Above is a picture of a very rare LP-album recorded in 1957, on January 10, exactly 60 years ago. This items shows up now and then on auctions, and the interested buyer is expected to pay 400 USD+  to become the owner. DESS-members can enjoy this music by logging into the Goodies Room.

Blue Skies

Grinnell is a town in Iowa with one of the more reputed colleges in USA. It was here at Grinnell College during a wintry evening Ellington and his men played a concert which according to sources received a luke-warm reception. Probably due to the scarcity of copies of the record, it seems that Messrs Timner, Aasland and Hoefsmit were not able to make too many comments on its origin and contents. It was in fact suggested that the playing order of the the tunes was not the correct one on the record compared to the concert, so therefor it is different in the New Desor. The record label states the following sequence of tunes:

Side 1 *Blue Skies*Black And Tan Fantasy*Johnny Hodges*Skin Deep*Sophisticated Lady

Side 2 *Pretty And The Wolf*Newport Up*Stompin’ At The Savoy*Clarinet Melodrama*Perdido* Ellingtonia

The recording of Blue Skies, which you are free to listen to above, is  one of the last ones of this tune to survive. There is only one later version recorded in the 70ies. Behind the unusual titles above are  All Of Me (Johnny Hodges) and and the long Medley (Ellingtonia) which in this case is not fully complete. Behind the title Sophisticated Lady, we find this time the end of the long Medley. And furthemore, an extra track is inserted containing Prelude To Kiss (not mentioned on the label).  The Liner notes however mention that during the next evening there was a Jam-Session with Herbie Hancock, Quentin Jackson, Sam Woodyard and Jimmy Wood  participating.

There is only one mention of the Grinnell performance in the DEMS Bulletin, no 3, 1993.

This is the band that had gained in confidence after the success at Newport half a year earlier and you can hear it!


By duke00

2 thought on “ELLINGTON at GRINNELL”
  1. Probably it’s worth pointing out that the listening session that is mentioned would only have included Herbie Hancock because he was a student at Grinnell. He would have been 16 at the time

  2. Thank you, Brian. I will mention it on the website when I when I will be able to get back to in in the beginning in the beginning of September. Ulf

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