Personnel: Ray Nance (vocals, violin, trumpet); Kay Davis, Joay Sherill, Albert Hibller (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); Taft Jordan, Shelton Hemphill, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Rex Stewart (cornet); Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Lawrence Brown , Claude Jones (trombone); Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn (piano); Junior Raglin (bass instrument); Sonny Greer (drums).
The 12th volume of transcriptions, Treasury Shows (another two-CD set issued by Storyville) made by Duke Ellington to help promote the U.S. Treasury Department's sale of war bonds during and following World War II contains three separate shows, all beautifully remastered by Jerry Valburn. Because of the interruptions, Ellington programmed these broadcasts a bit differently than he would a normal concert, but the bandleader liked to feature a mix of old and new compositions, along with the occasional pop song of the day, while also spotlighting his vocalists. All of his star soloists are in great form, though none of them particularly steal the spotlight. Serious collectors will be interested in the rarer material, including "Unbooted Character," "Three Cent Stomp," "Solid Old Man," "Way Low," and "Emancipation Celebration." Ellington seems more comfortable delivering the scripted bond promotions than in earlier shows from this series, though the radio announcers sometimes have problems introducing the songs by their correct titles. It is amazing that so many of these wartime transcriptions have survived in such good condition and anyone who has picked up earlier volumes in this series will definitely want to purchase this edition as well. ~ Ken Dryden