Duke Ellington: Sing You Sinners


Sing You Sinners


Harlem Hot Chocolates


The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings, Volume 1 (Archeophone 3002)

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Duke Ellington (piano), Freddie Jenkins (trumpet), Johnny Hodges (alto sax),

Irving Mills (vocals), Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams (trumpets), Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton, Juan Tizol (trombones), Harry Carney (alto sax), Barney Bigard (tenor sax), Fred Guy (guitar), Wellman Braud (bass), Sonny Greer (drums)


Composed by W. Franke Harling & Sam Coslow


Recorded: March 1930


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

The merchandise produced by Hit of the Week was pretty generic, which was understandable given that these flexible discs sold at newsstands for 15 during the early years of the Depression and had to appeal to the average listener. So when we hear some hot playing by the Ellington band on this label, it is a rare and special occurrence.

The results sound spontaneous the arrangement appears to be a stock (meaning that the publisher prepared and printed the arrangement so that it could be 'stocked' on music-dealer shelves to be purchased by anyone), and the band sounds a little rough, as if this were recorded in the morning following a long night at the Cotton Club. While this side is hardly a classic (Irving Mills's vocals do not improve with time), it is another instance of the power and beauty of the Ellington band. I believe that Jenkins plays the trumpet solo, and the alto spot could only be Johnny Hodges.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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