The widely heralded recordings made of Duke Ellington & His Orchestra during a 1940 concert in Fargo, ND, have been justifiably praised for their historic value as well as for the surprisingly good sound obtained by a pair of young amateur engineers with a portable disc cutter. Both the soloists and Ellington's unique-sounding blend of reeds and brass are very distinct. Some of these tracks previously appeared on the Jazz Society label, followed by a Book-of-the Month Club set, and all of them appeared on the now-defunct Vintage Jazz Classics, but this latest version tops them all for sound quality.
La Maison du Duke is proud to present a collection of unpublished recordings of Duke Ellington, which come from an important stock of Ellington archives (Clavié collection), acquired by the association, which only a few collectors had access to today . The CDs are reserved for members of the Maison du Duke association and are not intended to be marketed.
Duke Robillard has always had one foot in the blues world and one in the swing/jazz universe. He loves both styles of music and enjoys not only playing them separately but combining them together. The founder of Roomful of Blues back in 1967, Robillard has led dozens of projects throughout his career, including collaborations with guitarist Herb Ellis, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Jay McShann. On A Swingin Session, he plays with some of his favorite musicians, many of whom originated (like he did) in Rhode Island. While six horn players participate, there are no more than four on any one selection, and some numbers do not have any. The contrasting tenor solos are fun to hear, with Scott Hamilton sounding smooth and mellow on his numbers while Sax Gordon is greasier and much closer to Illinois Jacquet. Present throughout are Bruce Katz (mostly on organ), one of three bassists (usually Marty Ballou), and drummer Mark Teixeira. Robillard takes vocals on half of the selections in his personable way, but it is his guitar solos, which hint at both Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker, that often take honors.
There is no greater paragon of tenor saxophonist taste than Harry Allen. While the fickle winds of prevailing styles continue to blow this or that way, Allen stands tall like the mighty oak, unswayed by fad fashions and firmly rooted to the music of the Great American Songbook. On this appealing date, Allen visits the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington.
'Here We Go 1, 2, 3' is Heidi Talbot's fifth solo album. Produced by musical partner and husband, John McCusker, (himself recently the recent recipient of the Good Tradition honour at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards) Heidi's new album crosses the ages, jumps into the unknown, traverses oceans and musical styles – from folk, through Americana, to classic pop, and back again…
This was Duke Ellington's first film score, undertaken at the urging of Anatomy of a Murder's director, Otto Preminger. The full range of the composer's previous work was brought to bear on this 1959 work. Ellington was a natural choice to convey the rich and varied emotional moods of this drama. Tension and release, danger and safety, movement and stillness, darkness and light; the textural palette that was Ellington's signature was always compellingly cinematic.
In these orchestral settings, Duke's soloists (Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, and others) shine, as their playing reflects true variations on a theme in a classical sense. That's not to say that this set doesn't swing, too – "Happy Anatomy" is a short but fully cranked gallop. This is an album of rich variety and evocative writing.
Deluxe re-release of David Bowie's hugely influential 1976 album, Station to Station. This 3-CD set includes the complete original album together with the much bootlegged live favourite and previously unreleased Live Nassau Coliseum '76. STATION TO STATION was the soundtrack to Bowie's nightlife. This time around he fashioned himself as the king of slick, the "Thin White Duke/Throwing darts in lover's eyes." This new persona enabled Bowie to show his sensual side and his affection for American soul music–something that would have seemed out of context on previous efforts. The album's smooth vibe is evident in the funky guitar of "Golden Years," and mixed with a dangerous charm and the "side effects of the cocaine" on "Stay." Bowie had miraculously done it again–he picked up a new musical identity, and molded it to perfection.
Previously released on VHS and Beta and only available through mail order, Frank Zappa's Dub Room Special is an extremely rare TV special comprising two live performances from one of Rock's great individuals. Zappa's unparalleled abilities as a composer, guitarist, and absurdist/social commentator run rampant on The Dub Room Special – and it is a unique window on his willingness to push the envelope of what is possible no matter how improbable. Selections from two separate concerts, one, called A Token of His Extreme, shot in 1974 at Los Angeles public television station KCET and one in 1981 filmed at his annual New York Halloween show, are interspersed with then-cutting edge claymation/stop motion animation from Bruce Bickford and assorted comedy bits.