For a band that had been on the road for 32 years, the six day engagement at Gröna Lund Tivoli in Stockholm offered Duke Ellington And His Orchestra the rare leisure of staying in the same place for several days.The orchestra played at the outdoor stage at Gröna Lund every evening, but on the 8th of June 1963 they later moved to an indoor restaurant called Dance Inn. Here, the band played in a relaxed setting for dancing. They did 2 long sets that you can hear on this 2 CD set.
“The atmosphere was at a peak level both on the scene and on the dancefloor”, Leif Anderson observed in “Orkester Journalen” - the legendary Swedish jazz magazine.
The Duke Ellington Orchestra at this time featured Swedish trumpeter Rolf “Roffe” Ericson and the audience was in for a treat: a chance to hear a few seldom–heard tunes, and the joy of hearing and feeling the sound of the great orchestra up close and in the moment.
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra:
Cootie Williams, Eddie Preston, Rolf Ericson (tp), Ray Nance (tp, vln, vo), Lawrence Brown, Chuck Conners, Buster Cooper (tb), Jimmy Hamilton (ts, cl), Russell Procope (as, cl) Johnny Hodges (as), Paul Gonsalves (ts), Harry Carney (bs, cl, bcl), Duke Ellington (p), Ernie Shepard (b), Sam Woodyard (dr)
Recorded at the Dance Inn, Gröna Lund Tivoli, Stockholm on the 8th of June 1963
"This is absolutely wonderful that - for all the technical expertise now available - simply couldn't be replicated today. You can't cut and paste genius."
- Chris Mosey (original article here)
"This is not an outstanding Duke Ellington album but, being by the Ellington Orchestra, it is still remarkable."
- Tony Augade, Musicweb-International
"Duke Ellington fans will have to get this set, as will anyone needing to be reminded how great Ellington’s orchestra was in the 1960s."
- Scott Yanow
- Ian Bradley
"An Indispensable issue for the serious enthusiast."
- Roger Boyes
"And then after Duke’s long intro to Lullaby of Birdland, something very special happens. Out of the heart and heat of the orchestral fullness comes the solo Swedish trumpet voice of Ericson, there on the earth of his own northern zone, thousands of miles away from Ellignton’s land, yet utterly attuned, completely involved, signally beautiful. It is one of jazz’s real moments, a defiance of borders, of race diference and nationality. But that was Ellington, every sound, every note."
- By Chris Searle (see original article here)