Sunday, 21 December 2014

Serenade from Sweden

Here's a real rarity courtesy of the streaming music service Deezer. Whether you have to sign up to listen to it, or whether the embedded track works here, let me know.

This is a previously unissued recording from the session Alice Babs made with Duke Ellington in Paris, 1963. The issued album is as rare as the proverbial hen's teeth and has never been re-issued on CD. Things Ain't What They Used To Be comes from a six CD  boxed set issued recently by Vax Records in the late singer's home country of Sweden. Whether the record label may be prevailed upon to issue the whole of the Ellington album on CD (and there is a fund of unissued tracks and alternates from the Paris sessions)remains to be seen. Here, however, is the sole Ellington track included on this recent compilation. Full details of the box set may be found here.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Django All The Way

In a previous post some time ago, I wrote
about The Savory Collection.The custodian of these resources, Loren Schoenberg, has promised that a CD of Ellingtonian treasures is on its way. Perhaps amongst them will be this version of Honeysuckle Rose with Django Reinhardt which I discovered earlier today on Youtube. It will have to do until the real thing comes along...

For more of Django with the Ellington band, a couple of performances are included on The Great Concerts: Chicago, 1946 a recording
made, famously, by John Steiner.

The performance of Ride, Red, Ride is, unfortunately and inexplicably, edited on this release, however. the full version is available as a n mp3, though, here.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

... the place, man

This is the cover of the French edition of the Verve album Ella At Duke's Place, a much more satisfying and much less re-issued collection - to my mind - than the much more celebrated Ellington Songbook.

The cover to this French edition was commissioned specially from the artist Raymond Moretti. There is  particularly fascinating post about Moretti - which first alerted me to this edition of the album - at the always fascinating blog, London Jazz Collector. You can read about Moretti's work here.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Duke's In Bed


I don't know where they keep finding these rare videos - salted away in private collections, I presume. Thank goodness they are uploaded to Youtube for all of us to enjoy.

The following video is dubbed entirely into Italian but nevertheless gives a fascinating insight into the life of Ellington. Filmed in 1966, mere months before his untimely death, there are particularly poignant glimpses of arranging and composing companion Billy Strayhorn.

Duke Ellington intervistato da Ruggero Orlando-1966

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Maple Leaf Rag

For sale on Ebay presently for $1000.00:

Autographs of Duke Ellington and Band at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, 1938

16 band members signed inside college student's chemist

Dated November 23rd. The book was owned by K.F. Box.
(Title of Book, An Introduction to Organic Chemistry, by Alexander Lowy and Benjamin Harron, John Wiley, New York, 1936, Owner's stamp inside front cover, Maroon covers are moderately scuffed with wear to the corners and edges, Binding is tight, Inside pages are clean apart from a number of pencil and use marks.)

Seller Notes:
In book, Owner's stamp inside front cover, Maroon covers are moderately scuffed with wear to the corners and edges, Binding is tight,Autographs are on a page that has some use marks.