[Dixielandjazz] Duke's D.J Special

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Sat Sep 30 20:15:23 PDT 2006

> ............. an excellent newly released CD on the Fresh Sound label titled
"The Duke's D. J. Special" and wondered if fellow list members can shed any
light on why Duke made it?
As each of the (excellent!) twelve tracks is only around three minutes which
would seem that it was aimed at broadcasters? But that is unusual for the
Duke at this time (1959) of his career.
Any help would be appreciated.<

Dear Brian,
Here I am again, answering a query about music which is not quite my stuff.
I find nothing really unusual about Duke Ellington recording 3 minute tracks
in 1959, particularly as he was still riding high following the 'renewal' of
his popularity at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1956. (Remember Paul
Gonsales' knockout solo at the concert?).
Perhaps you have been swayed by the CD album title selected by Fresh Sounds
- 'The Duke's D. J. Special'.
It was always my belief that the session was recorded for Sesac on 27 March
1959 as transcriptions for use by radio stations and later released on a
Fairmont LP (and later CD) as 'Ellington Moods'. It was also issued on later
LPs for which I have details.
However, the following exchange on the Duke Ellington Music Society Bulletin
site implies that the Sesac material was issued as an LP called 'Ellington

'Duke's spoken intro on the Fairmont LP'
>From DEMS 04/2-33 Aug-Nov 2004

Stan Slome has sent me as a filler on a cassette the first side of ELLINGTON
'59 from Fairmont LP F107. It is the same as the ELLINGTON MOODS on SESAC LP
Se N2701/02 and DUKE'S D.J. SPECIAL on FRESH SOUND FSR-CD 141.
There is a 'Spoken Introduction by Duke Ellington', which is noted both by
Timner and by Nielsen. Do you know why it is ignored in the New DESOR?
Lance Travis.**

I guess that it was not included in the 27Mar59 session because it was not
recorded during that session. Duke spoke of recently cut in New York. He is
probably not in New York when he said this and it was definitely not on
27Mar59. I think that DESOR has given up hope to find the actual recording
date of this commercial. If it will be found it should be a separate session
or belong to another one.
Sjef Hoefsmit**

You are right. We have not mentioned the spoken intro by Duke because untill
now we haven't found the actual recording date of it.
Luciano Massagli**

For general information, here are the details I have for the session:
Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. 'Ellington Mood'.
Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Harold "Shorty" Baker, t; Ray Nance, t/vl/v;
Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, John Sanders, tb; Jimmy Hamilton, cl/ts;
Russell Procope, as/cl; Johnny Hodges, as; Paul Gonsalves, ts; Harry Carney,
bar/b-cl/cl; Duke Ellington, p; Jimmy Woode, sb; Jimmy Johnson, d; Ozzie
Bailey, Lil Greenwood, v.
Sesac transcription session. New York. 27 March 1959
(for distribution to radio stations, Sesac transcription discs N2701/2702.)

(Spoken introduction by Duke Ellington - on the Fairmont LP)
    Fat Mouth 
    Lost in the Night
    Little John's Tune
    Dankworth Castle
    Lullaby for Dreamers
    Night Stick    
    She Was a Tinkling Thing
    Jamaica Tomboy 
    Still Water    
    Jet Strip 

Kind regards,


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