I put some real distance into ‘ol Thunder n’ Lightning this morning over 18.5k of pavement out to Sherkston and back (with some additional detours thrown in for good measure) and, while things were a bit sore afterwards everything is, well, not so bad at the moment. Maybe accompanying Kelly up and down the aisles at Wegmen’s afterwards wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Anyway, I’m home now and indulging in a light yoga just to keep things nice and limber prior to tomorrow’s planned long bike ride. My soundtrack for this evening’s stretch is the ‘At the Bal Masque‘ album by Duke Ellington.
I found this at the Niagara Record Shop in downtown St. Catharines yesterday afternoon after being hassled out of the ‘Antique & Collectible Co.‘ store in Welland by some bitchy lady who couldn’t even let me purchase the few records I did find in the short time she allowed me to browse because she “had no money to make change”.
Interestingly, her way around this dilemma was to pull out other records that I wasn’t interested in simply because their combined prices would then add up to an amount she would have to break up a $20 bill for.
Who does that?
I only wish I was joking.
So I promptly took my business elsewhere before I gave in to the temptation to dropkick her square in the cooter.
The upshot to all this is that this is one of the awesome albums that I ended coming back with instead and any Ellington album that I already don’t own is a good album.
Having said that, one Ellington’s more unusual albums of the ’50s (1958 actually), this live session finds the orchestra performing such songs as ‘Got a Date with an Angel‘, ‘The Peanut Vendor‘, ‘Indian Love Call‘, ‘Satan Takes a Holiday‘ and even ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf‘. And as original as fun as this set list is, sadly, most of these tunes he would never record again
As the scoop goes, Ellington was doing a series of performances at the famed supper club at the Americana Hotel in Miami, Florida. Inspired by the room’s masquerade decor, Ellington fashioned his own musical masquerade of the twelve couple, or compositions that make up this album. Alice and the wolf, an angel and Satan, a butterfly and a peanut vendor, a satin doll and a donkey, the lady in red and a clown all paraded by, while Duke dressed like Carmen Cavallaro, sat at the piano and hosted the party. This album then is the recording of that affair, featuring the full Ellington band and soloists in a program of a dozen danceable standards.
Eat your heart out, hippie freaks.
While certainly not the most essential of Ellington records, ‘At the Bal Masque‘ is still a surprise success and a very enjoyable listen while making my poor fatigued and sore quads, calves and glutes scream in agony.
Hurts so good, baby.