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!
The recordings heard on this podcast episode:
The Sergeant Was Shy (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)
Recorded 28 August 1939, Boston
Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.
The Sergeant Was Shy (CD: “The Gene Krupa Story” Properbox 1)
Recorded 1 July 1940, New York City
Edward “Corky”Cornelius, Torg Halten, Rudy Novack, Shorty Sherock – trumpet; Sid Brantley, Al Jordan, Jay Kelliher, Floyd O’Brien, Babe Wagner – trombone; Tony D’Adario – piano; Ray Biondi – guitar; Biddy Bastien – bass; Gene Krupa – drums.
Love Is In My Heart (CD:”The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion and Okeh Small Group Sessions” Mosaic Records #235)
Recorded 7 July 1937, New York City
Rex Stewart and his 52nd Street Stompers: Rex Stewart – cornet; Freddy Jenkins – trumpet; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Harry Carney – baritone sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Brick Fleagle – guitar; Hayes Alvis – bass; Jack Maisel – drums.
Love Is In My Heart (CD: “The Gene Krupa Story” Properbox 1)
Recorded 20 February 1946, New York City
Red Rodney, Joe Triscari, Vince Hughes, Jimmy Millazzio – trumpet; Harry Terrill, Charlie Kennedy – alto sax; Charlie Ventura, Buddy Wise – tenor sax; Joe Koch – baritone sax; Teddy Napoleon – piano; Mike Triscari – guitar; Irv Lang – bass; Gene Krupa – drums.
Orson (CD: “The Complete Capitol Recordings of Duke Ellington” Mosaic Records MD5-160)
Recorded 7 April 1953, Los Angeles
Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Ray Nance – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, Juan Tizol – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Rick Henderson, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Butch Ballard – drums.
Orson (LP: “Ellington is Forever, Volume 2” Fantasy F-79008)
Recorded November/December 1975, Berkeley, California
Jimmy Jones – piano.
Happy Anatomy (CD: “Anatomy of a Murder” Columbia/Legacy CK 65569)
Recorded early June 1959 in Los Angeles
Ray Nance – trumpet; Jimmy Hamilton – tenor sax and clarinet; Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Jimmy Johnson – drums.
Happy Anatomy (CD: “Jon Hendricks & Lambert, Hendricks & Ross Four Classic Albums” Avid Jazz AMSC1342)
Recorded May/June 1960
Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross – vocal; Gildo Mahones – piano; Ike Isaacs – bass; Jimmy Wornsworth – drums.
Cop Out (CD: “All Star Road Band” Doctor Jazz WGK 39137)
Recorded 22 June 1957, Carroltown, PA
Willie Cook, Harold Baker, Clark Terry, Ray Nance – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Joe Benjamin – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.
Cop Out (CD: “Across the Tracks” Concord Jazz CCD-30388)
Recorded 18 & 19 June 2007, New Jersey
Scott Hamilton – tenor sax; Gene Ludwig – organ; Duke Robillard – guitar; Chuck Riggs – drums.
Happy-Go-Lucky Local (CD: “Ellington ’55” EMI Music Distribution 0688827)
Recorded 17 January 1954, Chicago
Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Ray Nance, Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, George Jean – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Rick Henderson, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Dave Black – drums.
Happy-Go-Lucky Local (CD: “Rex Stewart & The Henri Chaix Orchestra – Baden 1966 and Montreux 1971” Sackville Records SKCD-2061)
Recorded 12 June 1966, Baden, Switzerland
Rex Stewart – cornet; Jo Gagliardi – trumpet; Andre Faist – trombone; Roger Zufferey – alto sax; Michel Pilet – tenor sax; Henri Chaix – piano; Alian Du Bois – guitar; Georges Furrer – bass; Romano Cavicchiolo – drums.
— Our closing music—-
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.