Duke EllingtonRarest Style 1952 - Private Sessions !

Label:Sunburst (7) – 501
Vinyl, LP, Album, Unofficial Release, Mono


A1It Don't Mean A Thing
A3Mood Indigo
A4Sophisticated Lady
A5Happy Birthday Duke!
B1Take The A Train
B2Chelsea Bridge
B4Fancy Dan
B5C Jam Blues

Companies, etc.



This release was recorded live in 1952 commemorating and celebrating Dukes 52nd Birthday. There is hand clapping, instrument preparation practice and audience innuendos in the start. within, and at the end of most tracks. Released as "Private Sessions" on the Sunburst Records of Wilmington, Delaware.
Cover branded with: "No Broadcasts used!!" and "Never on any LP before !!"

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, etched): SBST 501A
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, etched): SBST 501B



  • MamboMadness's avatar
    Notes: Single LP with no details re: date or personnel. There’s some speculation that the date in question is March 22nd, 1952, but I haven’t seen solid scholarship to back this up. I would assume we’re listening to the Duke Ellington band of 1952, which would look something like: Duke Ellington (piano); Ray Nance (vocals, trumpet, violin); Jimmy Grissom, Betty Roche (vocals); Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet); Hilton Jefferson (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet); Willie Cook, Clark Terry, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, Juan Tizol (trombone); Wendell Marshall (bass); Louis Bellson (drums).
    Thoughts: To a certain extent, Duke’s music requires me to put on my thinking cap. Some people wake up, and their cap’s on. I tend to resist putting it on until it’s absolutely necessary, and even then I get irritated that it’s messing up my hair. As much as I love music, I don’t always enjoy approaching it with the most critical ear. This is in part because I don’t have the best ear, and in part because there’s a certain joy in just letting sounds wash over you and deriving some abstract pleasure from that. I tend to equate the Duke Ellington / Count Basie divide in jazz with the Beatles / Rolling Stones debate in rock. In each case, the latter remained primarily a blues band, while the former was eventually perceived as making “art” on a level that transcended the genre they originally helped to create. As time went on, Duke got a little heady, and I have to put in work as a listener to keep up. But that’s later, and in 1952 Duke was still making his trademark brand of big band jazz. In some ways, it was an odd time in Duke’s career, and the band wasn’t doing particularly well financially, and it became hard to sustain a big band with
    R&B on the horizon, and with jazz declining as America’s predominant art form. Sonny Greer, Lawrence Brown, and Johnny Hodges all left for greener pastures, and the band’s great revival at Newport in 1956 was still four years off. Still, musically it’s a great record—I just wish I could scrape up some details about the date. Time to ask Phil Schaap!


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