- Released: March 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Jazziz - 3/93, p.62
"...UPTOWN has Ellington's best studio recordings from this time [1951-1955] including one of his major works, 'Harlem,' and a memorable rendition of 'Take The "A" Train' highlighted by Betty Roche's wonderful bop vocal..."
- 1.Skin Deep
- 2.The Mooche
- 3.Take The 'A' Train
- 4.A Tone Parallel To Harlem
- 5.Perdido (Harlem Suite)
- 6.The Controversial Suite: Before My Time
- 7.The Controversial Suite: Later
- 8.The Liberian Suite: I Like The Sunrise
- 9.The Liberian Suite: Dance No. 1
- 10.The Liberian Suite: Dance No. 2
- 11.The Liberian Suite: Dance No. 3
- 12.The Liberian Suite: Dance No. 4
- 13.The Liberian Suite: Dance No. 5
Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Betty Roche (vocals); Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney, Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Hilton Jefferson, Willie Smith (saxophone); William Anderson, Clark Terry, Willie Cook, Ray Nance, Harold Baker, Dick Vance, Francis Williams (trumpet); Juan Tizol, Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman (trombone); Billy Strayhorn (piano); Wendall Marshall (bass); Louis Bellson (drums).
Recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, New York between December 7, 1951 and December 8, 1952. Includes liner notes by Stanley Dance.
Personnel: Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn (arranger, piano); Betty Roche, Al Hibbler (vocals); Johnny Hodges (soprano & alto saxophones, clarinet); Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet); Willie Smith, Hilton Jefferson (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Paul Gonsalves, Al Sears (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet); Ray Nance (trumpet, violin); Cat Anderson, Harold "Shorty" Baker, Francis Williams, Willie Cook, Clark Terry (trumpet); Tyree Glenn (trombone, vibraphone); Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, Juan Tizol, Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones (trombone); Fred Guy (guitar); Oscar Pettiford, Junior Raglin, Wendell Marshall (bass); Sonny Greer (drums, tympani); Louis Bellson (drums).
Principally recorded at Liederkranz Hall and Columbia's 30th St. Studios, New York, New York in 1947 & 1951-52. Originally released on Columbia (4639).
This release blends the original 1952 ELLINGTON UPTOWN album with recordings made by a previous Ellington lineup in 1947. After World War Two and the advent of television had effectively put an end to the big band era, large bands like Duke Ellington's survived by performing more cerebral music for non-dancing audiences. Thoughtful, occasionally humorous pieces like "Before My Time" and "Later," both parts of the "Controversial Suite," were the result, but Ellington's outfit was still capable of turning on the musical pyrotechnics, as Louis Bellson's drum vehicle, "Skin Deep," attests. Ellington's perennial "The Mooche," which he performed from his Cotton Club days in Harlem through the end of his career, is another highlight, as is trombonist Juan Tizol's exotic "Perdido." Bellson and Tizol had both been poached from Harry James's orchestra immediately prior to the 1952 recording, and Bellson in particular brings a revitalizing energy to these arrangements.