Released next Monday in the UK is a 3CD set on the Acrobat (European ‘grey market’) label entitled Duke Ellington and his Orchestra Rare Live Recordings 1952-3.
The producers claim that amongst the material are some recordings which have never been released before.
The product description on Amazon UK says:
“The recordings in this collection come from the Ackerman tapes, an archive held in Stanford University in California comprising live jazz recordings, many previously unreleased. The recordings come from four separate live performances by the Duke Ellington Orchestra, with three from Jan.-Apr. 1952. The entirety of CD1 and the first two tracks of CD2 comprise a concert on 5th January 1952 at New Yorks Metropolitan Opera House, which is previously unreleased in any form, apart from one track. Tracks 3-9 of CD2 are from a performance at an unknown venue during March 1952 in the US North-west, and Tracks 10-18 of CD2 and Tracks 1-4 of CD3 are from a show at The Armory, Yakima, Washington State on the Dukes birthday 29th April 1952. Several tracks from these performances have never been released, while the remainder have only ever been on vinyl. The remainder of CD 3 comprises 1953 recordings are from a dance date at McElroys Ballroom in Portland Oregon, a favourite gig of Ellingtons during his regular tours of the north-west around his birthday, which have appeared on vinyl and CD, but not, we think, all on one CD. In all, of the 45 tracks, 20 are previously unreleased, 15 have only appeared on vinyl, while the other 10 have been on various CDs, now generally unavailable, we believe.Some of the recordings include Ellington's characteristic and entertaining links and introductions which add a unique flavour and atmosphere to the collection.It is a snapshot of a great orchestra under an iconic leader during a period when the big band market had been hit by post-war austerity and the emergence of bebop and R&B small groups, and one-night stands like these were its bread-and-butter work. We are sure that it will provide a welcome addition to the collections of Duke Ellington and big band enthusiasts.”
Full details here.