Willie Smith and Harold Baker are soloing in Sophisticated Lady
To complete our series of broadcasts from the Meadowbrook in New Jersey, we can now present to the DESS members, in the Goodies Room, the final recording from this venue. For this event, discographies do not specify the exact date, only June 1951. According to the New DESOR, it was once issued on VOA POD-41/POD-42, but the exact circumstances are not known. VOA stands for Voice Of America, so this music was probably sent over its own network.
Like all previous recordings from Meadowbrook in June 1951, this one also comes from an MBS broadcast. The following numbers were played:
All Day Long*Sophisticated Lady*The Hawk Talks*Midriff*Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’*Caravan
Unfortunately, the sound quality is not the best, but the music is great. All Day Long is a Strayhorn original and strictly instrumental, introduced during Ellington’s stay at the Meadowbrook. Sophisticated Lady, which can be played above, includes solos by Willie Smith and Shorty Baker. The latter had a trumpet sound that is virtually unimitable. The Hawk Talks, by now firmly added to the bands “book” is followed by one of Strayhorns most famous compostitions, Midriff, which had been introduced in 1943. Strayhorn is also, at least partly, responsible for the next title, Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’, for which he shares credits with Duke and Lee Gaines. This tune was an instrumental until Ray Nance was featured with his singing from 1946. The last tune we will hear from Meadowbrook is Caravan, with the composer, Juan Tizol, in the main role.
Farewell Meadowbrook, we are now off to Birdland, later in June 1951