Links, resources and playlists for the 4 sessions in the Jazzed about Jazz: Making Arrangements series I’m giving at DEAR every other Wednesday at 11:30, starting on January 18, 2023.

Session 1: Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn
  • Flamingo Soundie – 1941 “music video” of the day with Herb Jeffries singing his signature tune with the Ellington Orchestra, enlivened by the dancing of Janet Collins and Talley Beatty.
  • Nutcracker Playback episode – 5-minute TV ad for Columbia Records promoting The Nutcracker Suite, including Ellington conducting his orchestra and chatting about being Ellington.
  • Lush Life – Exquisite recording of Billy Strayhorn’s masterpiece sung by Johnny Hartman on his 1963 album with John Coltrane. Strayhorn wrote it as a teenager, but it wasn’t performed publicly until 1948.
Session 2: Gerry Mulligan
  • Mulligan Website – Official Gerry Mulligan website, home of the Gerry & Franca Mulligan Foundation.
Session 3: Gil Evans
  • TV Performance – Miles Davis & Gil Evans perform The Duke & Blues for Pablo from the Miles Ahead album in this well produced excerpt from a 1959 broadcast. The video quality is terrible, but the sound is surprisingly good for the time.
Session 4: Maria Schneider
  • Schneider Website – Official Maria Schneider website with all her recordings, links to her multitude of projects, and her blog, which details her ongoing battles for composer and performer rights in the digital age.
  • 2020 Thanksgiving video – Her orchestra has a long-standing tradition of playing Thanksgiving week at the Jazz Standard in NYC. In 2020 COVID prohibited this live gig, so Maria put together a video that combined segments from their 2019 Thanksgiving gig, along with clips from recording sessions and a Zoom session with all the members of the orchestra. It’s an absorbing look into a contemporary jazz orchestra and how it operates under the hood.

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