Personnel includes: Duke Ellington (leader, arranger, piano); Joya Sherrill, Al Hibbler, Kay Davis (vocals); Billy Strayhorn (arranger, piano); Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwick (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Al Sears (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet); Ray Nance (trumpet, violin); Rex Stewart, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton (trombone); Fred Guy (guitar); Junior Ranglin, Oscar Pettiford (bass); Sonny Greer (drums).
Recorded at The Percy Jones Center, Battle Creek Michigan; New Zanzibar, New York, New York between June 2 and October 7, 1945. Includes liner notes by Dick Zander.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Ray Nance (vocals, violin, trumpet); Joya Sherrill, Kay Davis, Al Hibbler, Marie Ellington (vocals); Fred Guy (guitar); Harry Carney (clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwick (alto saxophone); Al Sears (tenor saxophone); Rex Stewart, Taft Jordan, Shelton Hemphill, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Lawrence Brown , Claude Jones (trombone); Billy Strayhorn (piano); Sonny Greer (drums).
Arrangers: Duke Ellington; Billy Strayhorn.
The fifth two-CD set from this extensive series has three radio broadcasts from Duke Ellington & His Orchestra in 1945. The bulk of the two-fer is from June 2 and 9, and is part of the "Date With the Duke" treasury series. These were sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department and found Ellington making a few public service announcements about buying war bonds (the war in the Pacific was not over yet). This music had formerly been put out on collector's LPs by the Meritt Record Society in the 1980s, but was otherwise previously unavailable. Also included on this set is an unrelated broadcast from New York's New Zanzibar Hotel from September 18, 1945. Although many considered Ellington's greatest band to be the one he had during 1939-1942, his 1945 edition certainly holds its own, featuring ten strong horn soloists (Rex Stewart, Taft Jordan, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance, Tricky Sam Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Al Sears, Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, and Harry Carney), the leader on piano, and five vocalists (Nance, Al Hibbler, Joya Sherrill, Kay Davis, and Marie Ellington). Featured on these performances are new works, excerpts from "Black, Brown and Beige," and new versions of old favorites. Among the many highlights are Buck Clayton's "Blues on the Double," "Carnegie Blues," "Three Cent Stomp," "Hop, Skip and Jump," "Kissing Bug," and "C Jam Blues." Duke Ellington collectors will want all of the well-recorded broadcasts in this very valuable series. ~ Scott Yanow