Duke in the Twenties

A couple weeks ago I was raving here about the late Ellington Suites. Still kind of mad about Such Sweet Thunder, The New Orleans Suite, The Latin American Suite, The Far East Suite. Others pointed me to their favorites from this period and from the period just before in the mid to late sixties.

The other day I went back to the collection and pulled out the complete recordings from the ‘twenties. It has been a while. Right now I am geeking out on 26/27/28. Such great music — the ensemble playing, the crazy arrangements, the hilariously loony vocals, the banjo as chordal percussionist, the bass player doubling on tuba. Also when you think that these recordings for the most part were made with one microphone it’s kind of astounding.

Now I see where Mosaic is going to be releasing the Complete — No, I mean Really Complete — 1930’s Ellington Orchestra. Yes, I’ll look forward to that. It’ll be a post-tour treat.