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Full blast at the Hurricane!
We follow up our series with unissued Ellington broadcasts from the Hurricane Restaurant in 1943 with two more.
They are from the end of Ellington’s tenure there. Both are from September 1943. Ellington and the band were to leave the Hurricane that month, playing their last gig on September 23. However, they would come back on March 30, 1944 for a longer stay.
The first broadcast that we present is of unknown origin (DE4356) and with a rather low sound quality. It is however of interest for the fact that a compositition by Wallace Jones is used, Until It Happened To You (Me) and also for nice bass plying by Junior Raglin on Jack The Bear. We can also hear one of the first recordings of On The Sunny Side Of The Street with solos by Johnny Hodges and Lawrence Brown. (more…)
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.