Portrait of Sonny Greer (Podcast #18-007)

“Sonny would sit up behind the band, elevated high at his drums, an enormous array of blocks, bells, chimes, cymbals, snares and so on surrounding him, looking like the king of the band, At least, he always sat up high until one unfortunate occasion when arrived for work having imbibed too much and fell from his lofty perch.”

–Rex Stewart, Boy Meets Horn


 

Sonny-Greer.jpg

sonny and duke

Duke Ellington and Sonny Greer – front; Ray Nance, Rex Stewart, Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton, Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges – rear.

SONNY GREER DUKE


Sonny Greer in action in 1958

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

MI0001923424

Social Parlor De Lux // Oh, How I Love My Darling (CD: 1924-1926: Birth of a Band, Vol. 1 EPM #HS151042)

Recorded November 1924 in New York City

Social Parlor De Lux – Alberta Prime and Sonny Greer – vocal; Duke Ellington – piano.

Oh, How I Love My Darling – Sonny Greer -vocal; Otto Hardwicke – C Melody sax; Duke Ellington – piano; George Francis – banjo.


early ellington

The Mooche (CD: “Early Ellington 1927-1934” Bluebird 6852-2-RB)

Recorded October 1928 in New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Bubber Miley – trumpet; Joe Nanton – trombone; Barney Bigard(cl,ts); Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds;  Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.



works of duke vol. 7

Dinah (LP: “The Works of Duke, Volume 7” French RCA 741 085)

Recorded 9 February 1932 in New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Freddie Jenkins, Cootie Williams – trumpet; Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – vocal, drums.


 

carnegie

Jumpin’ Punkins (CD: “The Complete Prestige Carnegie Hall 1943-1944 Concerts Definitive Classics DRCD 11210)

Recorded 23 January 1943 at Carnegie Hall, New York City

Wallace Jones, Rex Stewart, Harold Baker – trumpet; Ray Nance – trumpet and violin; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Chauncy Haughton, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

world volume 3

Harlem Airshaft/Ring Dem Bells (CD: “World Broadcasting Series, Volume 3” Circle ‎ CCD-103)

Recorded 1 December 1943 in New York City

Wallace Jones, Rex Stewart, Harold Baker,Taft Jordan, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Skippy Williams, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums, chimes.


 

ellington hollywd bowl

Ring Dem Bells (LP: “The Hollywood Bowl Concert” Unique Jazz UJ-001)

Recorded 31 August 1947 Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

Shelton Hemphill, Dud Bascomb, Francis Williams, Harold Baker – trumpets; Ray Nance – trumpet, violin; Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones, Tyree Glenn – trombones; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums, chimes.


 

duke 100

Stomp, Look and Listen (CD: “Duke Ellington: The Columbia Years 1927-1962” Columbia 5176872)

Recorded 10 November 1947 in New York City

Shelton Hemphill, Dud Bascomb, Francis Williams, Harold Baker, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones, Tyree Glenn – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

hines

Cotton Tail (CD: “Once Upon A Time” Universal/Verve 6544922)

Recorded 10 January 1966 in New York City

Cat Anderson, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harold Ashby – reeds; Earl Hines – piano; Richard Davis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

0000120517

It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, New York City

Paul Gonsalves- tenor sax; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Ray Nance – cornet; Mitchell “Booty” Wood – trombone; Jimmy Jones – piano; Al Hall – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums.




 

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Beyond the Usual Suspects, Again (Podcast #18-006)

Most Duke Ellington tribute concerts and recordings rely on just a handful of his compositions (Mood IndigoSatin DollIn A Sentimental Mood, etc.). The Duke Ellington Society refers  to these songs as “the usual suspects.” While they are worthy of their status as standards, Ellington wrote thousands of compositions; there is plenty of his oeuvre that is ripe for exploration!

Duke Ellington performs  The Perfume Suite with some animated friends



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

 

mosaic

Skrontch (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosiac Records #248)

Recorded 21 December 1936 in Los Angeles

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Pete Clark – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Hayes Alvis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums; Ivie Anderson – vocal.


 

fats

Skrontch (CD: “Fats Waller, Volume 4 of the Complete Recorded Works” JSP Records JSP77192D)

Recorded 12 April 1938 in New York City

Fats Waller – piano, vocal; Herman Autrey, John Hamilton, Nathaniel Williams – trumpet; George Robinson, John Haughton – trombones; William Alsop, James Powell, Fred Skerritt – alto sax; Gene Sedric, Lonnie Symons – tenor sax; Albert Casey – guitar; Cedric Wallace – bass; Slick Jones – drums.


 

 

mosaic

Black Butterfly (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosiac Records #248)

Recorded 21 December 1936 in Los Angeles

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Pete Clark – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Hayes Alvis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

zoot

Black Butterfly  (CD: “Passion Flower – Zoot Sims plays Duke Ellington” Pablo OJCCD-939-2)

Recorded 10/11 December 1979 in Los Angeles

Zoot Sims – tenor sax; Bobby Bryant, Oscar Brashear, Al Aarons, Earl Gardner – trumpet; J.J. Johnson, Britt Woodman, Grover Mitchell, Benny Powell – trombone; Marshal Royal, Buddy Collette, Plas Johnson, Frank Wess – reeds; Jimmy Rowles – piano; John Collins – guitar; Andy Simpkins – bass; Grady Tate – drums.


 

works of duke vol. 1

Blue Bubbles  (LP: “The Works of Duke, Volume 1” French RCA 731043)

Recorded 19 December 1927 in New York City

Bubber Miley, Louis Metcalfe – trumpet; Joseph “Tricky Sam” Nanton – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney, Rudy Jackson – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

bug music

Blue Bubbles (CD: “Bug Music” Nonesuch 79438-2)

Recorded May 1996 in New York City

Don Byron – clarinet; Uri Caine – piano.


 

Girls Suite

Strange Feeling  (LP: “The Girl’s Suite and The Perfume Suite” Columbia  C38028)

Recorded 1 June 1961 in New York City

Cat Anderson, Willie Cook, Ray Nance, Ed “Moon” Mullens – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Lou Blackburn, Chuck Connors – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Milt Grayson – vocal.


 

newtonStrange Feeling  (CD: “The African Flower – The Music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn” )

Recorded 24/25 June 1985 in New York City

James Newton – flute; John Blake – violin; Olu Dara – cornet; Arthur Blythe – alto sax; Sir Jay Hoggard – vibraphone; Roland Hanna – piano; Rick Rozie – bass; Pheeroan Ak Laff – drums; Anthony Brown – percussion; Milt Grayson – vocal.


 

Girls Suite

Dancers In Love  (LP: “The Girl’s Suite and The Perfume Suite” Columbia  C38028)

Recorded 9 December 1957 in New York City

Cat Anderson, Harold “Shorty” Baker, Ray Nance – trumpet; Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, John Sanders – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Milt Grayson – vocal.


 

swing reunions

Dancers In Love  (CD: “Swing Reunion” Book-of-the-Month Records 71-7024)

Recorded 1/2 March 1985 at Town Hall in New York City

Red Norvo – vibraphone


 

virgin islands

Virgin Jungle (CD: “Concert in the Virgin Islands” Collectables 6734)

Recorded 14 April 1965 in Chicago

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Richard Williams – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; John Lamb – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


 

lacy the door

Virgin Jungle (CD: “The Door” Novus 3049-2-N)

Recorded 4/5 July 1988 in Paris

Steve Lacy, Steve Potts – soprano sax; Irene Aebi – violin; Bobby Few – piano; Jean-Jacques Avinel – bass; Sam Woodyard, Oliver Johnson – drums.

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Duke Ellington’s “String Section” (Podcast #18-005)


“Ray Nance never played a bad note in his life, so this makes him unique among artists who practice freedom of expression in music. Singer, violinist, cornetist, and dancer, he is consistently a gas!”

–Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress


 


 

nance violin

 


 

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:




carnegie 48

Humoresque (CD: “Carnegie Hall, November 13, 1948” Vintage Jazz Classics 1024)

Recorded 13 November 1948 at Carnegie Hall, New York City

Shelton Hemphill, Al Killian, Francis Williams, Harold Baker – trumpetRay Nance – violin; Lawrence Brown, Quentin Jackson, Tyree Glenn – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guy; Wendell Marshall – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


uptown

Dance #3 [from “The Liberian Suite”] (CD: “Ellington Uptown” Columbia Legacy ‎ CK 87066)

Recorded 24 December 1947 in New York City

Shelton Hemphill, Al Killian, Francis Williams, Harold Baker – trumpet; Ray Nance – violin; Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones, Tyree Glenn – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Oscar Pettiford, Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.




on the air

Bakiff (LP: “The Duke is On the Air” Aircheck Records #4)

Recorded 30 July 1952 in Chicago

Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry – trumpet; Ray Nance – violin; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, Juan Tizol – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Hilton Jefferson, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Louie Bellson – drums.


big band era

Artistry In Rhythm (CD: “Recollections of the Big Band Era” Warner Bros. 7411628)

Recorded 3 January 1963 in New York City

Cootie Williams, Roy Burrowes, Cat Anderson – trumpet; Ray Nance – violin; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Ernie Shepard – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


virgin islands

Fiddler on the Diddle (CD: “Concert in the Virgin Islands” Collectables 6734)

Recorded 14 April 1965 in Chicago

Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; John Lamb – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


Great Paris Concert

Lay-By [from “Suite Thursday”] (CD: “The Great Paris Concert” Collectables 7818)

Recorded 1 February 1963 in Paris, France

Cootie Williams, Roy Burrowes, Cat Anderson – trumpet; Ray Nance – violin; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton,; Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Ernie Shepard – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


violin session

The Feeling of Jazz (CD: “Duke Ellington’s Jazz Violin Session” Wounded Bird WOU 1688)

Recorded 22 February 1963 in Paris, France

Ray Nance, Stephan Grappelli – violin; Sven Asmussen – viola; Buster Cooper – trombone; Russell Procope – alto sax; Paul Gonsalves – tenor sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Ernie Shepard – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


konitz

Duplexity (CD: “The Lee Konitz Duets” Milestone OJCCD-466-2)

Recorded 1967 in New York City

Ray Nance – violin; Lee Konitz – tenor sax.


stuff smith

Up Jumps Sally (CD: “The Complete Stuff Smith Session” Mosaic #186)

Recorded 23 March 1964 in New York City

Stuff Smith, Ray Nance – violin; Jimmy Jones – piano; Kenny Burrell – guitar; Milt Hinton – bass; Osie Johnson – drums.


uncommon market

Guitar Amour (CD: “Duke Ellington in the Uncommon Market” Pablo 2308247)

Recorded 6 February 1963 in Stockholm

Cootie Williams, Roy Burrowes, Cat Anderson – trumpet; Ray Nance – violin; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton,; Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Ernie Shepard – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.

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Sittin’ In (Podcast #18-004)

150925170055-05-frank-sinatra-restricted-super-169

Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra


count and duke

Count Basie and Duke Ellington


dizzy and duke

Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie


tommy dorsey and duke

Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey


colemanhawkinsci_05-29-12

Coleman Hawkins and Duke Ellington


duke and trane

John Coltrane and Duke Ellington

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

mosaic

St. Louis Blues (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosiac Records #248)

Recorded 11 February 1932, New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Freddie Jenkins – trumpet; Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums; Bing Crosby – vocal.


bbbcd

Tonight I Shall Sleep (With A Smile On My Face) (CD: “Black, Brown, and Beige” RCA Victor 6641-2-RB)

Recorded 14 May 1945, New York City

Shelton Hemphill,  Rex Stewart, Taft Jordan, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance – trumpet; Tommy Dorsey, Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Claude Jones – trombones; Jimmy Hamilton, Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Bob Haggart – bass; Sonny Greer – drums


centennial

The Minor Goes Muggin’ (CD: “Highlights from the Duke Ellington Centennial Edition (1927-1973)” RCA Victor 09026636722)

Recorded 14 May 1945, New York City

Duke Ellington – piano; Charlie Shavers – trumpet; Tommy Dorsey – trombone; Buddy Rich – drums with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra


jazz party

Hello, Little Girl (CD: “Jazz Party” Columbia CK 40712)

Recorded 19 February 1959, New York City

Dizzy Gillespie, Cat Anderson, Harold Baker, Clark Terry, Ray Nance – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, ussell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Jimmy Jones – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Jimmy Rushing – vocal.


trane

Angelica (CD: “Duke Ellington & John Coltrane” MCA MCAD-39103)

Recorded 26 September 1962, New York City

John Coltrane – tenor sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmy Garrison – bass; Elvin Jones – drums.


hawkins impules

Ray Charles’ Place (CD: “Duke Ellington meets Coleman Hawkins” Impulse! IMPD-162)

Recorded 18 August 1962, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Coleman Hawkins – tenor sax; Harry Carney – baritone sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


money jungle

Money Jungle (CD: “Money Jungle” Blue Note 7243 5 38227 2 9)

Recorded 17 September 1962, New York City

Duke Ellington – piano; Charles Mingus – bass; Max Roach – drums.


sinatra

I Like The Sunrise (CD: “Francis A. & Edward K.” Reprise Records ‎ 1024-2)

Recorded 12 December 1967, Seattle

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Jeff Castleman – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Frank Sinatra – vocal.


first time cd

Battle Royal (CD: “First Time” Columbia CK 65571)

Willie Cook, Edward Mullens, Cat Anderson, Andres Merenguito, Thad Jones, Sonny Cohn, Snooky Young, Lennie Johnson, Ray Nance – trumpet; Louis Blackburn, Lawrence Brown, Juan Tizol, Henry Coker, Quentin Jackson, Benny Powell – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Marshal Royal, Johnny Hodges, Frank Wess(, Paul Gonsalves, Frank Foster, Budd Johnson, Harry Carney, Charlie Fowlkes – reeds; Duke Ellington, Count Basie – piano; Freddy Green – guitar; Aaron Bell – bass; Sonny Payne, Sam Woodyard – drums.

Soloists: Ellington, Basie, Wess, Hodges, Nance, Carney, Foster, Hamilton, Foster, Ellington & Basie, Brown, Gonsalves, Anderson, Woodyard, Payne.

 

 

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Portrait of Ben Webster, Pt. II (Podcast #18-003)

“He was considered the supreme ballad master. As great as Prez, Hawk and Byas were, they all had to take a back seat to Ben on ballads. Ben almost had a monopoly on the pretty ones. His breathy, whispy [sic] style, coupled with a most distinct tone enabled him to get an effect of a violin sound in his upper register playing. And when he would manipulate down to the lower register, he would nearly blow you out of your mind.”

-Bernard Montgomery



ben webster late




Alum

 Jet Magazine, 24 July 1958


BW website

Screenshot from The Official Ben Webster website





websterbenjamim

 Ben Webster’s ashes are buried at Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen


The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



atmosphere

Blue Light (LP: “Atmosphere for Lovers and Thieves” Black Lion Records 65117)

Recorded September 1965, Copenhagen

Ben Webster, Ole Kongsted – tenor sax; Arnved Meyer – trumpet; John Darville – trombone; Niels Jorgen Steen – piano; Henrik Hartmann – bass; Hans Nymand – drums.


bw with strings

What Am I Here For? (CD: “Music for Loving” Verve 314 527 774-2)

Recorded 9 September 1955, New York City

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Al Epstein, Danny Bank – reeds; Harold Colletta, Martin Donegan, Leo Kruczek, Harry Lookofsky, Eugene Orloff, Tosha Samaroff, Paul Winter – violin; Burt Fisch – viola; Abram Boradkin, George Ricci, Lucien Schmitt – cello; Hank Jones – piano; Chet Amsterdam, Wendell Marshall – bass; Osie Johnson – drums; Ralph Burns – arranger, conductor.

My Funny Valentine

Recorded 30 March 1954, New York City

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Teddy Wilson – piano; Ray Brown – bass; Jo Jones – drums.


BW emarcy

Pouting/The Iron Hat (CD: “The Complete Ben Webster on EmArcy” EmArcy 824 836-2(1))

Recorded 23 January 1953, New York City

Don Elliot – trumpet, mellophone; Eddie Bert – trombone; Sam Rubinowitch – alto sax, piccolo; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Sidney Brown – baritone sax; Billy Taylor – piano; Milt Hinton – bass; Jo Jones – drums; Johnny Richards – arranger.


 

See_You_at_the_Fair

In a Mellow Tone / The Single Petal of a Rose (CD: “See You At The Fair” Impulse! GRD-121)

Recorded 11 March 1964, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Hank Jones – piano; Richard Davis – bass; Osie Johnson -drums.


Ben-Webster-Meets-Don-Byas-cover

Caravan (CD: “Ben Webster meets Don Byas” Verve 827920-2)

Recorded 1/2 February 1968, Villingen, Black Forest, Germany

Ben Webster, Don Byas – tenor sax; Tete Montoliu – piano; Peter Trunk – bass; Albert “Tootie” Heath – drums.


ben and bean

It Never Entered My Mind (CD: “Coleman Hawkins encounters Ben Webster” Verve 9884036)

Recorded 16 October 1957, Los Angeles

Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins – tenor sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Herb Ellis – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; Alvin Stoller – drums.


side by side

Just A Memory (CD: “Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington – Side by Side” PolyGram
5214052)

Recorded 14 August 1958, New York City

Johnny Hodges – alto saxophone; Roy Eldridge – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Ben Webster – tenor saxophone; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Jo Jones – drums.


king of the tenors

That’s All (CD: “King of the Tenors” Verve 314 519 806-2)

Recorded 8 December 1953, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Harry “Sweets” Edison – trumpet; Benny Carter – alto sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Herb Ellis – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; Alvin Stoller – drums.


ben and art tatum

Gone with the Wind (CD: “The Tatum Group Masterpieces” Pablo J33J 20034)

Recorded 11 September 1956, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Art Tatum – piano; Red Callender – bass; Bill Douglass – drums.


slim gaillard

Potato Chips (CD: Slim Gaillard, “Opera In Vout” Verve)

Recorded 1952, New York City

Slim Gaillard – vocal; Ben Webster – tenor sax; others unknown.


newport

C Jam Blues/Chelsea Bridge (LP: Various Artists, “Newport Jazz Festival Live (Unreleased Highlights from 1956, 1958, 1963”) Columbia C2 38262)

Recorded 4 July 1958 live at The Newport Jazz Festival

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Rex Stewart – cornet; Tyree Glenn – trombone; Hilton Jefferson – alto sax; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


ella and duke

All Too Soon (CD: “Ella & Duke at The Cote D’Azur” PolyGram 539030)
Recorded 29 July 1966, Juan-les-Pins, France

Ray Nance – trumpet, violin; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; John Lamb – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.

 

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Portrait of Ben Webster, Pt. I (Podcast #18-002)

“After he had made a record date with us in 1935, I always had a yen for Ben. So as soon as we thought we could afford him, we added him on, which gave us a five-piece saxophone section for the first time. Although Barney Bigard used to play tenor saxophone, clarinet was his main instrument, so Ben Webster was really our first tenor specialist and soloist. His splendid performances on “Cottontail,” “Conga Brava,” “All Too Soon,” “Just a-Settin’ and a-Rockin’,” and “What Am I Here For?” were a sensation everywhere, and he soon became a big asset to the band. His enthusiasm and drive had an especially important influence on the saxophone section.

His influence didn’t end when he left either, because when Paul Gonsalves came into the band he knew all of Ben’s solos note for note.”

-Duke Ellington, Music is my Mistress

 

ben webster

cottontail

Ben Webster’s famous solo on “Cottontail.” Link to the full solo is here.

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

elling_duke_complete1_101b

(CD: “The Complete 1933-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)

Truckin’

Recorded 19 August 1935, New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums, Ivy Anderson – vocal.


In A Jam

Recorded 29 July 1936, New York City
Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Mood Indigo

Recorded 14 February 1940, Chicago

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.



 

Highlights

(CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942 Band” Avid AMSC1143)

All Too Soon

Recorded 22 July 1940, New York City

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Cotton Tail 

Recorded 4 May 1940, Los Angeles

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Blue Serge

Recorded 15 February 1941, Los Angeles

Wallace Jones, Ray Nance, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Rain Check

Recorded 2 December 1941, Los Angeles

Wallace Jones, Ray Nance, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.



 

Duke-at-Fargo-1

Bojangles

Stardust

Recorded 7 November 1940 at The Crystal Ballroom in Fargo, North Dakota
Wallace Jones, Rex Stewart, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol -trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto  Hardwicke, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.



nance non ducal

Swinging in 4 (CD: “Ray Nance, The Complete 1940-1949 Non-Ducal Violin Recordings”)

Recorded 1941, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – clarinet; Ray Nance – violin; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.



 

carnegie 48

How High The Moon (CD: “Carnegie Hall, November 13, 1948” Vintage Jazz Classics 1024)

Recorded 13 November 1948 at Carnegie Hall, New York City

Shelton Hemphill, Al Killian, Francis Williams, Harold Baker, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Quentin Jackson, Tyree Glenn – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guy; Wendell Marshall – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, New York City

Paul Gonsalves- tenor sax; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Ray Nance – cornet; Mitchell “Booty” Wood – trombone; Jimmy Jones – piano; Al Hall – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums.


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Beyond “The Usual Suspects” (Podcast #18-001)

Most Duke Ellington tribute concerts and recordings rely on just a handful of his compositions (Mood Indigo, Satin Doll, In A Sentimental Mood, etc.). The Duke Ellington Society refers  to these songs as “the usual suspects.” While they are worthy of their status as standards, Ellington wrote thousands of compositions; there is plenty of his oeuvre that is ripe for exploration!


Despite having a major new work to  promote (Such Sweet Thunder), in this 1957 television appearance Ellington has to take time away from it in order to play a greatest hits medley (aka “The Usual Suspects”).




Transcription of Duke Ellington’s Melacholia by Albert de la Fuente


 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

works of duke vol. 8

Blue Feeling – Duke Ellington (LP: “The Works of Duke, Volume 8” French RCA 741.114)

Recorded 10 January 1934, Chicago

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Freddie Jenkins, Louis Bacon – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney -reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

JAY_MCSHANN_THE+BIG+APPLE+BASH-530771

Blue Feeling – Jay McShann (LP: “The Big Apple Bash” Atlantic SD 8804)

Recorded 3-10 August 1971, New York City

Doc Cheatham – trumpet; Dickie Wells – trombone; Earl Warren – alto sax; Herbie Mann – clarinet, tenor sax; Jay McShann – piano; John Scofield – guitar; Eddie Gomez – bass; Connie Kay – drums.


 

works of duke vol. 7

The Mystery Song – Duke Ellington (LP: “The Works of Duke, Volume 7” French RCA 741.085)

Recorded 17 June 1931 in Camden, New Jersey

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Freddie Jenkins – trumpet; Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums


 

evidence

The Mystery Song – Steve Lacy & Don Cherry (LP: “Evidence” Prestige MPP 2505)

Recorded 1 November 1961, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Don Cherry – trumpet; Steve Lacy – soprano sax; Carl Brown – bass; Billy Higgins – drums.


 

Second_Sacred_Concert

Heaven – Duke Ellington (LP: “Second Sacred Concert” Prestige P-24045)

Recorded 22 January 1968, New York City

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Jeff Castleman – bass; Sam Woodyard, Steve Little – drums; Alice Babs – vocal.


 

phil woods heaven

Heaven – Phil Woods (CD: “Heaven” Blackhawk BHK 5042)

Recorded 28/29 December 1984, Bearsville, New York

Phil Woods – clarinet, alto sax; Tom Harrell – trumpet; Hal Galper – piano; Steve Gilmore – bass; Bill Goodwin – drums.


 

Second_Sacred_Concert

Something About Believing – Duke Ellington (LP: “Second Sacred Concert” Prestige P-24045)

Recorded 19/20 February 1968, New York City

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Benny Green, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Jeff Castleman – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Tony Watkins, Devonne Gardner, Roscoe Gill, The Frank Parker Singers, unknown choir – vocal.


 

a meeting of the times

Something About Believing – Rahsaan Roland Kirk (LP:”A Meeting of the Times” Atlantic SD 1630)

Recorded 30 March 1972, New York City

Rahsaan Roland Kirk – tenor sax, manzello; Hank Jones – piano; Ron Carter – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums


 

piano reflections

Melancholia – Duke Ellington (CD:”Piano Reflections” Capitol C2-92863)

Recorded 13 April 1953, Los Angeles

Duke Ellington – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass.


 

Norah Jones

Don’t Miss You At All – Nora Jones (CD: “Feels Like Home” Blue Note 590952)

Released 2004

Norah Jones – vocal, piano.


 

Whitney

A Mural from Two Perspectives (CD: “Live at The Whitney” Impulse/GRP 173)

Recorded 10 April 1972, Whitney Museum, New York City

Duke Ellington – piano.


 

Don Byron

A Mural from Two Perspectives – Don Byron (CD: “Romance with the Unseen” Blue Note 4995452)

Recorded January-March 1999, Bearsville, New York

Don Byron – clarinet; Bill Frissell – guitar; Drew Gress -bass; Jack DeJohnette – drums.

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