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Alice Babs & Duke Ellington Serenade to Sweden. CD

  • Duke Ellington Is Widely Recognized as the Greatest Composer Jazz Has Produced

  • Alice Babs Had a Nation wide Hit in Her Home Country of Sweden at Age 15, and Went On to Appear in 14 Swedish Films from 1938 to 1959

  • Together, These Two Icons Made an Album in 1963, Serenade to Sweden, That Ranks as the Rarest Record in the Ellington Catalog

  • Never Reissued in Any Form

  • Features Cool Jazz Arrangements by Ellington, Some Boasting French Horns, and Some World- Class Scatting by Babs

  • Liner Notes by Scott Yanow

  • Remastered by Aaron Kannowski

  • Essential for Ellington Fans and Long Sought After 


    Alice Babs & Duke Ellington: Serenade to Sweden. CD

    Real Gone Music is proud to present what is probably the rarest album in the voluminous Duke Ellington discography, his 1963 date with Swedish singer Alice Babs, Serenade to Sweden. That year, Ellington was hired by the Reprise label as an A&R man, free to sign any artist he wanted and to record them. His first choice was Babs, who, in Ellington’s words, was “the most unique artist I know…She sings opera, she sings lieder, she sings what we call jazz and blues, she sings like an instrument, she even yodels, and she can read any and all of it!” For her part, Babs (born Hildur Alice Nilson) had a hit in Sweden when was only 15 (“Swing It Teacher”), and was an iconic figure in her homeland, appearing in 14 Swedish films from 1938 to 1959. The result of this meeting of legendary musical minds was a sublime cool jazz masterpiece that, sadly, never received a proper release in the U.S. and appears to be the only Ellington album never to be reissued on CD or even digitally, having eluded even the most comprehensive compilers. Needless to say, original copies go for big Swedish krona online, and not just because it’s rare; Babs’ wordless vocals and scat singing on “The Boy in My Dreams,” “Strange Visitor,” and “Babsie” are positively Ella-worthy, and Ellington’s masterful arrangements—at times filigreed with a French horn section—provide the perfect accompaniment. We’ve added liner notes by Scott Yanow, while the album boasts remastering by Aaron Kannowski. Fascinating for any jazz fan—essential for Ellington enthusiasts!

    1. Serenade to Sweden
    2. The Boy in My Dreams
    3. Stoona
    4. La De Doody Doo
    5. Strange Visitor
    6. Azure
    7. Come Sunday
    8. "C" Jam Blues
    8. C Jam Blues
    9. I Didn't Know About You
    10. Satin Doll
    11. Take Love Easy
    12. Babsie
    13. (I Want) Something to Live For
    14. I'm Beginning to See the Light
    15. Untitled Lullaby

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