Tag Archives: Billy Strayhorn

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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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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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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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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Introduction (Podcast #17-001)

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

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