Skip to product information
1 of 2



Regular price $20.99 USD
Regular price $20.99 USD Sale price $20.99 USD
Sale Currently Out Of Stock
Shipping calculated at checkout.

What we have here is the welcome memento of the Duke Ellington’s 1959 European tour. Berlin’s Sportpalast is not a concert hall and during the cursed Nazi reign often was the site of speeches by Hitler and his fellow criminals, but the hall can perhaps be said to have been purified by sounds of jazz by the time of this concert. The music starts with the Ellington Medley, by then a standard concert opener in varied embodiments. Critics often chided Duke for (in their opinion) overdoing this staple, but in fact it was not only a clever way of dealing with what undoubtedly would have been audience requests for beloved Ducal standards, but also a way of celebrating the continued life of his musical heritage. The concert has been remastered to modern standards, and is a must own for any Ellington fan.


Storyville Records has released Duke Ellington & His Orchestra: Berlin 1959, a terrific live album with great sound and luxurious music. Partially released in past years on shabby bootlegs, this album gives us this concert with pristine sound. Don't cherry-pick songs when listening. The only way to enjoy this album is by listening from start to finish. Only then can you absorb the depth of the Ellington band's full spectrum of moods and the Duke's piano. Be aware that tracks 17 to 27 are part of an Ellington medley and aren't full songs. As a result, each song is short. (Marc Myers)

There can never be too many Duke Ellington albums. Heard here is Storyville’s recently released two-CD set titled Berlin 1959, a previously unreleased concert. The Duke Ellington Orchestra was well documented in the late 1950s following their major success at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, and the live concerts that have been released from this period can be a little predictable. Just as with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, there are some routines that do not differ that much from month to month although they eventually evolved. But, as with Armstrong, there are occasional surprises that make each concert well worth hearing.

Overall, everything works well during this fine concert. There may not have been an excess of surprises, but the results are fun.

--The Syncopated Times (Scott Yanow)

View full details
  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 2
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Storyville Records
    • UPC/Barcode: 717101831524
    • Item Number: SVL1038315