The Duke Box
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The Duke Box includes more than eight hours of music from what many consider the greatest decade (1940s) of the greatest orchestra in the history of jazz.
This 8-CD box set* captures Duke Ellington and his musicians, including Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster, Lawrence Brown, Sam Nanton, Harry Carney, Rex Stewart, Barney Bigard and Jimmy Blanton, live in dance halls, night clubs, concert halls and radio stations.
We are lucky indeed that these slice-of-life documents survive, or were made in the first place, such as the unique Fargo dance date (what was captured that long night is a veritable treasure trove of music) and hearing it chronologically places this grand music in a very special and illuminating perspective. All the favourite Ellington standards are here, which you may know but have never heard like this before as there are several different versions and each one is different! There are also rare tracks that even seasoned Ellingtonians will encounter for the first time.
The accompanying 40-page illustrated booklet (155mm x 297 mm) includes liner notes by Dan Morgenstern and photographs by Herman Leonard and William Gottlieb. *Please note that these 8 CDs are available only as a box set and not sold separately.
CD 1: 1940
19 tracks. Recorded Jan 9, 1940 at the Southland Cafe (NBC Broadcast) (9 tracks); June 10, 1940, CBS Studios, New York. (10 tracks) Total Time: 58:19 mins.
CD 2: 1940
23 tracks. All recorded on November 7, 1940, live at Crystal Ballroom, Fargo, North Dakota. Total Time: 77:24 mins.
CD 3: 1940
22 tracks. All recorded on November 7, 1940, live at Crystal Ballroom, Fargo, North Dakota. Total Time: 76:56 mins.
CD 4: 1943
25 tracks. Recorded as radio broadcasts at the Hurricane, New York, on April 3-4 & June 6, 1943 (22 tracks); December 8, 1943 at Langley Air Force Base, Hampton, Virginia (3 tracks.) Total Time: 67:06 mins.
CD 5: 1943
13 tracks. All tracks recorded on December 11, 1943, live at Carnegie Hall, New York.
Total Time: 55:29 mins.
CD 6: 1943-1944
16 tracks. Recorded December 11, 1943, live at Carnegie Hall, New York (12 tracks); July 8, 1944, Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland (4 tracks). Total Time: 57:53 mins.
CD 7: 1945-1946
20 tracks. Recorded Sept 26, 1945, The New Zanzibar, New York (10 tracks); August 3, 1945, New World Studios, New York (8 tracks); April 20, 1946, Howard Theatre, Washington DC (2 tracks).
Total Time: 71:20 mins.
CD 8: 1949
17 tracks. All tracks recorded on February 1949 at the Hollywood Empire, Hollywood, California. Total Time: 70:57 mins.