These five CDs of material were cut at two successive birthday celebrations for Ellington in 1953 and 1954 at McElroy’s Ballroom in Portland, OR. They capture Ellington during his period with Capitol Records, which is usually not regarded as one of his better eras, mostly because he and the label never really got on the same wavelength. That has nothing to do with what we hear on these recordings, which were engineered by the legendary Wally Heider, and, as a result, sound at least five years fresher technically. We can’t show you video of the dates but you may hear the programs at the KUSP MUSIC SHOW PLAYER from June 23 through July 6. We’ve chosen some clips of The Ellington Orchestra performances over the years to share for the remainder of the month on “THE FUZE” BLOG.
Here is DUKE ELLINGTON in a trio performance of his theme song “TAKE THE ‘A’ TRAIN”:
I found a couple of wonderful interviews with DUKE ELLINGTON preserved on YOU TUBE. In the first he expresses his thoughts about the BLACK MUSIC and overall contributions of Afro-Americans in America:
This second interview takes place in 1973, just one year before DUKE ELLINGTON’S death:
Please join us for the next broadcast of THE FUZE on KUSP for the second half of the DUKE ELLINGTON ORCHESTRA performance in 1954 at the McElroy Ballroom in Portland, Oregon.