Ellington’s whereabouts during the first part of October 1956 is quite undocumented. He might have done a tour of the southern part of the east coast in the first part of the month but specifics exist only for two dates – Tampa, Florida on October 5 (Fort Homer Hestory Armory) and Charlotte, North Carolina on October 11 (Ovens Auditorium).

Thereafter, he seems to have made a short stopover in New York and then continued with a short tour  of Ohio, West Virginia and New Hampshire in the third week of October. While in New York, Ellington signed a contract for three weeks of performances at the Blue Note in Chicago at the end of December and beginning of January.

By the fourth week of October, Ellington was back in New York and went into the Columbia Studios on October 22 and 23 to record the remaining parts of “A Drum Is A Woman”. This time he recorded Rhythm Pum Te Dum (Carribee Sequence), Madam Zajj (Carribee Sequence), Ballet Of The Flying Saucers, Congo Square and Zajj’s Dream. On October 23, the recordings were made in Columbia’s famous 30th Street studio.


Ellington then remained in New York until the end of the month except for appearances in Washington D.C. (October 25) and Boston (October 28). In New York he seems to have played at a big rally for the Eisenhower-Nixon presidential ticket and at a Republican “First Voters Ball”.



Leave a Reply