Duke Ellington & Mahalia Jackson
Duke Ellington & Mahalia Jackson
Duke Ellington : Black, brown and Beige, featuring Mahalia Jackson
Duke Ellington (piano, director), Mahalia Jackson (vocals), Cat Anderson, Harold Baker, Clark Terry (trumpets), Ray Nance (trumpet & violin), Quentin Jackson, John Sanders, Britt Woodman (trombone), Harry Carney (baritone saxophone), Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone), Bill Graham (alto saxophone), Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet), Russell Procope (clarinet & alto saxophone), Jimmy Woode (bass), Sam Woodyard (drums)
Recorded in 1958
Pure Pleasure Records : 2 LPs 180 gram
Brand New and Sealed Record
A1 - Part I
A2 - Part II
A3 - Part III (aka Light)
B1 - Part IV (aka Come Sunday)
B2 - Part V (aka Come Sunday)
B3 - Part VI (23rd Psalm)
C1 - Track 360 (aka Trains, alt. take)
C2 - Blues In Orbit (aka Tender, alt. take)
C3 - Part I (alt. take)
C4 - Part II (alt. take)
C5 - Part III (aka Light, alt. take)
D1 - Part IV (aka Come Sunday, alt. take)
D2 - Part V (aka Come Sunday, alt. take)
D3 - Part VI (23rd Psalm, alt. take)
D4 - Studio Conversation (Mahalia swears)
D5 - Come Sunday (a capella)
**Sides C & D released on vinyl for the first time with this issue
Part I : Black, Brown and Beige opens with Sam Woodyard’s drums, leading to a full-orchestra statement of the Work Song. Solos that follow are by Harry Carney, baritone sax, Shorty Baker, trumpet, Quentin Jackson, trombone.
Part II : This section introduces Come Sunday instrumentally with a valve trombone solo by John Sanders, followed by solos from Ray Nance, violin, Duke at the piano, Harry Carney, and Shorty Baker.
Part III : This section closes the first side by combining the Work Song and Come Sunday. Solos are by Shorty Baker, who opens the section, “Cat” Anderson on trumpet with plunger, Britt Woodman, trombone, with a final all-out statement of the two themes.
Part IV : Come Sunday now becomes Mahalia’s. In fact, she hums an extra chorus as if she were aware of the power of her performance and wanted to let it linger a moment more.
Part V : Ray Nance is featured in a violin statement of Come Sunday intended to provide an interlude between Mahalia’s first and final performances.
Part VI : Mahalia Jackson sings the Twenty-Third Psalm.
Black, Brown, & Beige is Duke Ellington's musical representation of the African American experience in the United States. It is arguably The Maestro's greatest work. The triumph of telling so important a story so well through music alone makes Duke Ellington's Black, Brown, & Beige a masterpiece. Black, Brown, & Beige also displays Duke's, and Jazz's, highest achievement in long form. Whether you perceive it as a three movement symphony or accept Ellington's own personalized terminology "Tone Parallel," Black, Brown, & Beige matches conceptually and in artistic content the musical continuity of Western Classical's greatest names in their lengthiest works.
The history of Black, Brown, & Beige is in its own right momentous. Ellington premiered the work at Carnegie Hall on January 23, 1943, at Duke's first performance on that illustrious stage.
The Maestro has created the Come Sunday Suite. Duke Ellington basically reduced his three movement work to its first, "Black," elevating that movement's spiritual theme, "Come Sunday," making it the melody of the edited work. Truncating the symphony Black, Brown, & Beige into the song "Come Sunday" works because Duke Ellington has expanded "Come Sunday" through numerous theme and variations unknown to the original. The piece de resistance: a sacred text, by Duke himself, a text sung by the best known African-American religious singer in history, Mahalia Jackson. There is no doubt that it is the presence and performance of Mahalia Jackson which secures a home in the pantheon for this recasting of Black, Brown, & Beige, a work that already resided there.
This Pure Pleasure LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas.