Copenhagen 1958 (Bonus: After Hours 1950)

The Duke in Denmark




A piece of music history comes alive as Storyville Records releases a new recording capturing the legendary Duke Ellingon, live in Copenhagen, Denmark, 1958.


This recording, Copenhagen 1958 (Bonus: After Hours 1950), offers a rare glimpse into Ellington’s genius during a pivotal period in jazz history. In the late autumn of 1958, Ellington and his orchestra embarked on a whirlwind tour across Europe, leaving a trail of musical brilliance in their wake.


Among the highlights of this tour were two electrifying concerts held at Copenhagen’s iconic sports center, KB Hallen, on November 7. Although the original tapes have been lost to time, segments of these historic performances were broadcasted on separate occasions. Now, these broadcast recordings serve as the foundation for this release, transporting listeners back to a time, when Ellington’s music redefined the jazz landscape.


The album opens with Ellington’s signature tune, Take the A Train, over the vibrant energy of Newport Up to the soulful strains of My Funny Valentine, each track showcases the orchestra’s talent and Ellington’s innovative compositions. The orchestra was in great form in the late 50’s, with the mixture of veterans like Johnny Hodges and Harry Carney, and modernists like Jimmy
Hamilton, Clark Terry and Paul Gonsalves.


One of the highlights is the rendition of Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue featuring Paul Gonsalves’ legendary solo. In addition to the live recordings from the 1958 tour, this album also includes bonus tracks from after-hours settings in 1950; three tracks from a jam session at the dance restaurant Sct. Thomas in Copenhagen and two solo Ellington tunes recorded at a social
charity event in Aarhus.


Copenhagen 1958 stands as evidence of Ellington’s enduring musical legacy, demonstrating that his music remains as pertinent and influential today as it was during its inception!