Basin Street East was for some years in the 1960s one of the famous jazz clubs in New York. It was located in midtown Manhattan in the Shelton Towers Hotel at 525 Lexington Avenue.
It was quite a singers place. Peggy Lee, Billy Eckstine and Barbra Streisand appeared and recorded there.
Ellington’s first gig at Basin Street East was from 4 to 20 December 1961. It was his first night club residency in 5 years (TDWAW – http://tdwaw.ca).
After this he appeared regularly at the club until the mid-1960s.
In 1964, Ellington had an engagement there from 9 to 18 December (possibly longer) and on 14 January WNEW broadcasted from there with William B Williams as host.
Williams was with WNEW for more than four decades and was in the 50’s one of the DJs at the station in the 50’s who “helped define the “Middle of the Road” (MOR) musical character of WNEW.
During Ellington’s visit to England later in the year, the program was rebroadcasted by BBC in the famous Jazz Club program. By that time, Humphrey Lyttleton was the presenter.
Here is his introduction.
Even if the broadcast from Basin Street East is strictly not a goodie since it is available on CD (Music & Arts 908), we offer it in the Goodies Room to DESS members to enjoy during the last month of the summer. It is digitised from a 50 years old tape in the Benny Åslund (aka Benny Aaslund) so the sound is not hifi but quite acceptable. The concluding East St Louis Toodle-oo
As usual, we appreciate comments and corrections.
Author: Ulf Lundin