Thursday, January 24, 2019

Got it

After Stephen Colbert joked about Donald Trump and an EMT's Heimlich skills, Jon Batiste commented with a couple of bars of Billy Strayhorn's "U.M.M.G.," whose title refers to the Upper Manhattan Medical Group. Arthur Logan, Duke Ellington's doctor, was a member.

Someone got it.

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And now that it’s morning, here’s the evidence. Listen at 9:28.


And here are some recordings of “U.M.M.G.”: the original Ellington band recording, a version with Dizzy Gillespie, a later version from . . . And His Mother Called Him Bill (recorded after Strayhorn’s death), and small-group recordings by Strayhorn and Joe Henderson. Despite what the Internets say, Strayhorn did not compose “U.M.M.G.” on his deathbed. The first recording is from 1956. The piece that Strayhorn wrote in the hospital in 1967 is “Blood Count.”

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