Duke Ellington

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and then there's all these Treasury Shows too, yeesh: http://www.storyvillerecords.com/default.aspx?tabID=2627&productId=27249&state_2837=2

tylerw, Thursday, 13 May 2010 20:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost that is a great deal! Stuff from when he began to record longer pieces thanks to the new LP format iirc.

Felix Frankfurter, Man Of Justice (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 13 May 2010 20:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

in terms of their bands/styles (not nec. their overall impact) I've always thought of it like this

Basie:James Brown::Ellington:George Clinton

Limp Bizkit Virtual Raping Teddy Bear (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 13 May 2010 20:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

that's a good way to think about it. who's sly stone, though?
all of those records on that Original Album Classics thing are pretty great. Such Sweet Thunder, the shakespeare one, has some amazing stuff.

tylerw, Thursday, 13 May 2010 20:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

I've been collecting versions of Duke Ellington's "Caravan" for a while now. My favorite is a hidden track at the end of a best of Ferlin Husky CD. Or is it the Three Suns'? For some reason this song inspired the maddest cover versions, especially in the '60s.

Yuval, Friday, 14 May 2010 15:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

who's sly stone, though?

lol I dunno would have to be someone who's classic period was in between or concurrent with Basie and Ellington...

Limp Bizkit Virtual Raping Teddy Bear (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 14 May 2010 16:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

maybe he's cab calloway

tylerw, Friday, 14 May 2010 16:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

and xpost, yeah, i love hearing all the different interpretations of Ellington's event the not-so-good ones. For awhile I was collecting versions "Solitude" ...

tylerw, Friday, 14 May 2010 16:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

*even* the not so good ones

tylerw, Friday, 14 May 2010 16:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

this record is wild -- synthy, moog-y versions of Ellington standards

tylerw, Friday, 14 May 2010 16:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

8 months pass...

so my sister got me the "private collection" (all ten discs) for xmas. haven't waded through all of it, but everything so far is great. some of the ate 50s live shows, like at air force bases or something, are fab, really loose. you can hear the band talking to each other during songs onstage.

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 January 2011 17:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

"some of the *late* 50s live shows"

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 January 2011 17:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

tylerw's sister = hero

Brad C., Tuesday, 25 January 2011 17:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

otm

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 January 2011 17:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

I thought those were mostly studio recordings? I have a volume five, which includes of "The Degas Suite" and "The River," both of which are totally sprawling and brilliant. "The River" also has a section that prefigures "Portrait Of Mahalia Jackson," later to feature in the New Orleans Suite (and one of the most stunning moments in Ellington's oeuvre).

Son of Sisyphus of Reaganing (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 25 January 2011 20:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

there are two or three discs of live stuff, the rest is studio. yeah the degas/river disc is incredible, so beautiful. had it turned up loud in the house last weekend and it sounded amazing, epic.

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 January 2011 20:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

Cool, gonna try to get the rest of the Private Collection discs. That late-60s studio stuff is amazing, one of his career peaks (though it's not often regarded as such).

Son of Sisyphus of Reaganing (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 26 January 2011 05:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

so weird! the 1975 super bowl halftime show was ... a tribute to duke ellington.
http://blogojazz.blogspot.com/2011/01/jazz-at-super-bowl.html

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

have been through a major Duke Ellington phase the past few days, also including the Ella Fitzgerald songbook records. WHAT A BAND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dominique, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah i'm still rolling through the private collection. so good! just ordered the "black brown and beige" box set, too. 1944-46 recordings, i think.

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

That Ella Duke songbook record is great and definitely the jazziest of those songbooks. I'm hoping this recently unearthed Twelve Nights In Hollywood thing will give them a run for the money.

This thread doesn't seem to mention the great record he made with Rosemary Clooney, Blue Rose.

What You Know Is POLLS!: The Orson Welles Poll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

the spoken bits with strayhorn and ellington on the songbook set are great, too. so you've heard the 12 nights Ella set? i've been tempted by it, but don't reall have the cash at the moment.

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

oh! i see it's much cheaper than it was originally on amazon ... hmm.

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

I heard one song from it over the weekend. Hopefully will be hearing more soon.

What You Know Is POLLS!: The Orson Welles Poll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 February 2011 22:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

back to duke -- i also just got the duke ellington's america book from the library. so far so good! glad to have something big to read about him, i haven't been nuts about the other bios i've read.

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 22:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

Nice podcast interview with Geoffrey O'Brien about Ellington's later work.

Brad C., Tuesday, 26 April 2011 17:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm about halfway through Ellington's America; so far, it's ridiculously informed/informative, and beyond essential.

Funky Mustard (People It's Bad) (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, that book is great, i just read it last month. not heavy on the personal life stuff (which is maybe a good thing?) but just sort of a fascinating journey through duke's career, with all kinds of fantastic details. even though it sounds kinda dull, the info about his finances is really interesting. always thought that maybe duke was exaggerating when he said he lost money keeping his band on retainer all those years, but it looks like it was true. he just loved having a band always there to play his music.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

all the civil rights era chapters are great, too, as is his chapter on black brown and beige. really a wonderful book.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

What was shocking to me was how long his (financially) fallow period was. I assumed it was for maybe 3 or 4 years in the 50s; turns out it was nearly ten years. I suspect it's impossible to get too into his personal life, since he was so guarded; Mercer's autobiography goes more into it than any other Ellington book, but it mostly amounts to things anyone could have guessed (flying into a seething rage upon hearing of Strayhorn's death, for instance).

Funky Mustard (People It's Bad) (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, in re: to finances, it's obvious he could've, at some point, just dissolved his band and just become a kind of freelance celebrity musician, and probably been a lot more successful in a business sense. have you ever read music is my mistress? i haven't and the descriptions in this new book don't make it sound very essential.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

One of my favorite parts of the book is describing how Ellington and Irving Mill quite consciously marketed him as a "genius" and a composer as much as a band leader and recording artist, which bought Duke the time and leeway to become a genius composer. They were incredibly clever about balancing showbiz concerns with high art, making the pressures complement each other, rather than being in opposition.

I listen to late Ellington more than the early Ellington at this point. That podcast hits upon a lot of my favorite tracks- Ocht O'Clock, Ad Lib in Nippon, Blood Count. I've never heard the ballet they mention.

bendy, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah! i mean, obviously, duke had the talent to back up the "genius" claim, but it was fascinating how early him and mills were pushing that aspect.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

and i agree, the late ellington is what is really doing it for me these days. kind of want to put together a one-disc duke ellington in the 70s comp. don't have everything though!

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

I listen to late Ellington more than the early Ellington at this point. That podcast hits upon a lot of my favorite tracks- Ocht O'Clock, Ad Lib in Nippon, Blood Count. I've never heard the ballet they mention.

It ("The River") is on The Private Collection, Vol. 5. It's brilliant and fascinating, and also contains the germ of what would later become "Portrait Of Mahalia Jackson" (from The New Orleans Suite), one of his most heartbreaking themes.

Funky Mustard (People It's Bad) (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^yeah, the river is amazing.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

anyone heard this one? live trio recorded in 72.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, in re: to finances, it's obvious he could've, at some point, just dissolved his band and just become a kind of freelance celebrity musician, and probably been a lot more successful in a business sense. have you ever read music is my mistress? i haven't and the descriptions in this new book don't make it sound very essential.

True about how he could've otherwise dealt with his financial situation, but with his band as his instrument, he would have probably felt somewhat adrift and unfulfilled.

I've read MIMM, and it's kind of goofy and all over the place. It's not chronological, and one chapter is usually a non-sequitur to the previous chapter (i.e., Chapter 4: Louis Bellson was a great drummer! Chapter 5: I really enjoy a good steak!) I mean, it's a fun read, kind of like going to dinner with Duke and listening to him talk for about six hours. But it's not the least bit revealing, unless you count an exact account of every single restaurant meal he ever ate in his entire life.

Funky Mustard (People It's Bad) (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha, well, that does sound kind of good. my library's got it, so i'll probably get around to it sometime soon.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 19:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Whitney gig is a lot of fun; he plays some of his earliest material (and laughs with the audience about him being unable to play it now). Reminds me of James Booker just hanging out and reeling off medleys.

In the Uncommon Market has more trio stuff which I love.

Brakhage, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 20:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

wow, never even heard of that one. looks like a cool set, though. amazing how much ellington there is!

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 20:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's not well known, but it's on iTunes and it's got a bunch of great live performances from the early sixties. The trio bits are recorded in this Italian garden, I think, so there's tons of crickets etc, which sounds awful but it's really magical.

Brakhage, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

actually, I love all the room noise in his 60s recordings- he had a lot more open space in his work, and with recording fidelity improving there's cool little details. Like the guy going "dink-da-dink-dink" in between the call and response on "Limbo Jazz"

bendy, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 20:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

eesh, didn't even know this was happening. mosaic, y u so expensive

The Definitive Songs. The Definitive Orchestra. And Now...
The DEFINITIVE Edition.
The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia, and Master Recordings of
Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra

After achieving youthful acclaim in Washington, and making a successful move to New York fronting (at first) small groups, Duke Ellington entered the 1930s with an expanded line-up and an increasingly creative approach to composing. Weekly radio broadcasts and swank guests in the audience spread the word; Hollywood noticed his marquee smile and musical brilliance; and the orchestra began touring extensively, including trips to Europe. His fame and popularity were on the rise.

But more importantly, Ellington entered the '30s having perfected his method of using the group to experiment with arranging and orchestrating. Ensconced at the Cotton Club in New York at the end of the previous decade, Ellington catered to a lot of musical interests and needs - he played for the dancers, and for the jazz lovers. He relied on ideas from his musicians, and wrote for them as individuals rather than as anonymous section players. With all that work and a line-up of marvelous, distinctive musical voices, Ellington began the most creative period of his life.

"Sophisticated Lady." "Stormy Weather." "Solitude." "In a Sentimental Mood." "Echoes of Harlem." "Caravan." All of them and many more are a part of "The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia, and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra," an unprecedented 11-CD set that compiles these recordings for the first, and quite possibly the last, time. There would be many more exceptional compositions in the years following, including his highly regarded suites and longer works, but the scope of our latest, lavish Mosaic collection is the period when Ellington would establish himself as the most important composer ever in jazz.

Musicians Created Their Own Voices, and Interpreted His

"Jazz, if it means anything, means freedom of expression," he told writer Stanley Dance. And express himself is what he did, through the instruments of stalwarts and newcomers to the orchestra who not only created personality for Ellington's band - they were, in many instances, standard bearers in their own right for their respective instruments.

Barney Bigard on clarinet and tenor saxophone established links to the past with his New Orleans-style runs, executed with exceptional warmth. Harry Carney was the only important soloist on baritone saxophone for years, and the big bottom his instrument provided brought real gravity to the Ellington sound. The great trumpeter Cootie Williams joined to replace the fallen Bubber Miley, quickly perfecting Miley's growl and mute techniques while creating his own sound with the open horn. He was a master of establishing mood and emotion. Lawrence Brown had a ringing tone on trombone, which complemented Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton's earthy growl and Juan Tizol's fat sound. Trumpeter Arthur Whetsel, saxophonist Otto Hardwick, and the inimitable Sonny Greer on drums were all associates from the earliest days in Washington. Ben Webster began perfecting his tenor saxophone style during a brief mid-'30s stint with the band before being offered a permanent position in 1940. Late in the decade, Ellington discovered Jimmy Blanton, who would revolutionize bass playing with his terrific sense of swing and dead-on intonation before illness led to a tragically early death. And what can be said about Johnny Hodges, the silky smooth alto saxophonist who influenced generations of musicians? He was, in a line-up of superstars, a cut above all.

Ellington made use of them all, for their personal styles as well as for his own unique voicings that placed trombones at the apex of their range and clarinets at the bottom, or by putting unusual notes in the baritone instead of giving the instrument the chord's dominant tone. His compositions, the unique personal style of his players, his innovative arrangements, and his confidence in his soloists to raise any composition to a new level, combined to provide him with a palette unequaled in music.

The Complete Collection

Our set comprises a massive 11 discs featuring well over 100 Ellington compositions. In addition to the above-named musicians, guest stars Bing Crosby, Ethel Waters and the Mills Brothers make notable appearances. Ellington's female vocalist Ivie Anderson proves she was tailor-made for the band along with other superb band-mates Freddie Jenkins and Wallace Jones on trumpet, Fred Guy on banjo and guitar, Wellman Braud, Billy Taylor and Hayes Alvis on bass, and the unique cornetist Rex Stewart.

The exclusive Mosaic booklet includes a complete discography of the dates, a revealing essay and track by track analysis by Steven Lasker, and a number of rarely seen photographs. We urge you to order early - like all Mosaic sets, this edition is strictly limited, and given the importance of the music it contains, we're expecting significant interest.

tylerw, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 21:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

9 months pass...

RIP Kay Davis, Ellington vocalist

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/arts/music/kay-davis-91-dies-ellington-used-her-voice-as-instrument.html?_r=1

tylerw, Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

RIP.

Did anyone read that book from last year Ellington's America or whatever it was called?

Can You Please POLL Out Your Window? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I read it, it was great -- a little discussion of it upthread. One of the rare autobios where I came out of it with even more respect for the subject. He wasn't a saint, but it seems like he lived his life in a generally admirable way. For a genius anyway.

tylerw, Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sad news. Always loved the '44 "Creole Love Call." Had no idea she was from my hometown (or that that's where Duke discovered her).

Let A Man Come In And Do The Cop Porn (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah she was great -- not really what people think of when they think "jazz vocalist" but Duke used her well in a lot of songs.
btw i made this spotify playlist of Duke in the 1970s - lots of cool stuff! http://open.spotify.com/user/tywilc/playlist/3KNtFDxQE5BBi9fCvNK5m6

tylerw, Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

RIP Kay Davis.

Nice playlist, Tyler! Thanks for the reminder to order a copy of Live at the Whitney, I need that.

Brad C., Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:26 (2 years ago) Permalink


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