Duke Ellington – Live At The New Zanzibar, New York – 1945 – Past Daily Downbeat

Duke Ellington - New Zanzibar, New York - 1945
Duke Ellington holding court – magic in those grooves.

Duke Ellington (and his Famous Orchestra) Live at The New Zanzibar, New York – October 7, 1945 – CBS Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Duke Ellington – holding court at The New Zanzibar and laying it down live and in-person on October 7, 1945 from the CBS Radio Network.

As pointed out by Scott Yanow of AllMusic for the Duke Ellington 1945 CD on Chronological Classics:

Duke Ellington’s orchestra in 1945 was riding quite high, with annual Carnegie Hall concerts, constant performing and recording, and appearances on many radio broadcasts. This disc features both studio recordings and a few V-Discs taken from radio shows. The latter are most notable for including the extended two-part “Frankie and Johnny” and the 12-and-a-half-minute “New World A-Comin’,” while the studio recordings are highlighted by “Jumpin’ Room Only” and three of the four parts of “Perfume Suite.” With such soloists as Tricky Sam Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Al Sears, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, and four trumpeters, Ellington’s big band remained at the top of its field as World War II came to an end.

And a word or two from David Johnson of WFIU-FM:

In the spring of 1945, as World War II finally began to draw to a close, Duke Ellington began “Your Saturday Date With the Duke,” a series of weekly broadcasts sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department to promote the sale of war bonds. The sets featured classics from the Ellington songbook, pop hits of the day, obscure Ellington/Strayhorn compositions rarely or never recorded by the band, and pitches from Ellington and MCs to buy war bonds, along with occasional news bulletin interruptions. Ellington’s 1945 band, removed only a couple of years from the celebrated Blanton-Webster era of 1940-42, retained superlative musicians such as Johnny Hodges, Ray Nance, and Lawrence Brown.

The broadcasts continued through the late autumn and resumed early the following year; the one-hour programs were edited into half-hour shows that were then distributed by the Armed Forces Radio Service. Ellingtonian specialist Jerry Valburn spent 30 years tracking down the original broadcasts and restoring them to their full length. Many of the vinyl editions which appeared in the 1980s have been reissued in the past several years by Storyville Records as 2-CD sets, supplemented with other live Ellington material from the 1943-1954 era.

So there you go – all that’s left is to hit the Play button and sit back.

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