The 14th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the third “Goodie” for the month of March.
As usual, it is available in the “Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).
It was broadcasted on March 1, 1985 and this time the program presenter is Erik Wiedeman.
The broadcast starts with three songs recorded at a stockpile session in Las Vegas on January 7, 1970 by a small group drawn from the band. Duke and the band had had a two-week engagement at Caesar’s Palace over the Christmas and New Year seasons and was on the way to the Far East for a six-week long tour.
The three songs – Tippying-toeing Through The Jungle, The Kissing Mist and Rocochet (aka Noon Mooning) – are all credited to Ellington but at least Tippytoeing Through The Jungle smacks a lot of Wild Bill Davis. Paul Gonsalves solos on all three, Lawrence Brown on the first two and Willie Cook on the first one. The Kissing Mist is one of the two songs from the session that has not been issued on LP or CD so far.
The broadcast then continues with excerpts from another stockpile session almost one and a half year later or on June 28, 1971 – this time with the full orchestra. The broadcast brings us early versions of two of the movements of what was later to be known as Togo Brava Suite – Mkis (aka Soul Soothing Beach) and Yogo (aka Naturellement) – together with Tego which Ellington considered to be part of the Afro-Eurasian Eclipse suite.
It ends with two songs – In A Mellotone and Happy Reunion – from the intimate session on June 24, 1958 in Chicago when Duke sat down with Paul Gonsalves to give him ample space to show his talents. Jimmy Woode and Sam Woodyard form the rest of the rhythm section. The session is the first known performance of Happy Reunion.