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ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows Vol. 25

Read "The Treasury Shows Vol. 25" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Storyville Records, based in Copenhagen, have now completed the Herculean task of re-releasing all the Duke Ellington Treasury Show albums on CD. These are recordings of broadcasts made for the US Treasury Department from 1945 to 1953, to promote the sale of war bonds, often with plugs by Ellington himself, a staunch patriot. Volume 25 is the last 2-CD set to be issued. In addition to featuring the last-known Treasury broadcast from the Blue Note Club in ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24

Read "The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24" reviewed by Chris Mosey

The early 1950s were a worrying time for Duke Ellington. Musical tastes were changing and big bands were going out of business. Ellington was nervous. “I like to keep a band so I can write and hear the music next day," he said, “The only way you can do that is to pay the band and keep it on tap 52 weeks a year. By various little twists and turns, we manage to stay in business." In ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21

Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" reviewed by Chris Mosey

This volume of the Duke Ellington Treasury Shows commemorates the death on July 20 1946 of Joe “Tricky Sam" Nanton, one of the founding fathers of the band's early “jungle" sound that helped make its name at the Cotton Club. Nanton was the first musician to die with Ellington and the leader--a highly superstitious man--took it as a bad omen. As indeed it was, heralding an end to stable line-ups and an extended period of “musical chairs" ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: Rotterdam 1969

Read "Rotterdam 1969" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Right up to the end Duke Ellington maintained an ability to surprise lesser mortals with his impish wit. In 1969 he visited the White House to celebrate his 70th birthday and kissed President Richard Nixon on the cheek four times. When Nixon asked why four times, Ellington replied, “One for each cheek." Tricky Dicky was--as they say nowadays--totally gobsmacked but regained his composure in time to present Ellington with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Vol 20

Read "The Treasury Shows, Vol 20" reviewed by Chris Mosey

What makes this album stand out among the welter of Treasury Show releases is that most of the tracks feature Oscar Pettiford on bass. Duke Ellington hired many excellent bass players but only two who were great. The first was Jimmy Blanton. In the short time he was with the band--from 1939-1941--he transformed the bass into a front line instrument, changing its role in jazz forever. When he died, aged just 23, from tuberculosis, Duke searched despairingly ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Volume 19

Read "The Treasury Shows, Volume 19" reviewed by Chris Mosey

In 1946 the uneasy truce between industry and organized labor in the U.S.A which had persisted for the duration of World War Two came to an abrupt end. Coal miners and railroad workers came out on strike and jazz bands were banned by the American Federation of Musicians under its autocratic boss James C. Petrillo from broadcasting live. In such acrimony, the swing era was over. The big bands of Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, Tommy ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Volume 18

Read "The Treasury Shows, Volume 18" reviewed by Chris Mosey

As Duke Ellington leads his band into the opening bars of “Take The A Train," a mighty roar goes up from the radio audience. The moment comes four tracks into the first CD of this double Storyville release, after a somewhat shaky start. With it there's a marvellous feeling of being back in 1946 at the height of Ellington's popularity. The experience is worth having to put up with the patronising ABC Radio master ...


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