Duke Ellington

1949-1950

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With the end of the 1948 recording strike, Duke Ellington's orchestra appeared on record for the first time in 22 months on November 1, 1949. The classic band was still largely intact (although Al Sears had departed and the trumpet section was a bit weaker than earlier), but its label (Columbia) was clearly hoping for some new hits. This collection has some unusual pieces along the way, including "Joog, Joog" and "The Piano Roll Blues," but there is an excellent four-song date featuring former Ellington sideman Oscar Pettiford on cello. Oddest of all is a September 21, 1950, date that mixes together Ellington, altoist Johnny Hodges, baritonist Harry Carney, and bassist Wendell Marshall with boppish trumpeter Red Rodney, drummer Max Roach, and a variety of vocalists (Chubby Kemp, Sarah Ford, and Al Hibbler). Some of this material was formerly quite rare and, although it is not essential, Ellington completists may be particularly interested in this CD.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:56
2 2:57
3 2:43
4 2:49
5 3:00
6 3:00
7 3:05
8 2:44
9 2:54
10 2:50
11 3:03
12 2:59
13 2:22
14 2:33
15 2:48
16 2:44
17 2:53
18 2:49
19 2:17
20 2:16
21 2:50
22 2:18
23 2:44
blue highlight denotes track pick