Ellington 1936-1940 box set from Mosaic
- Worth a mention here -- this looks pretty good.
MOSAIC RECORDS BOXED SET
Will be Released Late November/Early December
#235 Duke Ellington: The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion and OKeh Small Group Sessions (7 CDs - $119)
Our Holiday release is one that has longed to be issued in its entirety. This set will be a 7 disc set covering all those seminal Helen Oakley and Irving Mills produced sides from 1935 to 1940. With Ellington at the piano these recordings were led by Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Rex Stewart and Cootie Williams and are a significant display of how Ellington was able to arrange for small group and bring the absolute best out of his sidemen.
In some cases, these performances represented the first time collectors and fans were hearing now classic Ellingtonia: Juan Tizol's composition "Caravan" from a Barney Bigard session; Cootie Williams' "Echoes of Harlem"; vocal versions by the forgotten Mary McHugh on "Lost In Meditation" and "Prelude To A Kiss"; Rex Stewart's peerless cornet conceptions on "Rexatious" and "The Back Room Romp". And the Johnny Hodges masterpieces alone consist of "Blue Reverie", "Jeep's Blues", "The Jeep Is Jumpin'", a trio side with Duke and bassist Billy Taylor on "Finesse" and one of the most plaintive of these Hodges releases, "Wanderlust".
The set will also include small group sessions led by Ellington, his piano solos and the duet sides with bassist Jimmie Blanton. There is also the Gotham Stompers session that comprises both the Ellington band and the Chick Webb band with Chick at the drums. All known alternate takes are included here as well, some of which only came out on short-lived bootleg LPs in the 1960s and 1970s. The transfers of this material plus the thoughtful liner notes, come from the preeminent Ellington collector Steven Lasker. Steven has also provided us with a rare rehearsal disc on "Echoes of Harlem". There are 173 tracks in all with rare photographs, a complete updated discography and in-depth liner notes by Lasker.
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