- Number of Discs: 8
- Released: March 6, 2007
- Label: Storyville Records
JazzTimes - p.93
"Archivists who do not have most of these timeless performances will want this attractive box..."
Duke Ellington: Duke Ellington.
Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Ray Nance (vocals, violin, trumpet); Herb Jeffries, Ivie Anderson, Joya Sherrill, Kay Davis, Al Hibbler, Betty Roch‚ (vocals); Fred Guy (whistling, guitar); Harry Carney (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Johnny Hodges (clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Oett "Sax" Mallard, Nat Jones, Otto Hardwick (clarinet, alto saxophone); Skippy Williams, Jimmy Hamilton, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Russell Procope (alto saxophone); Al Sears (tenor saxophone); Rex Stewart (trumpet, cornet); Cootie Williams, Reunald Jones, Harold Baker, Al Killian, Taft Jordan, Shelton Hemphill, Francis Williams , Wallace Jones, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Lawrence D. Brown, Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Juan Tizol, Quentin Jackson, Sandy Williams , Tyree Glenn, Wilbur De Paris, Claude Jones (trombone); Billy Strayhorn (piano); Sonny Greer (drums).
Liner Note Author: Dan Morgenstern.
Recording information: Carnegie Hall, NY (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); CBS Studios, New York, NY (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); Crystal Ballroom, Fargo, ND (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); Hollywood Empire, L.A (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); Howard Theatre, Washington DC (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); Hurrican, NY (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); Langley Air Force Base, Hampton, VA (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, MD (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); Southland Cafe, Boston, MA (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); The New Zanzibar, NY (01/09/1940-02/??/1949); World Studios, NY (01/09/1940-02/??/1949).
Photographers: William Gottlieb; Gordon Parks; Bettmann; Herman Leonard.
Was Duke Ellington, as pianist, composer, and/or bandleader, one of the most vital musical figures in 20th-century history (and beyond)? The answer is, naturally, yes, and the proof lies within this box set. In the 1940s, Ellington led an edition of his orchestra considered by fans and scholars to be his best--it featured iconic players Jimmy Blanton, Johnny Hodges, and Ben Webster. Ellington's abilities as a songwriter and arranger were in full flower--by then he'd established a catalog of tunes that achieved both commercial success and melodic excellence. THE DUKE BOX covers all the bases, from the vivid, suite-like "Black and Tan Fantasy" to the exotic "Caravan" to standards such as "Laura"--it's a hefty, essential piece of American jazz and pop history.