406

Duke Ellington: Chicago 1946 & Cornell University 1948

By

Sign in to view read count








Duke Ellington

Chicago 1946

MusicMasters-Nimbus

2009


Duke Ellington

Cornell University 1948

MusicMasters-Nimbus

2009


The depth and breadth of the Ellington Orchestra's repertoire/book over the half-century Duke led the band is mind-bogglingly vast. And commercially-released studio recordings are only the tip of the iceberg. There are compositions, versions of tunes and unique collaborations contained on these two albums found either nowhere else or only on other roughly contemporaneous live concert recordings. The Cornell University, December 10, 1948, concert documents an incarnation of the band that had gone unrecorded, commercially, for the entire year due to a union-imposed recording ban. It also has the added value of including Duke's illuminating, if often enigmatic, spoken introductions, segments missing on the Chicago recordings. The priceless aspect of the Chicago sessions is the presence of Django Reinhardt playing amplified guitar—although there is little interaction with the band.

These concerts took place in years that Ellington premiered new, extended works at Carnegie Hall annually. The second, yet earlier, Chicago Civic Opera House concert (1/20/46) reprised A Tonal Group, debuted a fortnight earlier in New York and includes a rare example of a "Fugue," a device Ellington also used in his tone poem "(A Tone Parallel to) Harlem" in 1951. The Chicago concert with Django (11/10/46) also features the first, pre-Carnegie premiere, debut of The Deep South Suite, best known for "Happy-Go-Lucky Local," but fascinating for Ellington's wry, sardonic take on the racist South in the other movements (his spoken comments are invaluable here). Black, Brown and Beige is excerpted with "Come Sunday-Work Song," demonstrating that Ellington had not given up on it despite poor reviews at its 1943 premiere.

By the post-WWII era, Ellington and Billy Strayhorn and his other collaborators, had developed a unique, post-Swing sound and extended vocabulary for the band. On these albums the band also embraces aspects of modernity like asymmetry, dissonance, bop harmonies and abrupt tonal/mood shifts on "The Air-Conditioned Jungle" (Chicago) and "The Tattooed Bride" and "The Symphomaniac" (Cornell). The 1948 concert is notable, too, for the last recorded revival of "Reminiscing in Tempo," Ellington's first extended work—a brooding, impressionistic elegy for his mother. Both albums also attest to the profligate creative and melodic fecundity of Ellington/ Strayhorn, showcasing tunes like the dashing "My Friend," ravishing "Lady of the Lavender Mist" and "Sultry Sunset" that would be the envy of would-be composers today, but didn't make the cut in the ongoing book. Also intriguing are the creative reimaginings and reworkings in the (piano heavy) "Frankie and Johnny," "Caravan" (both Chicago) and "A-Train" take off, "Manhattan Murals" and "Humoreque" (Cornell). And don't miss the three-tempoed Ben Webster showcase, "How High the Moon" (Cornell), a template for tenor sax features for the next decades.

Tracks and Personnel



Chicago 1946

Tracks: Tracks: Disc 1: Ring Dem Bells; Jumpin' Punkins; Beale Street Blues; Memphis Blues; The Golden Feather; The Air-Conditioned Jungle; A Very Unbooted Character; Sultry Sunset; The Deep South Suite: Magnolias Just Dripping with Molasses, Hearsay, There Was Nobody Looking, Happy-Go-Lucky Local; Things Ain't What They Used To Be; Hiawatha; Ride, Red, Ride; A Blues Riff; Improvisation #2; Honeysuckle Rose; Blue Skies (Trumpet No End). Disc 2: Star Spangled Banner; In A Mellotone; Solid Old Man; Come Sunday, Work Song; Rugged Romeo; Circe; Dancers in Love; Coloratura; Frankie and Johnny; Caravan; Take the A Train; Mellow Ditty; Fugue; Jam a Ditty; Magenta Haze; Pitter Panther Patter; Suburbanite.

Personnel: Duke Ellington: piano; Django Reinhardt: guitar (Disc 1: Tracks 15-18); Sheldon Hemphill: Taft Jordan: Cat Anderson: Harold Baker: Ray Nance: trumpets; Lawrence Brown: Claude Jones: Wilbur De Paris: trombones; Russell Procope: alto sax and clarinet; Johnny Hodges: alto sax; Jimmy Hamilton: clarinet and tenor sax; Al Sears: tenor sax; Harry Carney: baritone sax and clarinets; Fred Guy: guitar; Oscar Pettiford: bass; Sonny Greer: drums.



Cornell University 1948

Tracks: Tracks: Disc 1: Star Spangled Banner; Lady of the Lavender Mist; Suddenly It Jumped; Reminscing in Tempo; She Wouldn't Be Moved; Paradise; The Symphomaniac, Pt. 1 (Symphonic or Bust); The Symphomaniac, Pt. 2 (How You Sound); My Friend; You Oughta; Creole Love Call; Don't Blame Me; Lover Man; The Tattooed Bride; Dancers in Love. Disc 2: Manhattan Murals; Hy'a Sue; Fantazm; Tootlin' Through the Roof; Brown Betty; Humoresque; How High the Moon; Don't Be So Mean to Baby; Lover Come Back to Me; It's Monday Everyday; Medley: Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, In A Sentimental Mood, Mood Indigo, I'm Beginning to See the Light, Sophisticated Lady, Caravan, It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing, I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart; Limehouse Blues.

Personnel: Duke Ellington: piano; Shelton Hemphill: Francis Williams: Harold Baker: Al Killian: trumpets; Ray Nance: trumpet: violin and vocal; Lawrence Brown: Quentin Jackson: trombones; Tyree Glenn: trombone and vibes; Johnny Hodges: alto sax; Russell Procope: alto sax and clarinet; Jimmy Hamilton: clarinet and tenor sax; Al Sears: Ben Webster: tenor sax; Harry Carney: baritone sax: clarinets; Fred Guy: guitar; Wendell Marshall: bass; Sonny Greer: drums; Kay Davis: Al Hibbler: vocals.

Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready" Multiple Reviews Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Miles Ahead Soundtrack / Live in Tokyo 1975" Multiple Reviews Miles Ahead Soundtrack / Live in Tokyo 1975
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "New, Notable and Nearly Missed" Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Carla Bley & Jack DeJohnette: ECM Trios" Multiple Reviews Carla Bley & Jack DeJohnette: ECM Trios
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads" Multiple Reviews Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads
by John Eyles
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" Multiple Reviews The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!