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Storyville has now issued volume 24 in “The Treasury Shows” series. It is the next to last in the series and it represents a jump of seven years from the broadcasts in volume 23.
It is a very different orchestra from the one heard in the 1946 broadcasts and the world has changed a lot around Ellington and big band music.
By 1953, Ellington is the only big band leader, who has not disbanded his orchestra since the start and the year before, Downboat Magazine gave the Duke a special recognition for this.
The album offers four June 1953 broadcasts from Blue Note in Chicago and an April 1, 1944 broadcast from Hurricane Restaurant in New York. The Blue Note broadcasts were originally issued as volume 47 and 48 in the DETS LP series.
They demonstrate very well the energy and skills of the rejuvenated Ellington orchestra. I hope that those who consider the early 1950s a disastrous period in Ellington’s career take time to enjoy what the newcomers to the band like Clark Terry, Willie Cook, Britt Woodman, Paul Gonsalves and others brought to it.
For the first time in the DETS series, two of the broadcasts have no U.S. Government bond promotion whatsoever. Both were apparently transmitted in the “Music For Modern” series, which was one of NBCs programs for jazz and big band music.
By the time the broadcasts took place, Ellington had made his first recordings for Capitol. In the absence of bond promotion, he took ample time to promote them.
When Storyville’s DETS series comes to its end with volume 25, Storyville has achieved something incredible for which it must be highly lauded by the Ellington and other jazz fans.
The Blue Note, one of Chicago’s premiere jazz clubs during the 1950s, showcased nationally renowned musicians as regular acts, including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman. Duke Ellington and his orchestra played there many times during the 1950’ies and it seems they were a very popular choice for New Year’s celebrations. We wish the DESS members a Happy New Year by uploading a CBS broadcast with Duke and the boys from 31 December 1956 which you’ll find in the Goodies Room. When you play this music on New Year’s Eve, 60 years have passed since it was recorded, but it still feels surprisingly fresh. The repertoire played here is probably typical for an event like this.
After the Theme & intro, Blue Skies is played, and Ellington’s version of this ever-green is also known as Trumpet No End, originally arranged by Mary-Lou Williams. This is one of the last known recordings of this tune, which was often played throughout the 1940’ies. In quick succession, we hear Sophisticated Lady, Caravan, Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me and Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, before the broadcast ends with Mood Indigo.
We hope you enjoy the music and wish you a Happy New Year!
Anders & Ulf