The latest TapeOp magazine has an interview with Bruce Swedien. Two tape boxes are pictured.
I immediately recognized one of the tape boxes, the Duke Ellington sessions of November 29-30, 1962.
All but two of those tunes ended up spread across two LPs: 1) Duke's first Reprise LP, "Will The Big
Bands Ever Come Back?" (RS-6168) and, 2) the posthumous Atlantic LP, "Recollections of the Big Band
Era" (SD-1665). The rest of the tunes on both those LPs were recorded at Fine Recording, NYC in
December, 1962 and January, 1963.
The "untitled" tune on Bruce Swedien's tape was like a first crack at "Afro-Bossa" from the Reprise
album of the same title, RS-6069. That take was not released, the master take as well as the rest of
the album except "Volupte" (recorded by Bruce Swedien) were recorded in January 1963 at Fine
Recording. Duke's Reprise album, "Concert In the Virgin Islands," was also recorded at Fine
Recording, in March and April, 1965.
These facts come from the discography included in Mosaic Records #193, "Duke Ellington: The Reprise
Studio Recordings." The late 1962 and early 1963 sessions from Chicago and NYC are disc 1 of the
5-CD set. The bulk of the January 1963 "Afro-Bossa" sessions plus "Volupte" from Chicago 11/62 begin
For completeness sake, here's where Bruce Swedien's recordings ended up (all releases in stereo, by
the way, but also mono versions of the original LPs):
"Christopher Columbus," "Let's Get Together," "Chant Of the Weed," and "I'm Getting Sentimental Over
You" ended up on Atlantic SD-1665, which was released in the 80s (I remember picking up a copy in a
store because I noticed that then head of mastering at Atlantic and former Fine Recording head of
mastering, George Piros, had done the cutting at Atlantic).
"Goodbye" and "One O'Clock Jump" ended up on Reprise RS-6168.
"Volupte" ended up on "Afro-Bossa," Reprise RS-6069.
The session Bruce Swedien engineered shows the range of Duke Ellington's musicality and imagination.
The band cut a bunch of old swing-era tunes for a swing tribute album and also used part of the
studio time to work on brand new material for a brand new, very current album combining the
then-happening bossa nova craze with Duke's knowledge of African rhythms and American jazz melodies.
Those interested can download high-resolution (192/24) recent-era transfers of "Will The Big Bands
Come Back?" and "Afro-Bossa" (as well as "Concert In the Virgin Islands") at the Chesky brothers'
HDTracks.com. HDTracks text indicates these are new transfers from the master tapes done by Warner
Music Group. The Mosaic box set, which was transferred and mastered from original 2- and 3-track
tapes by Malcolm Addey, is long out of print but one of the gray-market CD reissuers had
re-compilations of the original LP tracks that seem to be rips of the Mosaic CDs. I'm not sure if
those CDs are still in print.
The Count Basie tape box pictured seems to be from the Happy Tiger LP "Basie On The Beatles,"
released in 1970. It was, essentially, a bunch of big-band covers of Beatles tunes. There is a CD
reissue out there, seems to be made in Europe from an LP transfer.
-- Tom Fine