Tag: Recordings Collection (page 1 of 2)

In Celebration of Apollo 11, Ellington Style

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, we are highlighting a fascinating record in our collection. Although the record itself is not particularly rare, the combination of a prominent composer and the anniversary of the premiere performance, in our opinion, makes it worthy of a few paragraphs and further exploration. It is one example among many written in 1969 containing “moon” in the title. “Moon Maiden” is one piece in Ellington’s “Music to Land on the Moon By,” commissioned by the American Broadcasting Company to be broadcast as part of a their 30-hour moon mission coverage. In the setting, Ellington is poised in front of  exact replicas of the spacecraft’s components, including a model lunar module. 

Intimate Ellington Cover

Intimate Ellington Cover

Moon Maiden is released on the album “The Intimate Ellington.” The liner notes from the original album were written by Stanley Dance, a jazz writer and close friend of Ellington, who was present during the rehearsals. There are conflicting citations of this track being recorded on either July 14th or July 15th, 1969, days before the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Ken Vail’s publication, Duke’s Diary, mentions it was recorded again on September 4, 1969, with a more robust instrumentation. This recording was released in 2002 on Duke Ellington Live and Rare, by Bluebird Records.

Instrumentation of September 4th recording.

Instrumentation of September 4th recording.

For comparison, I recommend first listening to the broadcast version followed by the track released on The Intimate Ellington album. The broadcast version was performed with piano and vocals by Ellington himself, along with Rufus Jones on drums, Paul Kondziela on bass, and Al Chernet on guitar. Mr. Dance writes that he anticipated the celeste might give a “moony” effect and thus during a rehearsal Ellington experimented with a celeste and vocal performance which was recorded and is heard on the album. 

For additional listening enjoyment, check out the 1978 Luv You Madly Orchestra disco arrangement. For more Ellington early recordings, the Loeb Music Library has the Duke Ellington Recordings Collection, available upon request.  The manuscript for Moon Maiden is held at the Smithsonian National Music of American History, Archives Center.

Bibliography

Ellington, Duke. Duke Ellington Live and Rare. New York: Bluebird, 2002, compact disc. Disc 3: The Reader’s Digest Sessions. Recorded September 1969. 

Ellington, Duke. The Intimate Duke Ellington. Pablo 2310-787, 1977, LP.

Stratemann, Klaus. Duke Ellington Day by Day and Film by Film. Copenhagen NV, Denmark: JazzMedia ApS, 1992, p. 592.

Vail, Ken. Duke’s Diary: Part Two: The Life of Duke Ellington 1950-1974. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002, p. 360.

New in the Recordings Collection, January 2014

In this post, we take a look at a few new and newly-catalogued recordings from the collections, including a set of communist songs from the mid-1930s, reissues of early 20th century 78s by the Egyptian singer Yusuf Al-Manyalawi, and a test pressing of a Duke Ellington alternate take.

Timely Records

From among our Peggy Stuart Coolidge collection recently surfaced three unique 78s which include music by Hanns Eisler recorded around the time of his first visit to the United States in early 1935. These valuable documents have labels with beautiful graphics and contain six communist songs featuring a chorus conducted by Lan Adomian, baritones Mordecai Bauman and Felix Groveman, and alternately Marc Blitzstein and Eisler himself at the piano. Songs include “United Front,” “The Soup Song,” “The Internationale,” “We’ve Not Forgotten,” “In Praise of Learning,” and “Rise Up.”

Label image, United Front, 528 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36632

Label image, United Front, 528 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36632

Label image, The soup song, 525 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36632

Label image, The soup song, 525 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36632

  • United Front; The soup song / Hanns Eisler. N.Y.C.: Timely Recording Co., [1936?]. 528 Timely Recording Co. 525 Timely Recording Co.
    Record Coll. 78-36632
Label image, The internationale, 526 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36633

Label image, The internationale, 526 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36633

Label image, Forward! We’ve not forgotten, 529 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36633

Label image, Forward! We’ve not forgotten, 529 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36633

  • The internationale / music by Pierre Degeyter. Forward! We’ve not forgotten / music by Hanns Eisler. N.Y.C.: Timely Recording Co., [193-?]. 526 Timely Recording Co. 529 Timely Recording Co.
    Record Coll. 78-36633
Label image, In praise of learning, 527 Timely Recording. Record Coll. 78-36634

Label image, In praise of learning, 527 Timely Recording. Record Coll. 78-36634

Label image, Rise up, 530 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36634

Label image, Rise up, 530 Timely Recording Co. Record Coll. 78-36634

  • In praise of learning; Rise up / music by Hanns Eisler. N.Y.C.: Timely Recording Co., [1936?]. 527 Timely Recording Co. 530 Timely Recording Co.
    Record Coll. 78-36634

Yusuf Al-Manyalawi

Complementing our collection of original Gramophone “Monarch” 78rpm recordings by Egyptian singer Yusuf Al-Manyalawi, we recently acquired this impressive box set produced by the Foundation for Arab Music Archiving and Research (AMAR). The Voice of the Nahda Era contains 10 CDs of recordings by Manyalawi made between 1907 and 1910, as well as two books, one in French and English by music historian Frédéric Lagrange and the other in Arabic by Prof. Muhsen Sawa and AMAR president Mustapha Said.

Cover, “The voice of the Nahda era”: Yusuf Al-Manyalawi: the works (1847-1911). Archive of World Music AC 43

Cover, “The voice of the Nahda era”: Yusuf Al-Manyalawi: the works (1847-1911). Archive of World Music AC 43

  • “The voice of the Nahda era”: Yusuf Al-Manyalawi: the works (1847-1911). Lebanon: Foundation for Arab Music Archiving and Research, [2011].
    Archive of World Music AC 43

Ellington Test Pressing

Next comes another recording from the year 1935. We recently purchased an original vinyl test pressing of one of Duke Ellington’s small group sessions. Take no. 2 of the tune “Indigo Echoes” was ultimately chosen for release, but this was an unissued alternate take (no. 1: matrix B-16976-1). Both were recorded in New York on March 5, 1935 and featured Rex Stewart, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Duke Ellington, Wellman Braud and Billy Taylor. You can hear this alternate take on the Mosaic set entitled Duke Ellington: The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion and Okeh Small Group Sessions (Record Coll. AC 36801).

Label image, Duke Ellington’s Sextet, “Indigo echoes," B-16976-1 Brunswick. Record Coll. 78-36631

Label image, Duke Ellington’s Sextet, “Indigo echoes,” B-16976-1 Brunswick. Record Coll. 78-36631

-Peter Laurence

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