Friday, 21 December 2012

Out of the Blue

The blog Into a Blue Haze is well worth checking out.

Three concerts by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra are currently available for download and you can access them by clicking the link here.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

For the record...

Here are details of a 'one of a kind' Ellington recording which came up for auction at a certain internet clearing house recently.

The vendor claims the disc in question is an off air recording of the Famous Orchestra during its first stint at The Cotton Club (it was the 85th anniversary of Ellington's opening at the club a couple of weeks ago).

The full description runs:

A truly remarkable two sided LIVE recording of DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS ORCHESTRA from the COTTON CLUB in New York!. 

This one of a kind disc was found in the collection of musician/collector DICK is on a metal "UNIVERSAL BLANK RECORDING DISC........Likely at the Cotton Club in Harlem shortly before it moved to Mid-Town in the mid-1930' of the tunes identified is DUCKY WUCKY which is from 1932.introduced as an arrangement you haven't heard. 

.....the sections of the disc I played  play pretty well on my rig but requires a bit of extra weight..there is distortion in some sections and very clear in others..some one putting some time into play this will likely get  better results than me ....the sleeve also identifies I'VE GOT TO BE A RUG CUTTER " fine trumpet & Hodges sop"...side B says "Azure"..this one is sold AS IS!

Whilst it is often difficult to establish provenance, the auction was contested hotly, and the disc sold for the not inconsiderable sum of $385 dollars (about £285)! One for the record books?

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Do I hear...

Going, going…

Under the virtual hammer of a certain Internet auction house at present is a fascinating collection of Ellingtonia. I thought I’d post the description and all the photographs of the various lots here. For the record…

From the vendor's description:

"Duke Ellington memories collectible collection all original items. Arrangements From His Private Collection. Which include Fascimile, Copies Of The Exact First Drafts Of Many Ellington Strayhorn Songs There on Passantino Sheet Music And Forrest Brand With The Tempo Music Inc 333 Riverside Drive. Manuscripts Of Strayhorn, it's a very beautiful collection. I have never seen The Exact Copies of how Ellington and Strayhorn wrote there music in exact form.
Love You Madly, Love Scene (Making That Scene), B Sharp Blues, Spanking Brand New Doll, Love You Madly, Such Sweet Thunder, And On A Turquoise Cloud. And Many More
Exactly How Duke And Billy Wrote There Notes...Very Rare.

I didn't want to Add These Arrangements but there are so many from different friends of my father's, I figure Someone who really loves Duke Would Appreciate This Collection. It is all One of A Kind And All 100% authentic.

1. One signed card hand signed in blue ink. Merrie Christmas Happy New Year Duke Ellington love xxx (Great For X-mas, This Item Has a lot of value due to the fact it states no name, so it could be a great Joy to an Ellington Fan) This would be Dukes Last Hand
Written Card comes with Envelope addressed to and from

2. Hand designed card by Duke Ellington Very special and rare only to his closet friends.
"Merry Christmas is Merriest
Happy new year is happie, you are beautiful compounded with luv and blessings and may your total future be the greatest! Duke Ellington. With love and hearts xxxx"

3. (20) Negative photos. One of Duke Ellington at Billy StrayhornMemorial. And one of the Strayhorn memorial plaque. Never before released,My father took the photos with his rolleflex camera. Will sign the photography rights over. Very Rare

4. A Copy of Half the Fun (From The Original Arrangements in Dukes Hand) written by Duke And Strayhorn, from his original transcribes 1957 tempo music inc. with Duke Signature titled on top by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

5. Framed 4x6 photo from the negatives of Duke And Bob Udkoff by the American flag. Beautiful. One of a kind shot. Never released. Developed with Epson perfection lighted scanner.Slight pop look to it. 6. East meets the west through the swinging music of Duke Ellington LP Signed on the back to my mother."Xxxx to Beautiful lady of grace Loretta.I'm very glad to see that you are prettier now then before, don't stop now love xxxx duke xxxx for your Jose ERS.

7. Sacred concerts complete Duke Ellington inspirational songbook 1972 tempo music, given to my father not for sale original arrangements very small pressing for concert. Extra fine condition.

8. Photo card hand written from the great Lou levy, one of the most underrated Jazz pianists.

9. Duke Ellington we love you madly tribute card January 10th 1973 from Quincy Jones. Mint
With envelope.

10. (20) Classic Ellington Lp's Nm And Sealed First Press

11. Framed Card About Love And Life Christmas And New Years By Duke Ellington. Have Not Seen Another
Like it.

12. 5 Song Books By Duke Ellington

13. Strayhorn Original Arrangement of Passion Flower And Lush Life...People Say Strayhorn isn't worth As much but Billy was The Engine

Will Email any photos Ran out of photo space.

The Negatives show Duke by The American Flag...There are over 50 beautiful photos of Ellington...Will Sign Over Rights."