The Complete Capitol Recordings Of Duke Ellington

(Out-of-print)

By Alan Goodman

“Ellington’s main Reprise period includes “Afro-Bossa” (1963), which ranks among the best albums he ever made. “The Symphonic Ellington” (1963) has considerable historical importance, presenting for the first time two large-scale works-“Night Creature” and “Harlem”-in their original scoring for jazz band and symphony orchestra. The rest of Ellington’s studio releases on Reprise feature consistently strong solo work, a generally high level of ensemble performance, imaginative arrangements (especially by Strayhorn), and superb sound.” – Mark Tucker, liner notes


 

DUKE ELLINGTON: IN HIS CENTENNIAL YEAR,

RECORDINGS FROM THE LATER STAGES OF HIS REMARKABLE CAREER.

Ever since we sold out our set of rare and neglected Capitol recordings by Duke Ellington, we’ve been searching for another collection of largely overlooked material from this extraordinary figure in the history of music. The kind of stuff that isn’t often mentioned in essential discographies but, once you’ve heard it, makes you wonder how it could have been forgotten.

We finally found what we were looking for.

In 1962, Ellington accepted an offer from Frank Sinatra to join his newly formed Reprise label. Sinatra had in mind a boutique label for Ellington that could present the incomparable Duke as an artist and a producer with full artistic freedom.

Diversity. And then some.

Ellington produced albums by Dollar Brand, Bud Powell and Alice Babs, but it was his own music of this period that would live on. And it includes a number of treasures, but the crown jewel is the famous Afro-Bossa album (“the exotic album” it was referred to on the original tape boxes), twelve pieces with a pan-Afro-Latin sensibility. Ellington used his tonal palette to full effect on this masterpiece. From Billy Strayhorn’s rich “Absinthe” to the Calypso undercurrent of “Purple Gazelle” to the “jungle band” high clarinets and growling brass of “Moonbow”, this is Ellington at his nost all-encompassing and best. Two trio medleys of this suite by Ellington are commercially issued here for the first time.

During the same sessions, the orchestra recorded two albums worth of signature tunes from the great big bands that were once Duke’s competition, all arranged from the unique Ellington/Strayhorn perspective. Ellington’s band with the symphonic orchestras of Milan, Paris, Stockholm and Hamburg explore important works like “Night Creature” and “Harlem” on “The Symphonic Ellington”. Ellington’s “jazz violin album” featuring Svend Asmussen, Stephane Grappelli and Ray Nance with members of the band was made during the same European tour.

Three studio albums (“Ellington ’65”, “Ellington ’66” and “Mary Poppins”) highlight the incredible arranging ability of Ellington and Strayhorn as they turn sow’s ears into silk purses with the considerable contributions of soloists Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney (the supreme saxophone section), Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson and Lawrence Brown and the creative drive of Sam Woodyard’s drums.

The Reprise era closes with “Concert In The Virgin Islands”, which is in fact a studio album of new compositions, old favorites and some wonderful blues. The album marked Ray Nance’s final appearances with the Ellington organization.

The diversity of the music, recorded from 1962 to 1965, is a testament to Ellington’s ability to hear a little more and a little better than most of us. It’s especially noteworthy that toward the end of the period covered by these recording and leading up to his death in 1974, Ellington was simultaneously writing and performing important liturgical scores, displaying yet another side of his deep need to experiment and explore.

You’ve never heard these songs like this.

The songs and settings included here are more proof of Ellington’s (and Billy Strayhorn’s) technique of writing for the individual performers within the band, giving their compositions and arrangements a quality that made them inimitable, even if others got hold of their charts. That’s especially apparent when you hear the more popular songs in this collection, songs you’ve heard thousands of times, but never like this.

The Complete Capitol Recordings Of Duke Ellington

Discography

DISCOGRAPHY

This discography includes only the original Capitol single (2000 and 3000 series) and LP issue numbers (H and T prefixes). Full issue numbers can be found in discographies specializing in Duke Ellington. When a performance has been issued only on unauthorized collectors’ LP, those numbers are marked with an asterisk. All Los Angeles sessions were done at Capitol Studios on Melrose Avenue. All Chicago sessions were done at Universal.
The recording dates and master numbers in our discography differs somewhat from that in existing discographies. All of this information has been thoroughly checked out using Capitol’s files and master tapes.
__________________________________________________________________
(A) Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Willie Cook (tp), Ray Nance (tp, vln), Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, Juan Tizol (tb), Russell Procope (as, cl), Rick Henderson (as), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts), Harry Carney (bari, b cl), Duke Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Butch Ballard (d), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
LA, April 6, 1953
11398-1 Satin Doll 2458, T795, T1602
11399-4 Without A Song vJG –
11400-7 Cocktails For Two H/T440
__________________________________________________________________
(B) same personnel as (A):
LA, April 7, 1953
11414-3 My Old Flame H/T440
11415-3 I Can’t Give You Anything But Love –
11416-3 Ain’t Nothin’ Nothin’
(Baby Without You) vJG 2503
11417-5 Stormy Weather H/T440
11418-8 Star Dust –
11419-6 Three Little Words –
11420-5 Orson T637
__________________________________________________________________
(C) same personnel as (A):
LA, April 9, 1953
11421-6 Boo-Dah 2598
11422-6 Blossom T679
11423-2 Ballin’ The Blues vJG 2503
11424-5 Warm Valley 2546, T1602
11406-9 Flamingo H/T440, T1602
11407-8 Bluejean Beguine 2546
11408-10 Liza H/T440
__________________________________________________________________
(D) Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Butch Pollard (d).
LA, April 13, 1953
11431-6 Who Knows H/T477
11432-1 Retrospection (omit d) –
11433-4 B Sharp Blues –
11434-3 Passion Flower –
11435-2 Dancers In Love –
11436-1 Reflections In D (omit d) –
11437-4 Melancholia (omit d) –
11438-2 Prelude To A Kiss –
all titles on B2-92863
note: B Sharp Blues also known as B Sharp Boston.
_________________________________________________________________
(E) same personnel as (D):
LA, April 14, 1953
11439-2 In A Sentimental Mood H/T477
11440-5 Things Ain’t What They Used To Be –
11441-3 All Too Soon –
11442-2 Janet –
all titles on B2-92863
__________________________________________________________________
(F) Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Willie Cook (tp), Ray Nance (tp, vln), Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, Juan Tizol (tb), Russell Procope (as, cl), Rick Henderson (as), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts), Harry Carney (bari, b cl), Duke Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Butch Ballard (d), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
Chicago, June 30, 1953
11620-4 Give Me The Right vJG 2598
11621-5 Is It A Sin? (My Loving You) vJG 2875
11622-6 Don’t Touch Me vJG unissued
11623-4 Basin Street Blues -1 *

-1 Nance (tp, vcl), Terry (tp), Jackson, Procope (cl), Ellington, Marshall, Ballard only.
_________________________________________________________________(G) same personnel as (F):
Chicago, July 1, 1953
11624-8 Big Drag T679
11625-10 Hear My Plea unissued
11626-3 Don’t Ever Say Goodbye *
11627-1 What More Can I Say? vJG unissued
_________________________________________________________________
(H) Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Dave Black (d), Ralph Collier (cga-1), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
NYC, December 3, 1953
20246-9 Kinda Dukish T637, B2-92863
20247-11 Montevideo -1 – –
20248-6 December Blue –
20249-2 I’m Just A Lucky So And So vJG *
20250-7 It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dream vJG *
note: Montevideo was mistakenly issued as Night Time on all issues until CD 92863. The original working title of Kinda Dukish was Entertainment Industry.
_________________________________________________________________
(I) Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Willie Cook (tp), Ray Nance (tp, vln), Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, George Jean (tb), Russell Procope (as, cl), Rick Henderson (as), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts), Harry Carney (bari, b cl), Duke Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Dave Black (d), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
NYC, December 5, 1953
20263-7 What More Can I Say? vJG *
20264-2 Rockin’ In Rhythm *
20265-1 Ultra Deluxe *
20266-3 Flying Home *
note: Many discographies list Butch Ballard as the drummer for this session, but it is definitely Dave Black.
________________________________________________________________
(J) Ray Nance (vln-1, vcl), Duke Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Dave Black (d), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
NYC, December 15, 1953
20275-7 Chile Bowl -1 unissued
20276-6 Blue Moon vJG -1 2723, Pickwick SPC3390
20277-1 Oh Well vJG unissued
20278-2 Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’ vRN Pickwick SPC3390
_________________________________________________________________
(K) Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Willie Cook (tp), Ray Nance (tp, vln, vcl), Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, Alfred Cobbs (tb), Russell Procope (as, cl), Rick Henderson (as), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts), Harry Carney (bari, b cl), Duke Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Dave Black (d), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
NYC, December 21, 1953
20287-5 Ultra Deluxe 2723
20288-5 Flying Home T521
20289-8 What More Can I Say? vJG Pickwick SPC3390
20290-6 Serious Serenade *
20291-5 Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’ vRN *
20292-7 Honeysuckle Rose T521
note: The original working titles for Serious Serenade were Apes and Peacocks and Barisol.
_________________________________________________________________
(L) Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Willie Cook (tp), Ray Nance (tp, vln), Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, George Jean (tb), Russell Procope (as, cl), Rick Henderson (as), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts), Harry Carney (bari, b cl), Duke Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Dave Black (d), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
Chicago, December 28, 1953
12247-10 Night Time unissued
12248-6 Stompin’ At The Savoy T521
note: The trio performance Montevideo (H) has until recently been mistakenly issued as Night Time. The actual piece, issued here for the first time, is a completely different composition.
________________________________________________________________
(M) same personnel as (L), except add Billy Strayhorn (p -1, celeste -2):
Chicago, December 29, 1953
12249-13 Don’t Ever Say Goodbye -1 T679
12250-2 Black And Tan Fantasy -2 T521
________________________________________________________________
(N) same personnel as (L):
Chicago, January 1, 1954
12251-12 Frivolous Banta T637
12252 In The Mood T521
________________________________________________________________
(O) same personnel as (L):
Chicago, January 2, 1954
12253-4 One O’Clock Jump T521
12254-3 Things Ain’t What They Used To Be T637
________________________________________________________________
(P) same personnel as (L):
Chicago, January 17, 1954
12309-4 Happy-Go-Lucky Local T521
12310-2 Rockin’ In Rhythm T521
12311-12 Falling Like A Raindrop -1 T679
-1 add Billy Strayhorn (p)
note: Some discographies claim that there were different issued takes of Rockin’ In Rhythm from this session on later Capitol LPs. But all issued takes are identical.
_________________________________________________________________
(Q) Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Willie Cook (tp), Ray Nance (tp, vln, vcl), Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, John Sanders (tb), Russell Procope (as, cl), Rick Henderson (as), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts), Harry Carney (bari, b cl), Duke Ellington (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Dave Black (d), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
San Francisco, April 26, 1954
12579-4 All Day Long 3049
12580-12 Bunny Hop Mambo -2 2875
12583-9 Isle Of Capri -1, -2 2817
12584-4 C-Jam Blues T637
12585-4 Band Call 2817
-1 add Gerald Wilson (tp)
-2 add Ralph Collier (cga)
_________________________________________________________________
(R) same personnel as (Q):
NYC, June 17, 1954
20402-1 Gonna Tan Your Hide T679
20403-4 It Don’t Mean A Thing vRN C2-28106
__________________________________________________________________
(S) same personnel as (Q):
LA, September 1, 1954
12992-10 Smile -1 2930
12993-13 Echo Tango 3049
12994-10 If I Give My Heart To You -1 2930
12995-6 Chile Bowl 2980
12996-3 Bakiff -1, -2 T637, T1602
-1 add Gerald Wilson (tp)
-2 add Ralph Collier (cga)
note: Echo Tango was originally titled Tyrolean Tango.
_______________________________________________________________
(T) same as (Q) except Oscar Pettiford (b) replaces Wendell Marshall:
Chicago, October 8, 1954
13090-4 Twelfth Street Rag Mambo -1 2980
13091-2 September Song vJG Pickwick SPC3390
13092-1 Caravan -1 T637, T1602
-1 add Frank Rollo (bgo)
_________________________________________________________________
(U) same as (Q) except Jimmy Woode (b) replaces Wendell Marshall:
Chicago, May 17, 1955
14094-1 La Virgen De La Macarena -1 unissued in full
14095-2 Harlem Air Shaft (alt tk) unissued
14095-5 Harlem Air Shaft T679
14096-4 Look What I’ve Got For You vJG *
14097-1 Commercial Time *
-1 add Gerald Wilson (tp)
note: La Virgen De La Macarena was edited to 2:27 on T679. This arrangement is by Gerald Wilson. Look What I’ve Got For You is arranged by Rick Henderson.
___________________________________________________________________
(V) same personnel as (U):
Chicago, May 18, 1955
14098-5 Clarinet Melodrama T679
14099-4 Theme For Trambean T679
14100-4 Coquette vJG -1 Pickwick SPC3390
14101-1 Serious Serenade T679
14304-2 Body And Soul *
-1 Ellington plays electric piano
__________________________________________________________________
(W) Russell Procope (cl, as), Ray Nance (tp), Quentin Jackson (tb), Duke Ellington (elec p), Jimmy Woode (b), Dave Black (d), Jimmy Grissom (vcl).
Chicago, May 19, 1955
14102-7 Discontented Blues unissued
14103-10 Once In A Blue Mood *
14104-7 Lady Be Good vJG Pickwick SPC3390
14105-9 So Long vJG *
__________________________________________________________________
Album Index
H/T440 Premiered By Ellington
H/T477 The Duke Plays Ellington
T521 Ellington ’55
T637 Dance to the Duke
T679 Ellington Showcase
T1602 The Best of Duke Ellington
B2-92863 (CD) Piano Reflections
C2-28106 (CD) Capitol Sings Duke Ellington (various artists)

Original sessions produced by Dave Dexter
Reissue produced by Michael Cuscuna
Executive producer: Charlie Lourie

Recorded in mono.

All photographs taken at the September 1, 1954 session and courtesy of Capitol Photo Archives unless otherwise noted.

Design direction: Richard Mantel
Design production: InkWell, Inc.

Masters courtesy of Blue Note Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc under license from CEMA Special Markets.
(p in a circle)1995 CEMA Special Markets. Product of CEMA Special Markets, a subsidiary of Capitol-EMI Music, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.
(c in a circle)1995 Mosaic Records, Inc. All rights reserved.

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