Posts tagged Duke Ellington
Soul Station Feature: Duke Ellington

Deep South Suite, Pt. 4 Happy Go Lucky Local

There is no one else like Duke Ellington in jazz history, a musician, band leader and brilliant composer who was and remains,many different things to many different audiences. At least in my view. And in that view, I have always heard an uncompromising, sometimes daring musical approach. This track certainly shows that he was a mighty pianist, capable of playing something like a very hard blues, and doing so with a dissonance that is usually just associated with Monk or Sun Ra. After Duke's piano, the band really roars, for afterall, this is about a train! Eventually this music would be transformed into Night Train. This version comes from a V-Disc and was originally recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1946!

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Soul Station Feature: Don Byas

Don Byas went to Europe with Don Redman in the fall of 1946 and he and many members of that band stayed in Europe. By October Byas was recording with a largely African American band mostly drawn from the group he arrived with. During his first Paris session, he used Herbert Lee 'Peanuts' Holland (trumpet), Tyree Glenn (trombone) and Billy Taylor (piano). One of the best numbers they cut is Glenn's Working Eyes, which Duke Ellington turned into Sultry Serenade and claimed for himself, at least on the record label. Ellington's version was the B-side of Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me on Columbia. Perhaps this got straightened out later, perhaps after Glenn left the Duke's employ. I say this because later Herbie Mann recorded it and there the ascription goes to Glenn and NOT Ellington. It is a great tune and the original is great, with fine solos all around.

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