Duke Ellington

Live at Click Restaurant Philadelphia 1949, Vol. 4

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This Italian LP collects excerpts of three separate radio remotes originating from the Click Restaurant in Philadelphia between August 31, 1949 and September 3, 1949. Duke Ellington and his band are well-recorded and a wide range of soloists are heard, though "Caravan" is marred somewhat by the announcer's insistence upon introducing each of the soloists. There are a number of vocal tracks, including some by Ray Nance, who is also heard on both trumpet and violin extensively. In addition to well-known Ellington compositions and standards, there are some obscurities present, including singer Lu Elliott performing "The Hucklebuck" (Ellington's only recording of this pop hit), and "Trebop" ("&Dance #2 from the Liberian Suite" -- is mislabeled "Tribal") featuring Tyree Glenn on vibes, and clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton. This album also includes two notable saxophonists who had only brief tenures with Ellington: Jimmy Forrest (who later had a hit with "Night Train," a very thinly disguised reworking of Ellington's "Happy-Go-Lucky Local"), and Charlie Rouse, who spent 11-plus years with Thelonious Monk, though he isn't heard as a soloist. Though this long unavailable disc falls short of being essential, serious fans of Duke Ellington will want to search for it.

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