Portrait of Russell Procope, Part I (Podcast #22-006)

“Russell Procope…. a man of dignity and gentility, of clean and gentlemanly appearance. What is more, he became a conscientious, all-around musician, one always to be depended on.”

Duke Ellington, Music is my Mistress

This documentary features interviews of Russell Procope and Cootie Williams

For the Duke Ellington Society of Sweden’s 2021 Ellington Conference, clarinetist Samantha Wright presented an excellent lecture on Duke’s clarinet players. Find it here.

russell procope draft card

russell procope draft card back

Russell Procope’s World War II draft registration card.

Thesis Cover

Dr. Tom Reed’s thesis Jimmy Hamilton and Russell Procope : the clarinet soloists of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1943-1974 can be found here.

The recordings heard on this podcast episode:


Deep Creek (CD: Jelly Roll Morton, “The Pearls,” Bluebird 6588-2-RB)

Recorded 6 December 1928, New York City

Jelly Roll Morton – piano; Ed Anderson, Edwin Swayze – trumpet; William Cato – trombone, Russell Procope – clarinet, Paul Barnes – soprano sax, Joe Garland – tenor sax; Lee Blair – banjo; Bass Moore – tuba; Manzie Johnson – drums.


Echoes of Harlem (CD: “The Savory Collection: 1935-1940” Mosaic Records MD6-266)

Recorded 2 June 1940, New York City

Charlie Shavers – trumpet, Buster Bailey – clarinet, Russell Procope – alto sax, Billy Kyle – piano, John Kirby – bass, O’Neil Spencer – drums. Canada Lee – narration.

R-9363888-1479291108-4216Honeysuckle Rose/Perdido (CD: “The Treasury Shows, Volume 14” Storyville 903 9014)

Recorded 20 October 1945, New York City

Cat Anderson, Shelton Hemphill, Taft Jordan – trumpet; Rex Stewart – cornet; Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones, Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton – trombone; Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke – alto sax; Al Sears, Jimmy Hamilton – tenor sax; Harry Carney – baritone sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jr. Raglin – bass; Big Sid Catlett – drums.

0050764dMood Indigo/In A Mellotone (CD: ““Mingus chez Duke – Bandbox, New York 1953” Maison du Duke MDD 010)

Recorded 4 February 1953, The Band Box, New York City

Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Ray Nance – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, Juan Tizol – trombones; Hilton Jefferson – alto sax; Russell Procope – alto sax, clarinet; Jimmy Hamilton, Tony Scott – tenor sax; Harry Carney – baritone sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Charles Mingus – bass; Louie Bellson – drums.

1947Before My Time (from The Controversial Suite) (LP: “The Complete Duke Ellington 1947-1952” (French) CBS 66607)

Recorded 11 December 1951, New York City

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


Indian Summer (CD: “Ellington ’56” Affinity CD CHARLY 20)

Recorded 7/8 February 1956, Chicago

Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Ray Nance – trumpet; Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope – alto sax; Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves – tenor sax; Harry Carney – baritone sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


Mood Indigo/Solitude (LP: “The Persuasive Sax of Russ Procope” Dot Records DLP-3010)

Recorded 1956

Russell Procope – alto sax; Paul Jordan – piano; Earl Backus – guitar; Remo Biondi – rhythm guitar; Mel Schmidt – bass; Frank Rullo – 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.

This entry was posted in podcast. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s