Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Alice Babs & Duke Ellington: Serenade to Sweden (Real Gone)

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Alice Babs & Duke Ellington: "Serenade to Sweden" (Real Gone)
Alice Babs & Duke Ellington: “Serenade to Sweden”

Ellington fans will recognize Alice Babs as the principal vocalist on his late-career landmark, 1968’s Second Sacred Concert. But there was another Ellington-Babs collaboration five years earlier, a sterling Paris session that resulted in Serenade to Sweden, widely considered the rarest album in the Ellington catalog, never reissued until now.

Age 39 at the time, Babs was an established film and recording star in her native Sweden. With impeccable English diction, she echoes the pop purity of Doris Day or Jo Stafford and the heaven-sent majesty of Mary Lou Williams, her jazz instincts keen and true. And, as demonstrated across several wordless tracks, her scatting often approaches Ella worthiness.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published