Duke Ellington

Vol. 2: From the Cotton Club to Sweden

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AllMusic Review by

The JSP label presents the second volume of vintage sides dating from Duke Ellington's early years as a bandleader. The heading "From the Cotton Club to Sweden" does not indicate a transatlantic tour, but simply reflects the producer's penchant for using song titles to concoct names for compilation sets (JSP's previous volume of Ellington, for example, was called "Mrs. Clinkscales to the Cotton Club"). This set, then, is named after the "Cotton Club Stomp" and the "Serenade to Sweden." Packed with 100 beautifully remastered selections recorded between March 1929 and February 1940, it forms a valuable bridge between the explosive brilliance of Duke's first five years of recording activity and the artistic triumphs of the Jimmy Blanton/Ben Webster band of the early '40s. During the '30s, Ellington blossomed as a composer as he wrote music specifically tailored for each of his star soloists. Singers heard on this collection are Ivie Anderson, Ethel Waters, the Mills Brothers, Irving Mills, and various members of the band. Having the essential Ellington records of the '30s in one box is a treat not to be missed. For quantity, quality, and remarkably low list price, you won't do better than this.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Jungle Band
3:30
2
feat: Jungle Band
2:32
3
feat: Jungle Band
3:09
4
2:37
5
3:14
6
2:48
7
2:57
8
2:49
9
2:47
10
3:03
11
2:50
12
2:53
13
3:20
14
3:16
15
3:09
16
3:17
17
feat: Jungle Band
3:06
18
feat: Jungle Band
3:01
19
feat: Jungle Band
2:55
20
feat: Jungle Band
3:04
21
3:00
22
3:01
23
2:50
24
3:00
25
3:04

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:13
2
feat: Jungle Band
2:56
3
3:16
4
4:07
5
4:26
6
3:15
7
3:07
8
3:14
9
2:50
10
3:10
11
feat: Ethel Waters
3:12
12
3:13
13
2:53
14
3:37
15
3:17
16
3:06
17
3:07
18
3:04
19
2:32
20
3:13
21
3:06
22
2:56
23
2:46
24
2:50
25
2:52

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:33
2
2:41
3
3:15
4
2:41
5
2:24
6
2:39
7
2:51
8
2:42
9
3:28
10
3:23
11
3:04
12
2:25
13
2:53
14
2:43
15
2:42
16
3:37
17
2:40
18
2:59
19
2:51
20
2:55
21
2:58
22
2:26
23
2:53
24
2:56
25
2:58
blue highlight denotes track pick