Posts Tagged ‘Duke Ellington’

Saturday Single No. 551

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Well, the best-laid plans and all of that. I spent an hour this morning researching the background of a tune that my files said was recorded on July 29, 1925. Along the way, I learned that the resulting 78 was the No. 1 record for 1924, so the year was wrong. That happens, so I kept going, and as I was proofing and checking various things, I learned that the recording in question was actually made on October 12, 1923.

(I got the 1925 date from the Online 78 Discography Project, which is usually pretty accurate, but I found the 1923 date at the Library of Congress’ National Jukebox, and since the record was No. 1 for 1924, I’m pretty sure the LoC is correct. I’ll likely email the folks at the Online 78 Discography Project and let them know of the discrepancy.)

Anyway, I’ve marked the feature for use this October, and I’m left in a jam without much of anything for this morning. Except . . .

The appropriately titled “In A Jam” was recorded by Duke Ellington on this date in 1936 (and that date came from the notes in an Ellington box set). So the Duke’s “In A Jam” is today’s Saturday Single:

Saturday Single No. 508

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

I’m here only briefly today, as I’m due at my mom’s storage unit this morning for another session of sorting things, some of which my sister or I might decide to keep and most of which we’ll shuttle off to somewhere else (either the trash or an antique shop, I would guess).

So I took a quick look in the digital files to see if there was anything there that was recorded on September 3. And there was at least one. There might have been more than that, but I stopped on the first one because “Midriff,” recorded in Hollywood on September 3, 1946, by Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra, suited me just fine. Written by Billy Strayhorn, the track was released on the Swing label. (At least I think this was the version recorded on that date and released on Swing; Ellington and his band recorded the tune several times.)

No, I don’t know why it’s titled “Midriff.” I doubt it has anything to do with anyone’s tummy; instead, I’d guess it might be about a musical riff being stopped midway. I don’t hear that when I’m listening, but I am listening with ears less accustomed to big band jazz than they are to blues, rock and country. In any case, “Midriff” is a fine piece of work, and it’s today’s Saturday Single.