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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