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A recording session in 1947 with Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

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Duke Ellington in a Columbia recording studio

Chester Crumpler sings Maybe I Should Change My Ways

Ellington made the last recordings of the RCA-Victor period in September 1946 and after some recordings for Musicraft in the end of that year, he signed a contract with Columbia which resulted in several studio dates, the first of which materialized on August 14, 1947 in Hollywood. In the Goodies Room members will find all the recorded material from this session, complete with alternative and breakdown takes. Four different numbers were recorded at that date: H’ya Sue, Lady Of The Lavender Mist, Women, Women, Women, and Maybe I Should Change My Ways

The first tune to be recorded is Ellington’s own tune H’ya Sue. This is its first ever appearance . The session starts with a rehearsal take and after that we can hear an aborted take (both issued on Up-To-Date 2002), which follows by the issued Columbia take. Solos are played by Tyree Glenn, Ray Nance, Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington. H’ya Sue was played quite frequently during a 15-year period from 1947 to 1962

The next number from this session is Lady Of The Lavender Mist, also a first and an Ellington composition. The first take is the Columbia issued take, followed by a longer, but aborted take and a short breakdown take. The fourth attempt has been issued on Up-To-Date 2002. Solos by Jimmy Hamilton, Harry Carney and Lawrence Brown.

Women, Women, Women was the result of a cooperation between Duke and Lyrics writer John Latouche, and was only played during this occasion. Ray Nace sings and plays the trumpet and we can also hear Johnny Hodges  and Dud Bascombe play solos. We first hear a take issued on Up-To-Date 2002 and after that the Columbia issued take.

Maybe I Should Change My Ways starts with two short aborted takes followed by the Up-To-Date 2002 (now difficult to find) issued take. It is quite unique in that Chester Crumpler, who was Ellington’s boy singer for a very short period in July-August 1947, here takes part in his only studio recording with the band. This tune was featured sparsely in the end of the 1940ies, but this is the only vocal version. Subsequent recordings have Lawrence Brown and Ray Nance (on violin) as soloists.

We hope you will enjoy listening to this. Maybe something for a completist?


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