The Great Concerts: Cornell University 1948

The Great Concerts: Cornell University 1948

by Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington


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Duke Ellington and other jazz bandleaders were hampered by yet another James J. Petrillo-ordered musician's union strike in 1948, which robbed them of commercial recording opportunities. But nothing prevented Ellington from having reference recordings made for his own use, such as this 1948 Cornell University concert, which contains all but three songs played that night. This remarkably well-balanced recording showcases Ellington's usual mix of recent compositions, hits (including ten packed into a medley), tone poems, and obscurities. Among the lesser-known gems performed are "Paradise" (a lush Billy Strayhorn ballad feature for baritone saxophonist Harry Carney) and ill-fated trumpeter Al Killian in "You Oughta," while both trombonist Lawrence Brown and Carney (on bass clarinet) shine in "Fantazm," which only briefly remained in the book. There are several memorable performances of Ellington's hits, including Kay Davis' wordless vocal in "Creole Love Call" backed by a clarinet trio (Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, and Harry Carney), plus a sassy trumpet feature for Ray Nance, the playful miniature "Dancers in Love" showcasing the pianist with his rhythm section, the brisk brass showcase "Tootin' Through the Roof," and "Manhattan Murals," a barely disguised reworking of Billy Strayhorn's "Take the 'A' Train." While some of the longer works like "Reminiscing in Tempo," "Symphomaniac," and "The Tatooed Bride" were not favorites of Ellington's musicians, all are well played and worth one's time. The only weak spot is the inevitable medley of hits (to knock out a certain amount of audience requests at once). Wrapping the concert is a lively take of "How High the Moon" with trombonist Tyree Glenn switching to vibes, which also features a rousing tenor solo by Ben Webster, who had returned to Ellington's band the previous month. Considering the lack of commercial recordings in this period of Duke, Cornell University 1948 is a highly valuable recording and warrants enthusiastic attention from Ellington historians and fans.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/09/2010
Label: Nimbus Records
UPC: 0710357272721
catalogNumber: 2727
Rank: 152566


Disc 1

  1. Star Spangled Banner
  2. Lady of the Lavender Mist
  3. Suddenly It Jumped
  4. Reminiscing In Tempo
  5. She Wouldn't Be Moved
  6. Paradise
  7. The Symphomaniac, Pt. 1 (Symphonic or Bust)
  8. The Symphomaniac, Pt. 2 (How You Sound)
  9. My Friend
  10. You Oughta
  11. Creole Love Call
  12. Don't Blame Me
  13. Lover Man
  14. The Tattooed Bride
  15. Dancers In Love

Disc 2

  1. Manhattan Murals
  2. Hy'a Sue
  3. Fantazm
  4. Tootin' Through the Roof
  5. Brown Betty
  6. Humoresque
  7. How High the Moon
  8. Don't Be So Mean to Baby
  9. Lover Come Back To Me
  10. It's Monday Everyday
  11. Medley: Don't Get Around Much Anymore/Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me/
  12. Limehouse Blues

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Duke Ellington   Primary Artist,Piano
Hibbler   Vocals
Johnny Hodges   Alto Saxophone
Ray Nance   Trumpet,Violin,Vocals
Sears   Tenor Saxophone
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Brown   Trombone
Tyree Glenn   Trombone,Vibes
Russell Procope   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Quentin Jackson   Trombone
Sonny Greer   Drums
Harold Baker   Trumpet
Harry Carney   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone
Kay Davis   Vocals
Fred Guy   Guitar
Jimmy Hamilton   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Shelton Hemphill   Trumpet
Killian   Trumpet
Wendell Marshall   Bass
Francis Williams   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Antonin Dvorák   Composer
Sigmund Romberg   Composer
Peggy Lee   Composer
Mercer Ellington   Composer,Producer
Johnny Hodges   Composer
Harry James   Composer
Dave Barbour   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Luther Henderson   Composer
Bubber Miley   Composer
Barney Bigard   Composer
Stanley Dance   Liner Notes
Duke Ellington   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Nancy Hamilton   Composer
Rudy Jackson   Composer
Manny Kurtz   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Bob Russell   Composer
Billy Strayhorn   Composer
Juan Tizol   Composer
Jimmy Sherman   Composer
Henry Nemo   Composer
Don George   Composer
Philip Braham   Composer
Douglas Furber   Composer
Morgan Lewis   Composer
Jimmy Davis   Composer
Ram Ramirez   Composer
David Redferns   Cover Image
S. Robin   Composer
John Redmond   Composer

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