The Treasury Shows, Vol. 11
Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
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The eleventh double-CD in this special D.E.T.S. (Duke Ellington Treasury Series) program continues the reissue of all of Ellington's weekly U.S. Treasury-sponsored radio programs. For an hour each week, during 1945 and 1946, Ellington & His Orchestra performed a large chunk of their repertoire including recent originals, famous hits, revivals of earlier material, selections otherwise never recorded by Ellington (particularly during this era), and lengthier works. The only minus to the broadcasts are the numerous bond promos in which Ellington reads a script that finds him begging listeners to invest money in war bonds. Usually these are separate from the music, but this version of "Body and Soul," which was bordering on the classic, is interrupted in the middle by the commercial. Vol. 11 in this valuable series has the broadcasts of August 25 and September 1, 1945 plus, as an extra, selections from a pair of unrelated broadcasts from the New Zanzibar in New York, dating from October 7 and 18, 1945; nine numbers in all. Among the highlights overall are excellent versions of "Mood Indigo" (over six-minutes-long), the piano duet by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn here called "Pianistically Allied" but in the then -ear future renamed "Tonk," "The Jeep Is Jumpin'," an extended version of "Black and Tan Fantasy," "Cotton Tail," the parts of "Body and Soul" that are not interrupted, and "One O'Clock Jump." Among the most impressive soloists overall are tenor-saxophonist Al Sears, altoist Johnny Hodges, trumpeter Cat Anderson and trombonist Lawrence Brown. Duke Ellington collectors will definitely want all of the entries in this extensive series.