Rare Live Recordings 1952-53
Catalogue Number: ACTRCD9033
The recordings in this collection come from the Ackerman tapes, an archive held in Stanford University in California comprising ‘live’ jazz recordings, many previously unreleased. The recordings come from four separate ‘live’ performances by the Duke Ellington Orchestra, with three from Jan.-Apr. 1952, including a concert at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, which is previously unreleased in any form, apart from one track. The other two 1952 performances are from an unknown venue in the US North-west, along with one from The Armory, Yakima, Washington State on the Duke’s birthday 29th April. Several tracks from these 1952 performances have never been released, while the remainder have only ever been on vinyl. The 1953 recordings are from a dance date at McElroys Ballroom in Portland Oregon, a favourite gig of Ellington’s during his regular tours of the north-west around his birthday. In all, of the 45 tracks, 20 are previously unreleased, 15 have only appeared on vinyl, while the other 10 have been on various CDs, now generally unavailable, we believe. Some of the recordings include Ellington’s characteristic and entertaining links and introductions which add a unique flavour and atmosphere to the collection. It is a snapshot of a great orchestra under an iconic leader during a period when the big band market had been hit by post-war austerity and the emergence of bebop and R&B small groups, and one-night stands like these were its bread-and-butter work. We are sure that it will provide a welcome addition to the collections of Duke Ellington and big band enthusiasts.