365

Duke Ellington: The Centennial Collection & The Jaywalker

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Five years after the widely fêted Duke Ellington centennial, record companies are finding—or at least finding ways to remarket—still more treasure from the seemingly endless trove of Ellingtonia.

Duke Ellington
Centennial Collection
Bluebird
2004

Bluebird's latest, a 2-disc CD/DVD/audio/video collection, offers a fine overview of the 1927-1942 Ellington Orchestra, a period that spans the heyday of the legendary trumpeter Bubber Miley through the too-brief tenure of the virtuoso bassist Jimmy Blanton. Splendid renditions of classic tunes like "Black and Tan Fantasy," "The Mooche," "Mood Indigo," "Solitude," and "Perdido" are heard here, highlighting the awesome sonic power of the band, as well as the individual talents of stars like Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams, Ray Nance and Ben Webster. While most of the selections are available elsewhere—including on Bluebird's massive 24-disc set, The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition —the new release includes seven previously unissued tracks culled from the 1941 radio broadcasts by the justly celebrated Blanton/Webster band, all in remarkably good sound quality.

The set's video component is even more valuable, drawing together eight films Duke made between 1934 and 1943, including the musically ambitious though visually hackneyed "Symphony in Black," with Billie Holiday on vocals and "Record Making with Duke Ellington," with vocalist Ivie Anderson, an early look at the orchestra in the studio. In addition, there are five "soundies"—the music videos of their day—from 1941, featuring some of Duke's best-known hits like "Flamingo" (with vocalist Herb Jeffries), "Sophisticated Lady" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." The album closes with an illuminating eleven-minute audio interview with the ever-charming maestro, also previously unreleased.

Duke Ellington
The Jaywalker
Storyville
2004

More rare Ellingtonia, from a much later period, is unearthed on The Jaywalker , a compilation of tracks privately recorded by Duke himself from 1965 to 1967. Many of these are works in progress, some apparently intended for a little-known theatrical production. The compositions are heard in somewhat rudimentary form, with a number of false starts, but are fascinating for their revelations into Ellington's creative process and his studio interplay with his musicians, including mainstays like Paul Gonsalves, Lawrence Brown and Cootie Williams and the inimitable Johnny Hodges. Not essential, but an interesting peek behind the scenes at the man and his orchestra at work.


Centennial Collection

Tracks: 1. Black and Tan Fantasy (3:12); 2. East St. Louis Toodle-O (3:39); 3. The Mooch (3:34); 4. Old Man Blues (3:09); 5. Mood Indigo Bigard, (3:10); 6. Rockin' in Rhythm Carney, (2:56); 7. Stomp Jones (3:04); 8. Solitude (3:31); 9. Jack the Bear (3:17); 10. Ko-Ko (2:43); 11. Concerto for Cootie (3:21); 12. Dusk (3:22); 13. Perdido (3:12); 14. Are You Sticking? [#] (3:48); 15. Chelsea Bridge [#] (4:38); 16. Love Like This Can't Last [#] (2:40); 17. Moon Mist [#] (3:26); 18. It's Square, But It Rocks [#] (2:13); 19. In a Mellow Tone [#] (2:42); 20. Sepia Panorama [#] (2:42); 21. Paramount Headliner As-3: Symphony in Black; 22. Paramount Pictorial P7-2, Pt. 3: Record Making With Duke Ellington; 23. Hot Chocolate (Cotton Tail); 24. I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good; 25. Flamingo; 26. Bli-Blip; 27. Jam Session: C Blues/C Jam Blues; 28. Jamboree #7; 29. Interview With Duke Ellington [#].

Personnel: Hayes Alvis: String Bass; Ivie Anderson: Vocals; Louis Bacon: Trumpet; Harold Baker: Trumpet; Barney Bigard: Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone; Jimmy Blanton: String Bass; Wellman Braud: Sousaphone, String Bass; Lawrence D. Brown: Trombone; Marie Bryant: Vocals; Harry Carney: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone; Duke Ellington: Piano, Arranger; Sonny Greer: Drums, Maracas; Fred Guy: Banjo, Guitar; Jimmy Hamilton: Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone; Otto Hardwick: Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone; Johnny Hodges: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone; Billie Holiday: Vocals; Randy Jackson: Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone; Herb Jeffries: Vocals; Freddy Jenkins: Trumpet; Nat Jones: Alto Saxophone; Wallace Jones: Trumpet; Taft Jordan: Trumpet, Vocals; Louis Metcalf: Trumpet; Bubber Miley: Trumpet; Ray Nance: Trumpet, Violin, Vocals; Joe Tricky: Sam Nanton Trombone; Alvin Raglin: String Bass; Rex Stewart: Cornet; Billy Strayhorn: Arranger; Juan Tizol: Valve Trombone; Ben Webster: Arranger, Tenor Saxophone; Arthur Whetsol: Trumpet; Paul White: Vocals; Cootie Williams: Trumpet; Sandy Williams: Trombone.

The Jaywalker

Tracks: 1. The Shepherd [Take 2] (6:29); 2. Up Jump [Take 4] (3:06); 3. Rue Bleu [Take 2] (3:02); 4. Chromatic Love Affair [Take 1] (4:02); 5. Salomé [Take 1] (4:14); 6. Blood Count [Take 1] (3:50); 7. El Viti [Take 3] (3:27); 8. Kixx [#] (3:55); 9. Eggo [#] (5:37); 10. I'm Hip Too [#] (0:36); 11. Amta [#] (2:51); 12. Warr [#] (4:23); 13. Little Purple Flower [#] (4:32); 14. Traffic Cop [Take 1] (3:50); 15. Untitled Blues [Take 1] (4:52); 16. Policia [Take 1] (1:42); 17. The B.O. of Traffic [Take 3] (0:43); 18. Mac [Take 5] (2:37); 19. Traffic Extension [Take 1] (5:37); 20. Star [Take 1] (0:54); 21. Cross Climax [Take 3] (0:27); 22. B.O. Man [Take 5] (3:11); 23. Tin Soldier [*] (2:24).

Personnel: Cat Anderson: Trumpet; Lawrence D. Brown: Trombone; Harry Carney: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone; Chris Columbo: Drums; Chuck Connors: Trombone; Buster Cooper: Trombone; Duke Ellington: Piano; Mercer Ellington: Trumpet; Paul Gonsalves: Tenor Saxophone; Jimmy Hamilton: Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone; Johnny Hodges: Alto Saxophone, Soloist; Herbie Jones: Trumpet; Rufus "Speedy" Jones: Percussion, Drums; John Lamb: Bass; Russell Procope: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone; Cootie Williams: Trumpet, Soloist; Sam Woodyard: Drums.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Guitars on Three Continents Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe 2 Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe 2
by Doug Collette
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient Africa" and Oliver Lake and Joseph Bowie's "Live at A Space 1976" Multiple Reviews Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Steel Guitar, Snow and Sunny Beaches: Five New Albums on Losen Records" Multiple Reviews Steel Guitar, Snow and Sunny Beaches: Five New Albums on...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Blues Spotlight: Robert Finley / Donald Jay Johnson And Gas Blues Band / The King Brothers" Multiple Reviews Blues Spotlight: Robert Finley / Donald Jay Johnson And Gas...
by James Nadal
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Lee Morgan On Music Matters" Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out" Multiple Reviews Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO" Multiple Reviews Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 23, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!