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Ellington, Duke - The Treasury Shows, Vol. 2

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Ellington, Duke
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Storyville Records

This two-CD set includes two broadcasts in the series of Treasury Department transcriptions issued as V-discs during World War II plus a Treasury Star Parade program from 1943 and a portion of a Mutual Broadcasting System program from October, 1945. These live performances have surprisingly good fidelity as they seem to originate from the actual masters rather than well-worn V-discs, which has all too often been the case with commercial issues of this series. Aside from the distraction provided by the rather stiff network MC announcements (which often clash with the opening of a song), the band seems well rehearsed and the star soloists, Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Hamilton, "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Ray Nance, Cat Anderson, and Ben Webster in particular, are in top form. Less successful are some of the vocal numbers, especially Kay Davis' excessive operatic vibrato in "If You Are But a Dream." in addition to the expected hits ("I'm Beginning to See the Light," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing," and "Creole Love Call") there are actually quite a few lesser known songs like "Tonight I Shall Sleep," "Three Cent Stomp," and "Kissing Bug"; there are also a number of rather rarely heard compositions ("Riff'N Drill," "Fishing for the Moon," "Frantic Fantasy," and "Go Away Blues") and, fortunately, none of the long medleys of hits that have turned up on far too many of Ellington's live recordings (although excerpts of the recently premiered "Black, Brown & Beige" are presented in medley form). The sound achieved by Jack Towers from this material recorded over a half century ago is phenomenal, and Ellington collectors will be glad to acquire these historic recordings, even if they bought the commercially issued LPs during the 1970s, because the sound has been greatly improved. - Ken Dryden.

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Ellington, Duke - The Treasury Shows, Vol. 2.

1) Take the 'A' Train (Opening Theme)/Broadcast Intro
2) Mood to Be Wooed
3) If You Are But a Dream
4) (Otto Make That) Riff Staccato
5) I'm Beginning to See the Light
6) Black Brown ; Beige (Exc)
7) Black Brown ; Beige (Exc): West Indian Dance
8) Black Brown ; Beige (Exc): The Blues
9) Black Brown ; Beige (Exc): Emancipation Celebration
10) Black Brown ; Beige (Exc): Sugar Hill Penthouse
11) Sentimental Lady (Small Exc)
12) Stomp Look and Listen
13) Frantic Fantasy
14) It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
15) Sentimental Lady (Into Closing)
16) Any Bonds Today? - Unknown Studio Orchestra
17) Take the 'A' Train (Theme)
18) Tonight I Shall Sleep
19) Go Away Blues
20) Bond Promo - Jimmy Wallington
21) Creole Love Song (Creole Love Call)
22) Three Cent Stomp
23) Any Bonds Today? (Closing Them) - Unknown Studio Orchestra
24) Take the 'A' Train (Opening Theme)
25) Midriff
26) Carnegie Blues
27) Someone
28) My Little Brown Book
29) Kissing Bug
30) Ring Dem Bells
31) I'm Beginning to See the Light
32) Black Brown ; Beige (Exc)
33) Black Brown ; Beige (Exc): Work Song
34) Black Brown ; Beige (Exc): Come Sunday (The Spiritual Theme)
35) Candy
36) War Bulletin
37) Teardrops in the Rain (In Progress)
38) Accentuate the Positive
39) Way Low
40) Take the 'A' Train (Theme)(Into Closing)
41) Take the 'A' Train (Theme)
42) Love Letters
43) Main Stem
44) Fishing for the Moon
45) Riff'n Drill
46) Kissing Bug

The Treasury Shows, Vol. 2
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The Treasury Shows, Vol. 2 | Ellington, Duke