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Ellington spent a lot of time in Europe in 1963, both in the early Spring and in the summer. It is well-documented both by CDs and on tapes circulating among collectors. In November, the website added to this by making available to DESS-members both the Indigo telecast with Ellington and Alice Babs and the alternative takes from Duke’s recording session for Reprise with Babs in Paris.
After having started the European tour in United Kingdom, Ellington and band went to Paris for a recording session and three concerts at Olympia in Paris on February 1 and 2. At the end of the tour, he was back in Paris for, among other things, another two concerts at Olympia on February 23. The ”Great Paris Concert” album originally issued on Atlantic extracted from concerts on the three dates.
The French Ellington society – Maison de Duke – has added to this by issuing a CD with selections from both the concerts on February 23. It includes 6 tracks from the first concert and 7 from the second and most of them are true highlights.. Some of them are alternative takes to those available on ”Great Paris Concert” like ””A Tone Parallell to Harlem” and ”New Concerto for Cootie”.
The CD comes with a booklet written by Claude Carrière, which is thorough and enlightening in his usual detailed style. And with CD, the liner notes are available in English as well.
Hotel Sherman CD
The Ellington specialist and discographer Brian Koller reports that the correct discographical information for track 23 and 24 of the CD is:
Track 23, Maybe, is DE4028xa instead of DE4024b
Track 24, Harlem Air Shaft, is DE4028f instead of DE4024f
He refers to the NDESOR correction sheet 1080 available at http://www.depanorama.net/desor/1018.pdf. The sheet is also available in the website’s Ellington Archive.
New CD from Maison du Duke
Maison du Duke has issued a new Ellington CD – ”The Great 1963 Paris Concert – Unissued Material”. However, it is only available to members of MdD.
Chocolate Kiddies and Jig Walk
The Swedish discographer Björn Englund published an article on Chocolate Kiddies in Storyville issue 62 with information on all the recordings of Jig Walk. With his permission, the article is available in the Ellington Archive/Artiklar/Jig Walk
Ellington ended the extensive European tour in January-February 1963 with taking on his role as artistic director of Reprise Records. He did so by supervising five recording sessions in Paris. One of them featured Svend Asmussen together with Stephan Grappeli and Ray Nance.
The result was only issued in 1976 by Atlantic Records. There are also some CD issues and the best in terms of sound is the one issued by Mosaic Records.
Tapes with the complete recording session, which took place February 22, 1963, has long circulated between collectors but now La Maison de Duke has taken the step to issue a CD with almost all the takes of the session.
Thanks to this, one can both enjoy the music on the original LP and get an insight into the creative process between an extraordinary group of musicians and how Ellington guided them to get the result he wanted. Asmussen is of course at the center but there is also good playing by in particular Stephan Grappelli.
The CD comes with a booklet written by Claude Carrière, which is thorough and enlightening in his usual detailed style. Unfortunately it is only in French.
The CD is a must for friends of Ellington, Svend Asmussen and violin jazz. However, it is only available to members of La Maison de Duke but a membership is equal to the price of a quality CD.