Search - Duke Ellington :: V-Disc Recordings

V-Disc Recordings
Duke Ellington
V-Disc Recordings
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #3


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CD Details

All Artists: Duke Ellington
Title: V-Disc Recordings
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Collector's Choice
Original Release Date: 4/20/1999
Release Date: 4/20/1999
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Swing Jazz, Orchestral Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 617742359428

CD Reviews

Particularly entertaining Ellingtonia
bukhtan | Chicago, Illinois, USA | 09/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"These pieces were recorded between 1934 ("Live and love tonight") and 1947 ("New York City blues"), the greater part toward the end of that period. They are drawn from studio sessions, radio broadcasts and live performances. Some of these were broadcast as part of the Duke Ellington Treasury Series on the new ABC radio "blue channel" and are becoming available as those recordings are re-released on CD.
According to Eddie Lambert's "Duke Ellington : a listener's guide" (Scarecrow 1999) none of the Ellington Orchestra's recordings that appeared on V-disc were recorded expressly for the V-disc program. He quotes Richard Sear's book "V-discs : a history and discogaphy" (Greenwood Press 1980): "[George T.] Simon, a V-disc producer, asked Duke if he would let the band make V-discs. Duke suggested he 'ask some of the guys'. 'And so I went over to Harry Carney and Lawrence Brown, whom I'd known for years, and asked them. Their reply in essence: 'George, if you are asking us to do this for free as a personal favor for you, of course we'll do it. But if you are asking us to do it for the Army, forget it - not when you consider the way they have been treating our people.' That's why I never had the privilege of recording the Ellington Band for V Disc.'"
The V-Disc program, detailed in Sears' book, afforded jazz (and classical) musicians opportunities not often available earlier. In particular, Duke got the chance to release extended compositions on one side of a record. "Diminuendo & crescendo in blue" is an example of this, at 6.28 minutes. Earlier, 78's had allowed not much over three minutes, then to the flip side.
Record companies cooperated with the V-Disc program only on the understanding that masters would be carefully guarded and destroyed upon termination of the program. One record company executive actually did time in jail for merely possessing V-Disc products after the program. So there are no surviving masters, and the records themselves quickly became rare. Listeners should be aware that not all Ellington performances made available on V-Disc are included in this set, presumably because they have become unobtainable for the reason noted above. ...The producers did a fine job in their compilation and sound transfer, considering the inherent difficulties. The only reason I'm giving it four rather than five stars is the lack of full liner notes, which are especially desirable for recordings of such great historical as well as musical interest...."
Elaine Olden | Littleton, MA United States | 07/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"These V-Disks are a great way to get recordings from mid 1943 to mid 1945. The quality of the sound is very good when you consider that it was almost 60 years ago that these songs were recorded. I agree with one reviewer that the only thing V-Disks lack is dates and personel of each song. I highly recommend this set and the Benny Goodman set."
Important Music
Michael D. Robbins | San Antonio, Texas United States | 04/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The lack of real program notes and discographical information in this set is unfortunate, but the music is so wonderful, and of such historic importance, that these discs are necessary to any self-respecting Ellington collection. Some of these items were dubbed from commercial sources, and are readily available elsewhere, but at least half of the tracks come from mid-1940s non-commercial sources, and are quite rare.The Duke never recorded the "Deep South Suite" commercially in its entirety, and made "New World A Comin'" only with a symphony orchestra many years later. Both works are here, complete and in their original form. Even the mainstays of the Ellington repertoire, such as "Creole Love Call" and "Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue," are heard in fine performances that are different from the better-known versions.Discographical data about the recordings may be obtained from an excellent Ellington discography at, which is indexed both chronologically and by song title. The first track on the first disc is misnamed "Ellington Mood" on the CD, but is actually "Progressive Gavotte." All of the other tracks are easily findable by using the song title index on the website. If you have an interest in 1940s Ellington, don't pass up this set."