Britt Woodman plays Theme For Trambean
We continue with some more music from the Ellington dance date att Trianon Ballroom on May 1, 1954 in Seattle for th Goodies Room. We start where we ended previously with In The Mood since that performance was not fully complete. Soloists are: Clark Terry, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton and Ray Nance. Ultra Deluxe, which comes next and is written by Mercer Ellington, is a fine piece of Ellingtonia, which unfortunately did not stay in the reportoire for very long. It has solos by Harry Carney, Jimmy Hamilton, Ray Nance and Paul Gonsalves. The rest of this particular session is dedicated to solo performances by Rick Henderson, Britt Woodman, Ray Nance, Harry Carney and Jimmy Hamilton.
Alto saxophonist Rick Henderson, who had replaced Hilton Jefferson in March 1953, was obviously influenced by Charlie Parker, and had been given All The Things You Are as his solo vehicle within the Ellington orchestra. His boppish style of playing did perhaps not mix so well with the Ellington band’s style of playing, but his performance here is enjoyable. He stayed on the with band until Johnny Hodges returned in late 1955.
Theme For Trambean, attributed to Duke Ellington and Jimmy Hamilton, was obviously written as a solo piece for Britt Woodman, who here is given an opportunity to show off his technical skills on his instrument. He was a member of the band from 1951 to 1960.
Satin Doll needs no presentation. Originally it was attributed to Ellington only, but now it is known that Billy Strayhorn also contributed, as well as Johnny Mercer who wrote the lyrics. Ray Nance is the soloist on trumpet.
Serious Serenade also had a short tenure in the band book. It is dominated by Harry Carney’s powerful baritone saxophone and is typical for Carney’s interpretation of slow ballads.
Jimmy Hamilton may have been the technically most advanced clarinet player of the big band era, modernist, but with his roots in the swing era. Honeysuckle Rose gives him plenty of room to show his greatness. He is not so frequently featured as a tenor soloist, but when he is, his style is quite different to his clarinet playing.