Sunday Serendipity, Jazz

As I surf the internet tubes I’m always on the look out for music for Sunday morning. This Sunday’s piece started with a recommendation in a recent post on science fiction writer, Spider Robinson’s blog. He suggested we would all be better if we listened to a recently recorded (2018) version of Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige performed by Wynton Marsalis. I couldn’t find that but I did find this performance that included A selection of Count Basie standards and Duke Ellington‘s Black, Brown and Beige too, performed by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra.

It is a bit long, almost 2 hours but this morning it made for a relaxing time as I cooked breakfast, ate it and did house work afterward.

Enjoy, Jack

Notes from the video

In this performance, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis plays essential big band music by Duke Ellington and Count Basie. For the first part of the concert, the JLCO swings through a number of classic Basie standards, including “April in Paris,” “Swinging the Blues,” and “Jumpin’ at the Woodside.” Count Basie’s band always brought a party with them when they came to town, and this performance will channel the unstoppable swing and iconic blues riffs that brought down the house wherever they went. The second half of the concert features a full performance of Ellington’s groundbreaking masterpiece Black, Brown & Beige. Originally composed for his 1943 debut at Carnegie Hall, it was advertised as “Duke Ellington’s first symphony,” and Ellington described the powerful three-movement suite as a “tonal parallel to the history of the American Negro.” Stung by the criticism of so ambitious and unexpected a work, he spent the rest of his life revising and updating it, leaving us with a distinctive suite of music that continues to inspire.


35 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity, Jazz”

  1. “Come Sunday” from

    Black Brown & Beige

    Lord, dear Lord I’ve loved, God almighty
    God of love, please look down and see my people through

    Lord, dear Lord I’ve loved, God almighty
    God of love, please look down and see my people through

    I believe that sun and moon up in the sky
    When the day is gray
    I know it, clouds passing by

    He’ll give peace and comfort
    To every troubled mind
    Come Sunday, oh come Sunday
    That’s the day

    Often we feel weary
    But he knows our every care
    Go to him in secret
    He will hear your every prayer

    Lillies on the valley
    They neither toll nor spin
    And flowers bloom in spring time
    Birds sing

    Often we feel weary
    But he knows our every care
    Go to him in secret
    He will hear your every prayer

    Up from dawn till sunset
    Man work hard all the day
    Come Sunday, oh come Sunday
    That’s the day

    Songwriters: DUKE ELLINGTON
  2. Jack,

    Absolutely wonderful choice particularly with the current political climate.  Ellington was a central musical figure in the Harlem Renaissance that  was peopled by some of our greatest writers.  This bio captures some of that feeling.

    As to the wonderful shades of humanity you can find in the world, Langston Hughes brought it home with a joyous poem of tribute to black women with Harlem Sweeties.  

    Harlem Sweeties

    Have you dug the spill
    Of Sugar Hill?
    Cast your gims
    On this sepia thrill:
    Brown sugar lassie,
    Caramel treat,
    Honey-gold baby
    Sweet enough to eat.
    Peach-skinned girlie,
    Coffee and cream,
    Chocolate darling
    Out of a dream.
    Walnut tinted
    Or cocoa brown,
    Pride of the town.
    Rich cream-colored
    To plum-tinted black,
    Feminine sweetness
    In Harlem’s no lack.
    Glow of the quince
    To blush of the rose.
    Persimmon bronze
    To cinnamon toes.
    Blackberry cordial,
    Virginia Dare wine—
    All those sweet colors
    Flavor Harlem of mine!
    Walnut or cocoa,
    Let me repeat:
    Caramel, brown sugar,
    A chocolate treat.
    Molasses taffy,
    Coffee and cream,
    Licorice, clove, cinnamon
    To a honey-brown dream.
    Ginger, wine-gold,
    Persimmon, blackberry,
    All through the spectrum
    Harlem girls vary—
    So if you want to know beauty’s
    Rainbow-sweet thrill,
    Stroll down luscious,
    Delicious, fine Sugar Hill.
  3. jamie, also from that golden time

    No one to talk to All by myself No one to walk with I’m happy on the shelf Ain’t misbehavin’ Savin’ all my love for you I know for certain The one I love I’m through with flirtin’ It’s just you that I’ve been thinkin’ of Ain’t misbehavin’ Savin’ all my love for you Like Jack Horner In that old corner Don’t go nowhere What do I care? Your kisses are worth waitin’ for Believe me I don’t stay out late Nowhere to go I’m home about eight Just me and my radio Ain’t misbehavin’ Savin’ all my love for you Like Jack Horner In that old corner Don’t go nowhere What do I care? Your kisses are worth waitin’ for Believe me I don’t stay out late Nowhere to go I’m home about eight Just me and my radio Ain’t misbehavin’ Savin’ all my love for you Ain’t misbehavin’ I’m savin’ all my love for you

    Songwriters: Andy Razaf, Fats Waller, Harry Brooks
    © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    For non-commercial use only.
    Data From: LyricFind

  4. hughes’ brown sugar lassie also brought to mind ” honeysuckle rose” from that fats waller’s musical


  5. There are a lot of YouTube videos about Jazz and how it evolved over the years.  Some of them are television series moved to YouTube, some are done by individuals with a passion for Jazz.
    I have come to enjoy the exploration of YouTube for many experiences.  Something about it that I have come to appreciate is that many of the people posting videos are not the top level names.  I have come across videos which are very good to great by people who have spent a lot of time and effort to research the subject and put it out in a way that would be award winning if it was a movie or television series. 

  6. jamie, your history lesson brought up the names of williams & walker, famous black vaudevillians.  can’t remember the movie where bob hope did a great version of bert williams song “nobody” but nobody ever really did it as well as bert himself.


  7.  Biden leads in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania due to COVID concerns, country's direction — Battleground Tracker poll

    Among both candidates’ supporters, most say their support is very strong, and they express enthusiasm about voting this year. Those who didn’t vote in 2016 are more likely to now support Biden than Mr. Trump. Each state’s race would be closer without these new voters.

    No wonder Trump needs to fuck around with the Post Office. The only way to win is more and more cheating!

  8. Pat, Jamie thanks for the contributions that expanded todays thread.
    An interesting thought I had.  Look at the movement from Blackface minstrel, to Bert Williams , to the Fats Waller clips done for a white audience to the Jazz of Basie and  Ellington where they through off the shackles of minstrel traditions and let the music speak for itself. 
    Even then, in 1943, Ellington was not given the credit for his masterpiece that  white composers of the era were. In some ways he was deemed to be above himself by critics of the time.

  9. Good heavens, I got an email inviting me to a gathering in another state.   WTF is wrong with folks?   

  10. jack, ben vereen (see the link jamie provided) in his special way tried to show that segue/bridge you mentioned.  no wonder he was mad at abc for cutting it short. 

     For his contribution to the gala, Vereen staged an homage to the legendary 
    black vaudevillian Bert Williams, one of the most popular entertainers of the early twentieth century. The tribute, which he performed with Ronald and Nancy Reagan seated regally near the stage, consisted of two parts. First, Vereen sang the popular show tune “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee.” He did so dressed as Williams, wearing coat and tails, and, as Williams would have—as was required of African-American theatrical performers of Williams’s era—wearing blackface, too.
    The tribute begins buoyantly. After the first song, looking delighted by the rapturous applause of his audience, Vereen, still performing as Williams, mimics an interaction with an imaginary bartender and offers to buy the largely Republican crowd a celebratory drink. Then he gently makes it clear that this gesture has been denied owing to the color of his skin. Appearing deflated, Vereen then sings Williams’s signature song, the mordant and dirgelike “Nobody” (“I ain’t never got nothin’ from nobody, no time”), while staring into a makeup mirror and wiping the black paint from his face.
    This final five minutes of Vereen’s performance is anguished yet defiant, evoking the pain and exploitative power of blackface minstrelsy and the distortions of stereotype. It was intended to implicate the predominantly white audience. And almost nobody saw it. The gala was televised on ABC, on tape delay, but the broadcast omitted this latter half of Vereen’s act. Vereen had been promised that the whole performance would be shown, and he felt betrayed by the network’s decision to edit out the latter part. 

  11. Except for the Gershwins and Carmichael, I don’t remember jazz composers getting credited in the old days.  Armstrong just played cornet/fluegelhorn/trumpet. Ellington was just a band leader/pianist like Waller. 

  12. Now there’s a little project……compare the average number of obituary pages in all the newspapers for 6 months before the econo virus, against the last six months.
    Printer’s ink

  13. Mrs. P’s 1st cousin’s son got married this weekend. Was going to be an extended family beach wedding at Huntington Beach, and Mrs. P’s mother was invited, which would have entailed a flight from Seattle to LA. It ended up being an immediate family only affair at the happy couple’s apartment. Glad they got smart enough to be responsible. 

  14. There was a nice red brick hotel on the edge of Charleston, by the Ashley River.  (At that time raw sewage flowed thru pipes from Charleston into the river.)  It was the stately 3 story rectangular bldg called The Hotel James. It’s where all the black entertainers stayed.  All of them who visited Charleston.  They had a ballroom on the first floor, with live music.  We had a black drummer in our band for awhile and he began to take me there to see the Bob Hines Trio.  Segregation had ended by the time I got to go there, and it was becoming a bit run-down and seedy.   In its heyday that place saw some pretty major personalities.

  15. Calculating America’s eviction crisis: Up to 40 million people are at risk of being kicked out of their homes

    Between 30 and 40 million people in the U.S. could be at risk of eviction in the next several months, according to a report released Friday by a group of housing researchers. The report aggregated existing research related to the housing crisis caused by COVID-19.

    The researchers said the current situation could be “the most severe housing crisis” in the nation’s history.

  16. One more reason to hate Orangius Lardius – the winner of the PGA Championship- American golfer Collin Morikawa. Not Johnson (American), not Casey (English), not Day (Australian), but Morikawa (American). A FUCKING NATION OF IMMIGRANTS, get it , asshole?  (Sorry).

  17. Please give Jennifer Rubin a hand for calling SFB’s bullshit out.  Stupid ass EOs that aren’t constitutional in the first place. But then again WTF does he know about the constitution?  Here, I’ll save you the trouble- nothing. 

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