Ralph Ellison: Living With Music

Ralph Ellison: Living With Music


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This compilation is based around the book Living With Music: Ralph Ellison's Jazz Writings, and co-produced and annotated by that volume's editor, Robert G. O'Meally. The idea is to assemble various pieces of music with some connection to Ellison or his writings, with the specific threads -- a direct comment Ellison might have made on a track, for instance, or a song that's referred to in one of his stories -- explained in O'Meally's notes. Those connections can sometimes be quite specific and, frankly, extremely tenuous at other times. For those not immersed in Ellison's writings, it's still a pretty fair collection of jazz, usually on the soulful and bluesy sides, from the mid-'20s to the early '60s, albeit entirely jazz that happens to be administered by Sony. Certainly Louis Armstrong & His Hot Seven's "Potato Head Blues," Duke Ellington's "Black and Tan Fantasy," and Benny Goodman's "Flying Home" (a 1939 track, not the same as Goodman vibraphonist Lionel Hampton's more famous and influential recording) are major jazz classics. Ellington, Armstrong, and Jimmy Rushing are heard from two or three times apiece, and there are also quality selections from Count Basie, Bessie Smith, Teddy Wilson, Hot Lips Page (with Joe Turner on vocals), and Jones-Smith, Inc. (with Lester Young on sax and Count Basie on piano). Getting a little off the jazz track, there's also Mahalia Jackson's "The Holy Babe"; getting considerably off the jazz track, there's flamenco guitarist Vincente Escudero's "La Farruca." The set finishes with the only commercially available recording of Ellison's own voice, "Hidden Name and Complex Fate," an excerpt from a 1964 address at the Library of Congress.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/30/2002
Label: Sony
UPC: 0696998593527
catalogNumber: 85935
Rank: 105356


  1. Black and Blue
  2. Potato Head Blues
  3. Work House Blues
  4. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
  5. Black and Tan Fantasy
  6. Moten Swing
  7. Oh, Lady Be Good
  8. All of Me
  9. Sugar Plum
  10. Flying Home
  11. Jump for Joy
  12. Harvard Blues
  13. Downhearted Blues
  14. The Holy Babe
  15. La Farruca
  16. Up and Down, Up and Down (I Will Lead Them Up and Down)
  17. Hidden Name and Complex Fate

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bessie Smith   Vocals
Big Joe Turner   Vocals
Mahalia Jackson   Track Performer
Buster Bailey   Clarinet
Danny Barker   Guitar
Count Basie   Piano,Leader
Charlie Christian   Electric Guitar
Buck Clayton   Trumpet
Johnny Dodds   Clarinet
Harry Edison   Trumpet
Paul Gonsalves   Tenor Saxophone
Benny Goodman   Clarinet
Freddie Green   Guitar
Urbie Green   Trombone
Lionel Hampton   Vibes
Eddie Heywood   Piano
Johnny Hodges   Alto Saxophone
Claude Hopkins   Piano
Jo Jones   Drums
Ray Nance   Trumpet
Nat Pierce   Piano
Buddy Tate   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Teddy Wilson   Piano
Jabbo Smith   Trumpet,Soloist
Lester Young   Tenor Saxophone
Dave Barbour   Guitar
Eddie Barefield   Alto Saxophone
Cozy Cole   Drums
Willie Cook   Trumpet
Louis Metcalf   Trumpet
Benny Morton   Trombone
Frank Rehak   Trombone
Zutty Singleton   Drums
Jimmy Woode   Bass
Mel Davis   Trumpet
Grachan Moncur   Bass
Coleman Hawkins   Saxophone
Russell Procope   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Johnny St. Cyr   Banjo
Bubber Miley   Trumpet,Soloist
Quentin Jackson   Trombone
Britt Woodman   Trombone
Wellman Braud   Bass
Sonny Greer   Drums
Walter Page   Bass,String Bass
Gene Anderson   Piano,Celeste
William Cat Anderson   Trumpet
Louis Armstrong   Trumpet,Cornet,Vocals
Lil Armstrong   Piano
Baby Dodds   Drums
Danny Banks   Saxophone
Everett Barksdale   Guitar
Artie Bernstein   Bass
Emmett Berry   Trumpet
Billie Holiday   Vocals
Abe Bolar   Bass
Pete Briggs   Tuba
Harry Carney   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Doc Cheatham   Trumpet
Clark Terry   Trumpet,Soloist
Kenny Clarke   Drums
John Collins   Guitar
Shad Collins   Trumpet
Jimmy Crawford   Drums
Bert Curry   Alto Saxophone
Vic Dickenson   Trombone
Eddie Dougherty   Drums
Duke Ellington   Piano
Mildred Falls   Piano
Nick Fatool   Drums
Fletcher Henderson   Piano
Fred Guy   Banjo
Jimmy Hamilton   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Milt Hinton   Bass
Homer Hobson   Trumpet
Rudy Jackson   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Osie Johnson   Drums
Killian   Trumpet
Lawrence Lucie   Guitar
Tom Mace   Clarinet
Dan Minor   Trombone
Hot Lips Page   Trumpet
Rudy Powell   Saxophone
John Sanders   Trombone
Jimmy Strong   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Ted Sturgis   String Bass
Earle Warren   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone
Jack Washington   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Dicky Wells   Trombone,Soloist
Crawford Wethington   Alto Saxophone
Sam Woodyard   Drums
Charlie Green   Trombone
Richard Clarke   Trumpet
Carroll Dickerson   Violin
Leslie Johnakins   Alto Saxophone
Fred Robinson   Trombone
Mancy Carr   Banjo
Ed Lewis   Trumpet
Otto Hardwick   Reeds,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Soloist
Carl "Tatti" Smith   Trumpet
Mack Shaw   Tuba
Robert Prince   Vibes
Eddie Heywood and His Orchestra   Track Performer
James P. Johnson & His Orchestra   Piano
Ralph Jones   Organ
Joseph Nanton   Trombone,Alto Saxophone,Soloist

Technical Credits

John Hammond   Producer
Duke Ellington   Arranger
R.J. Jones   Producer
Buster Moten   Composer
Bob Stephens   Producer
Irving Townsend   Producer
Justin Ring   Producer
Tommy Rockwell   Producer
Frank Walker   Producer
Nedra Olds-Neal   Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Arthur Johnston   Composer
John Christiana   Packaging Manager
Sid Robin   Composer

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