Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Grinnell and bear it...

Now here's a funny thing.

Yesterday on I saw listed Fifteen Swing, an extremely rare Duke Ellington LP.

It was recorded at, and later pressed by, Grinnell College,Iowa. From its website, here's what the college looks like today.

The Ellington band performed there on 10 January, 1957, riding the crest of the wave that began building in Newport, RI the previous summer. Bliss must it have been to be alive in that dawn.

The album was posted at a starting bid of $40.00. Imagine my dismay today when I signed in to 'my Ebay' to find the album had been sold at a 'buy it now' price of $400.00 no less. Prospective bidders had been gazumped! I don't suppose I blame the purchaser. Had I those sorts of funds, I'd certainly have bought it. The fact that the LP was signed by Jimmy Woode, the band's bassist on the occasion can only have added to the lustre. Oh, well. I may get to hear the recording one day. And at least, until then, I have the pictures. I had never seen a picture of the album before. Here is the gallery...

There is a little more information about Duke's visit to Ginnell at the college's web page here. The citation on the photograph (printed below) reads:

'1957 was a very good year for Grinnell Concerts.
In January, the legendary Duke Ellington came to campus and played a show in Darby Gymnasium. ... Below are pictures of the performers in interview at Grinnell, possibly by members of Grinnell's pre-KDIC radio station, KGRW.
Apparently, Ellington's concert garnered mixed reviews. A letter to the editor in a 1957 copy of the S&B stated the following: "As I see the problem, the people who did not care for the concert fall into two categories: those who do not care for jazz, and those who are the continual complainers on the campus."'

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