Duke Ellington (1899-Forever)

Ellington 1925

Here it is the night of Duke Ellington’s 114th birthday and Rifftides has left you bereft of a flowery tribute to his genius, immortality, indispensability and __________ (fill in the blank). Instead, let’s see all of that in action in a clip from the 1930 RKO film Check and Double Check. Trumpets: Freddie Jenkins, Cootie Williams & Arthur Whetsol. Trombones: Joe (Tricky Sam) Nanton & Juan Tizol (valve trombone). Reeds: Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard. Rhythm: Ellington (p), … [Read more...]

Lilacs In The Wind

Lilacs 2013 # 1

This spring, the lilacs seem to have blossomed a bit earlier than usual. They are everywhere in this big valley, in shades from snow white to purple so deep it’s almost black. We have three banks of lilac bushes In our south 40. The one at the bottom end is the biggest and most glorious. Here are a couple of glimpses. Unfortunately, I can’t offer you the aroma. What does this have to with jazz? It needn’t have anything to do with it; the subtitle of the blog is, “…on jazz and other … [Read more...]