Vol. 10 in the Masters of Jazz label's complete works of Duke Ellington contains 24 sides recorded between April 3 and June 12, 1930. This exacting survey includes all of the known alternate takes, and is therefore recommended for those who wish to study the 1930 Ellington Orchestra up close in detail, savoring each record, issued or unissued, well-known or obscure. If all you want are the master takes, you have numerous other reissue options, such as the well-documented Classics Chronological Series. The original 78 rpm records were issued under the names of the Jungle Band, Mills' Ten Black Berries, the Harlem Hot Chocolates and Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra. Although by the spring of 1930 Bubber Miley had left the band, cardinal players who would define the Ellington sound during the '30s are present. They include trumpeters Cootie Williams, Arthur Whetsol and Freddy Jenkins; trombonists Joe Tricky Sam Nanton and Juan Tizol; and reedmen Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard and Harry Carney. Duke's little rhythm section consisted of banjoist Fred Guy, string bassist Wellman Braud and drummer Sonny Greer. Cornell Smelser takes a nifty piano-accordion solo on "Accordion Joe" which has a vocal by Dick Robertson. The other Caucasian pop singer heard on this collection went by the name of Frank Marvin.
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AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
feat: Mills' Ten Black Berries