaf Hekkema – alto sax; Jelte Althuis – bass clarinet; Alban Wesly – bassoon.


 

slavic soul party

Tourist Point of View//Depk//Blue Pepper//Amad//Ad Lib on Nippon (CD: “Slavic Soul Party! Plays Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite” Ropeadope RAD-314)

Recorded November 2014, live at the Barbes, Brooklyn

John Carlson, Kenny Warren – trumpet; Matt Musselman, Tim Vaughn – trombone; Peter Hess – reeds; Peter Stan – accordion; Ron Caswell – tuba; Chris Stormquist, Matt Moran – percussion.

Portrait of Mahalia Jackson (Podcast #17-006)

Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and the Ellington orchestra meet in 1958.
Continue reading

“Bill Putnam, founder, builder, recording engineer, and President of Universal Recording Studios in Chicago, was having a party on a yacht one evening out on Lake Michigan. There were a lot of bigwigs from the Loop there, and a representative of Columbia Records came up to me, all glowing.

“Say you must hear this new girl we’ve got signed up!” he said.

“Who’s that?”

“Mahalia Jackson.”

“Oh, yeah, she’s a good cook.”

“No, she’s a singer.”

“I know,” I said, “but she’s a good cook, too.”

She was the best, a great cook. I had been to her house several times before ever she signed with Columbia, and she always had fine soul food out there.

One of the memorable occasions was when we made “Come Sunday” with her in 1958. Billy Strayhorn was down in Florida, but I had told him the key and he sent the arrangement. Ray Nance was there with his violin, and it all came off well.”

–Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress

 

mahalia-2 1970 nola jazz and heritage fest

Duke Ellington and Mahalia Jackson at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, 1970



 

“Come Sunday” appears in the in the United Methodist Hymnal. C. Michael Hawn explains how it came to be. The song is also the subject of a “hymn study.”

 


 

Jazz_on_a_Summer's_Day_FilmPoster

Jazz on a Summer’s Day



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

newport 1958

Take the “A” Train//Come Sunday//Keep Your Hand on the Plow (CD: “Live at Newport 1958” Sony Music Distribution 53584)
Recorded 21 July 1958, New York City

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


 

bbb2

(Part IV) Come Sunday//(Part VI) 23rd Psalm (CD: “Black, Brown, and Beige” Sony Music Distribution 53584)
Recorded 11 February 1958, New York City

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


 

Girls Suite

Mahalia from “The Girls Suite” (LP: “The Girls Suite and The Perfume Suite” Columbia )

Recorded 19 September 1961, Los Angeles

Willie Cook, Edward Mullens, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance – trumpet; Louis Blackburn, Lawrence Brown, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.



MI0001691166
Portrait of Mahalia Jackson (CD: “New Orleans Suite” Warner Bros. 7411644)

Recorded 13 May 1970, New York City

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