Duke Ellington - Black And Tan Fantasy 1929 Arthur Whetsol plays the jungle style trumpet solos!





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Published on Mar 10, 2010

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra 1929.
Black And Tan Fantasy.
Black Beauty
Cotton Club Stomp

These are excerpts of the early jazz art movie : Black And Tan Fantasy
It shows the band in a setting very close to what the band did in the famous cotton club, backing dancers, singers and other acts.

Black and Tan Fantasy is one of the first pieces Ellington recorded in what is now called jungle style.
Originally in 1927 it was a kind of solo piece for trumpetter Bubber Miley. There also exist a lovely version (Even 2 takes) where Jabbo Smith substitutes for Miley, also 1927.
When the time was ready in 1929 to make a movie recording, Miley had allready left the Ellington band.
What makes this movie very interesting is that not Miley's follow up, Cootie Williams plays the solos, but instead it is Arthur Whetsol. Cootie was allready in the band, but self declared in an interview that at first he did laugh about the growl/plunger solos and only after a while started studying it seriously.

Arthur Whetsol was more known for his lyrical solo work, a famous example is the haunting beautyfull tone on Creole Rhapsody. Another striking lyrical solo by Whetsol can be heard on Black Beauty, also in this movie. Also note that Whetsol plays the muted solo on Black and Tan with a harmon mute, usually it is done with a plunger by others.

Also an interesting note is that the alto saxophone solo, that used to be played by Otto Hardwicke, is not played by his follow up Johnny Hodges, but instead by Harry Carney, more famous for his baritone sax contributions.

Tricky Sam Nanton plays his usual plunger solo, which is pure magic!

Duke Ellington - piano, composer
Fred Guy - banjo
Wellman Braud - double bass
Sonny Greer - drums
Arthur Whetsol, Cootie Williams, Freddy Jenkins - trumpets
Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton - trombone, Juan Tizol - valve trombone
Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Barney Bigard - reeds

Freddie Washington - dancer

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