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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