Month: December 2017

“Blue Reverie” (1937-38) Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert

“Blue Reverie” Composed by Duke Ellington and Harry Carney; arranged by Duke Ellington. Recorded by Cootie Williams and His Rug Cutters for Variety on March 8-9, 1937 in New York. Edward K. “Duke” Ellington, piano, directing: Charles M.”Cootie” Williams, trumpet; Joseph “Tricky Sam” Nanton, trombone; John C. “Johnny” Hodges, soprano and alto saxophones; Harry H. […]

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“The Christmas Song” and Nat “King” Cole

The story: Try to rewind your mind to the summer of 1945, in the San Fernando Valley district of Los Angeles, California. I quote singer Mel Torme’ to fill in the rest of the details: “One excessively hot afternoon, I drove out to Bob Wells’s house in Toluca Lake for a work session. The San Fernando […]

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“Blues for Brando” (1953) Leith Stevens/Shorty Rogers, with Bud Shank, Milt Bernhart and Bob Cooper

  “Blues for Brando” Composed  by Leith Stevens; arranged by Leith Stevens with probable assistance by Shorty Rogers.(*) Recorded by Leith Stevens with Shorty Rogers on August 14, 1953 in Hollywood, California. Leith Stevens, directing: Milton M. Rajonsky (Shorty Rogers), trumpet; Milton G. “Milt” Bernhart, trombone; Clifford E. “Bud” Shank, and James “Jimmy” Giuffre, alto […]

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“Portrait of a Guinea Farm” (1941) Claude Thornhill

“Portrait of a Guinea Farm” Composed and arranged by Claude Thornhill. Recorded by Claude Thornhill and His Orchestra for Okeh/Columbia in New York on April 16, 1941. Claude Thornhill, piano, directing: Conrad Gozzo, first trumpet; Lyle F. “Rusty” Dedrick, Bob Sprentall, trumpets; Tasso Harris and Bob Jenney, trombones; Irving H. “Fazola” Prestopnik, Dale Brown, Ted […]

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