Category Archives: podcast

Portrait of Joya Sherrill (Podcast #20-006)

Joya Sherrill was a featured vocalist with the Ellington orchestra from 1944 to 1946, but returned periodically in subsequent years. One of Ellington’s best vocalists, she deserves wider recognition. Continue reading

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Portrait of Juan Tizol (Podcast #20-005)

Valve trombonist Juan Tizol (1900-84) was an important member of the Ellington band. Besides instrumental duties, he was a composer, arranger and copyist.

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New (and temporary) schedule for Ellington Reflections

Due to time limitations and a manuscript deadline, Ellington Reflections will be monthly until the end of the year. The next episode will be out on May 30th. Thanks for your continued support!

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Portrait of Sam Woodyard (Podcast #20-004)

“Sometimes we would write something that seemed or was expected to be below bland, but when Sam added his thing to it, immediately it took on a new dimension, exotic, zesty, or maybe lecherous soul. Sam the Man, who began … Continue reading

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Variations on a Theme Song (Podcast #20-003)

Billy Strayhorn wrote “Take the “A” Train,” which became the band’s theme song in 1941. We survey a number of diverse treatments from a thirty year period. Continue reading

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Portrait of Rex Stewart, Part II (Podcast #20-002)

Rex Stewart played cornet in the Ellington and from 1934-45. Part II of a look at Stewart’s work with the band and the years beyond. Continue reading

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Portrait of Rex Stewart, Part I (Podcast #20-001)

Rex Stewart played cornet in the Ellington and from 1934-45. Part I of a look at Stewart’s work with the band. Continue reading

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Beyond the “Usual Suspects” once more (Podcast #19-021)

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 … Continue reading

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Duke Ellington’s Wordless Melodies for the Soprano (Podcast #19-020)

Dr. Lisa M. Clark’s thesis, Synchrony of the Sublime: A Performer ‘s Guide to Duke Ellington’s Wordless Melodies for Soprano can be found here Adelaide Hall [1901-1993] “The Victor recording of Creole Love Call introduces a device which Ellington was … Continue reading

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Beyond the “Usual Suspects” [Again] (Podcast #19-019)

More covers of Ellington compositions that deserve wider exposure. Continue reading

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“Rabbit’s Blues” – A Conversation with Johnny Hodges biographer Con Chapman (Podcast #19-018)

Con Chapman discusses his new biography of Johnny Hodges. Continue reading

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Portrait of Jimmie Blanton (Podcast #19-017)

During his short, illness terminated stint with the Ellington band, Jimmie Blanton revolutionized the role of the bass. Continue reading

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Ellingtonian Geography (Podcast #19-016)

Geographically titled songs by Ellington and his associates. Continue reading

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The Treasury Shows, Pt. V (Podcast #19-015)

This is the last part of our look at the 25 double CD set of Storyville’s Treasury Show series…. Continue reading

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Portrait of Lawrence Brown, Pt. II (Podcast #19-014)

Lawrence Brown (1907-88) was a major voice in the Ellington orchestra. He played with Duke for 29 years, longer than any other trombonist in the orchestra. Continue reading

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Portrait of Lawrence Brown, Pt. I (Podcast #19-013)

Lawrence Brown (1907-88) was a major voice in the Ellington orchestra. He played with Duke for 29 years, longer than any other trombonist in the orchestra. Continue reading

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The Treasury Shows, Pt. IV (Podcast #19-012)

A few selections from Volumes 16 thru 20 of Duke’s Treasury Shows…. Continue reading

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Old Wine and New Bottles (Podcast #19-011)

Ellington never liked to set his compositions in stone. Here’s a few examples of how he would re-visit older works…
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Portrait of Otto Hardwicke (Podcast #19-010)

Reedman Otto “Toby” Hardwicke was one of the earliest Ellingtonians. Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Duke! (Podcast #19-009)

A belated podcast celebrating the 120th anniversary of Duke Ellington’s birth and the 2 anniversary of Ellington Reflections!
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Portrait of Bubber Miley (Podcast #19-008)

“Bubber Miley was from the body and soul of Soulville. He was raised on soul and saturated and marinated in soul. Every note he played was soul filled with the pulse of compulsion….. Bubber was born in South Carolina, but … Continue reading

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Portrait of Fred Guy (Podcast #19-007)

Fred Guy played banjo and guitar in the Ellington Orchestra from 1925 to 1949. Continue reading

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The Treasury Shows, Pt. III (Podcast #19-006)

Continuing our exploration of Duke’s radio broadcasts on behalf of the US Treasury Department.
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Duke Ellington, Raconteur Extraordinaire (Podcast #19-005)

Duke Ellington was an extraordinary master of ceremonies who reveled in the spoken word….
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The Treasury Shows, Pt. II (Podcast #19-004)

A look at some of the music on Volumes 6 through 10 of Storyville Records’ release of the Duke Ellington Treasury Series radio shows.
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And Now For Something Completely Different…. (Podcast #19-003)

Ellington playing the electric piano, Billy Strayhorn on harpsichord and the 1932 band in stereo are just some of the different items you’ll hear from the Ellington oeuvre.
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Portrait of Johnny Hodges, Pt. III (Podcast #19-002)

A sample of the many Ellington/Strayhorn compositions that featured the sublime alto sax of Johnny Hodges from his return to the orchestra in 1955 until his death in 1970.
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Portrait of Johnny Hodges, Pt. II (Podcast #19-001)

A look at some of the outside projects done by Johnny Hodges during his second tenure with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
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Portrait of Johnny Hodges, Pt. I (Podcast #18-020)

Johnny Hodges one of the most unique voices in jazz, graced the Ellington band for almost 40 years.
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The Treasury Shows, Pt. I (Podcast #18-019)

A look at the first 5 volumes of the 25 volume set of Duke Ellington’s Treasury Shows released by Storyville Records. Continue reading

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Tiger Rag & its Ellington Contrafacts (Podcast #18-018)

Tiger Rag provided Ellington with composition material for many years Continue reading

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Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald (Podcast #18-017)

A look at the magical teaming of Duke and Ella….
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Sittin’ In, Part II (Podcast #18-016)

Another set of visitors to the Ellington universe – Django Reinhardt, Don Byas, Rosemary Clooney and more!
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The Ellington Greatest Hits Medley (Podcast #18-015)

“We’d like to remind you that you’re very beautiful, very sweet, very gracious, very generous and we do love you madly.” -Duke Ellington The recordings heard on this podcast episode:   Medley/Ellington Final Speech (CD: “Duke Ellington’s 70th Birthday Concert” Solid … Continue reading

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Portrait of Louis Armstrong (Podcast #18-014)

If there were a Mount Rushmore for American Music, Ellington and Armstrong would be guaranteed members. Here we highlight their collaborations. Continue reading

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Piano In the Foreground, II (Podcast #18-013)

Piano solo, duet and trio interpretations of Ellington compositions by Duke and others….
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Portrait of Al Hibbler (Podcast #18-012)

Al Hibbler was with the Ellington band from 1943 to 1951. Continue reading

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Beyond the Valley of the Usual Suspects (Podcast #18-011)

Another sampling of rarely covered Ellington compositions….
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Portrait of Ivie Anderson (Podcast #18-010)

Ivie Anderson was Duke’s first full time singer and was perhaps his best vocalist. Continue reading

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Where to Start? (Podcast #18-009)

These four CD sets are a great start to a Duke Ellington collection at a reasonable price. Continue reading

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The Symphonic Ellington (Podcast #18-008)

Borrowing the title of a 1963 album to survey a few of Ellington’s recordings with symphony orchestras.
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Portrait of Sonny Greer (Podcast #18-007)

William Alexander “Sonny” Greer was the Ellington band’s first drummer; his tenure was from 1923-51.
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Beyond the Usual Suspects, Again (Podcast #18-006)

Another survey of Ellington covers – beyond those you usually hear. Continue reading

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

This episode focuses on the violin of the multi-talented Ray Nance…
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Sittin’ In (Podcast #18-004)

Over a half century, Ellington crossed paths with many illustrious musicians….
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Portrait of Ben Webster, Pt. II (Podcast #18-003)

A look at the music of Ben Webster after his tenure with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Continue reading

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

The addition of Ben Webster in 1940 permanently brought Ellington’s saxophone section to five members. But Webster’s tenor voice was to impact the band far beyond his four year tenure. Continue reading

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

Featuring rarely covered Ellington compositions Continue reading

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Season’s Greetings! (Podcast #17-017)

Happy Holidays from Ellington Reflections! We will return with new bi-weekly episodes on 20 January 2018.. Continue reading

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The Cinematic Ellington (Podcast #17-016)

A survey of Duke Ellington’s film appearances and soundtracks. Continue reading

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The River (Podcast #17-015)

Ellington was commissioned
by the American Ballet Theatre to write a ballet, which became “The River” in 1970.
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Reflections from the Avant Garde (Podcast #17-014)

Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp and others interpret Ellington’s music. Continue reading

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Ellington & 100 years of Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie (Podcast #17-013)

Celebrating the 100th birth anniversaries of Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie through their connections with Duke Ellington. Continue reading

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Portrait of Barney Bigard (Podcast #17-012)

New Orleanian Barney Bigard joined the Ellington band in December 1927 and left in 1942 after tiring of life on the road. Continue reading

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When Cootie Left the Duke, Pt. III (Podcast #17-011)

Cootie disbanded his big band in 1947. This episode covers the period of 1947 up until 1962, the year Cootie rejoined Ellington.
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When Cootie Left the Duke, Pt. II (Podcast #17-010)

Cootie Williams starts his own big band after a year long stint with Benny Goodman.
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When Cootie Left the Duke, Pt. I (Podcast #17-009)

After 11 years with Duke Ellington, Cootie Williams leaves to join Benny Goodman. Continue reading

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Piano in the Foreground (Podcast #17-008)

We feature piano versions of Ellington’s music, by the Maestro himself and other giants like Hines, Tyner, Waller, Tatum and others…. Continue reading

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Reflections on “The Far East Suite” (Podcast #17-007)

Examining different interpretations of Ellington’s Far East Suite Continue reading

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Portrait of Mahalia Jackson (Podcast #17-006)

Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and the Ellington orchestra meet in 1958.
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Harlem (Podcast #17-005)

Duke Ellington lived in Harlem and celebrated the city and the people in song. Continue reading

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“Take A Train” (Podcast #17-004)

Trains were a preferred mode of transportation for Duke Ellington and he captured their essence in several great compositions. Continue reading

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Portrait of Clark Terry (Podcast #17-003)

Trumpet virtuoso and flugelhorn pioneer Clark Terry was a featured soloist with the Ellington band from 1951-1959 Continue reading

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Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue (Podcast #17-002)

Duke Ellington’s career is given a boost by the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival by a spirited performance of
a pair of vintage compositions. Continue reading

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Introduction (Podcast #17-001)

An overview of the format of the “Ellington Reflections” podcast series. Continue reading

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