Russell Davies - 03/05/2009

Amidst the flurry of anniversaries, our first show of the new month gives us the chance to indulge in a few personal favourites and turn up some new gems, in particular Carmen McRae's fine rendering of an Artie Shaw song, Winter In May. We also revisit the Duke Ellington's album, In A Mellotone, from which we play the Herb Jeffries number I Don't Know What Kind Of Blues I Got. This album has long been a favourite of ours, containing as it does some of Duke's finest creations of the 1940s. It also features the Blanton-Webster band, so-called because of the huge effect that the two newcomers - bassist Jimmy Blanton and tenor sax-man Ben Webster - had on the band's output. It was a short-lived period - Ben moved on to other things in 1943 and Jimmy died tragically young in 1942 - but their influence reverberated long after their time. The album includes the original versions of two other songs for our Ellington tribute - All Too Soon and I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good.