DUKE ELLINGTON SOCIETY OF SWEDEN

A Duke Ellington Video Montage (4)

We can now offer a new video montage to the DESS members. You’ll find it in the Goodies section. When clicking on the arrow below, you will find the introduction to a film short by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, “Salute To Duke Ellington” from March 6, 1950.

 

In the Goodies section this will continue into a piece called The History Of Jazz In 3 Minutes, and this is the first item in the montage. If you look carefully, you might recogonize a number of musicians which did not stay for a long period with Ellington, such as Nelson Williams, Al Killian, Dave Burns on trumpets, and Alva McCain and Charlie Rouse on tenors.

The second part is a video clip from a CBS telecast, “Music 55” from July 26, 1955. Here we can see and hear Stan Kenton and Ellington chat and play Artistry In Rhythm and Take The A Train together on two pianos, whereafter Duke performs his own Monologue. The famous violin player Yehudi Menuhin then plays Come Sunday together with Ellington.

In the third part we will hear Ed Murrow interviewing Duke Ellington in Duke’s apartment in NYC. This is from a telecast called “Person To Person” that took place on March 15, 1957.

The last video clip is from a concert in Bergen, Norway on Nov. 3, 1969. The band plays Take The A Train, Cottontail, Up Jump and La Plus Belle Africaine. The soloists are of course announced by Duke himself.

 

Enjoy!

Interview by Leonard Feather

Among other things, Leonard Feather was a productive writer and jazz critic. He was a frequent contributor to jazz magazines in many countries but he also wrote books and particularly a long series of jazz encyclopedia.

It started in 1955 when Feather published his ambitious The Encyclopedia of Jazz. It was  followed by The Encyclopedia Yearbook Of Jazz the year after and The Encyclopedia Yearbook of Jazz in The Sixties in 1966  .

The first edition of The Encyclopedia of Jazz was published by Horizon Press

but it is not easy to find one in good shape. Fortunately, the publisher Da Capo published a reprint of it in 1984 and it is more widely available.

The book starts with “appreciations” by Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and John Hammond. Ellington’s is the most interesting since it is more than just an appreciation.

It exists in two version, one printed in the book and one in a tape recording, which was transcribed for the book.

Steven Lasker has very kindly given the website a copy of the recording to share with the DESS members. It is the third goodie this month and is available in the Goodies Room.

Those, who don’t have the book, can follow the link below to download and read Ellington’s appreciation.

DE appreciation

 

New Bulletin Issue

DESS members, who has opted for the pdf version of the Bulletin, got the new issue on Monday. The printed version was posted the same day and at least the DESS members in Sweden should have started to get it today.

The cover story is about Booty Wood – “Duke’s pungent trombonist”.

The four-page article about him is written by DESS member Thomas Erikson – a specialist and great fan of Ellington’s trombonists.

He gives the readers of the Bulletin a comprehensive story of Wood’s musical career.

Lionel Hampton’s 1940’s big band, the military during the Second World War years and Erskine Hawkins’ late 1940’s band was Wood’s musical upbringing grounds according to the article and apparently he liked in particular his period with Hawkins.

During that, Wood participated in Hawkins’ recordings for Victor and one of them resulted in the album Erskine Hawkins Plays W.C. Handy For Dancing.

Wood was really in and out of the Ellington orchestra over the years and one wonders why. Was it family?

Anyhow, his first period was really only a year – from September 1959 to end of 1960 – but he left many good marks from it in Columbia recordings like Blues In The Orbit, Piano In The Background and the Nutcracker Suites, in small groups recordings under Hodges and Harry Carney’s namn and his own album Hang In and in recordings from concerts and dances.

After this period, Wood was away from the Ellington Orchestra for more than 10 years except for a short return in 1963 to play in the orchestra formed for My People. He was back in late 1969 to replace Lawrence Brown and stayed to late 1972. But the impression from article is that he was only brought back to fill a chair and handle the trombone part in traditional concert numbers.  It would have been interesting to get Thomas’ view on this.

What has been written above is only some snapshots of what Thomas has to say about Booty Wood. There is much more to read in his well researched article.

Another long article in the new issue is a transcript of a presentation at the Ellington ’94 in Stockholm by Austin H. Lawrence on Bubber Miley. It is a good introduction to Miley’s life and career and is recommended as such. The article is prefaced by short introduction of Lawrence by Bo Haufman.

Among Bo Haufman’s contributions to the new Bulletin is also an interesting article about Marie Ellington.

It has also a reprint of an article about Mercer Ellington in the program for his European Tour in 1977, an excerpt from exam paper by a Swedish music student about Jimmy Blanton way of playing the bass and some thoughts by DESS member Jan-Olov Isaksson on LP and CD tributes to Duke Ellington.

There is also a follow up of the cover story in the previous Bulletin about Lil Greenwood. DESS members Bjarne Busk and Brian Koller wrote about it on the Duke-LYM site and their comments are reprinted in the new Bulletin.

Bjarne Busk has also broadcasted an hour-long program about Lil Greenwood on the Radio Jazz (http://www.radiojazz.dk/. It has a long interview with Sven-Erik Baun Christensen, who wrote the article about Greenwood, and music featuring her. The broadcast can be found in the podcast section of Radio Jazz but it is also available at the DESS website here.

 

A Duke Ellington Video Montage (3)

There is a new video montage for DESS members available in the Goodies Room. As usual it is a mixture of old and new. But any visitor to the website will be able to watch a performance of Take The A Train with two drummers, Elvin Jones and Skeets Marsh, by clicking the arrow in the picture below. Both Jones and Marsh were subbing for Louie Bellson, who should have been on this tour, but couldn’t beause of other engagements.

From a concert in Milano, Jan. 30. 1966

We start the motage in the Goodies Room with a sequence from the 1934 movie Murder At The Vanities, where almost all members of the band can be seen individually. Quite recently we published some excerpts from the making of this film donated to us by Steven Lasker, as a Christmas gift. The musical performance is built around Franz List’s Hungarien Rhapsody and main theme is called Ebony Rhapsody.

The next is from an RAI telecast in Milano’s Teatro Lirico from January 30, 1966. The band plays an enjoyable version of Ad Lib On Nippon, a suite in four parts. Jimmy Hamilton and John Lamb are featured. The four parts of the suite are named Fugi, Igoo, Nagoya and Tokyo respectively.

From the same RAI telecast we present Duke, Ella Fitzgerald and Italian actor Vittorio Gassman. The latter performs Hamlet’s monologue (mainly in Italian) to the accompaniment of Duke, whereafter Ella and Duke together cooperates in I’m Just A Lucky So-And-So.

In 1963 and 1964 Ellington and the band recorded two telecasts for Granada in England. The first part from 1963 has the following contents: *Theme*C-Jam Blues*The Eighth Veil*Rockin’ In Rhythm*Angu*. 1963 and 1964 were truly great years for the Ellington organization.

As a closing performance we will hear Alice Babs and Johnny Hodges from the 1969 telecast of Sacred Music in Stockholm 1969. Heaven, was one of the main numbers of that telecast.

 

Enjoy!

 

DR Ellington Broadcast 47

Broadcast 47 took place on 25 June, 1991. As the previous broadcast on XXXX, it was produced and presented by Fleming Sjølund-Jensen.

It is the the first “goodie” in March 2022 and is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

This time, the program is a broadcast of a full concert – Ellington’s second concert in Uppsala in the late evening of 9 November 1971.

At the time of the DR broadcast, this concert had not been issued commercially but it had been broadcasted on Swedish Radio so many collectors had it on tape.

Since then, Storyville has issued the concert on CD. It did it in the summer of 2019 and the website published a long article about it on 11 August 2019. We also made the first concert available to DESS members in a follow up article on 20 November 2019.

However, even if the concert is widely available we have decided to publish an article also about broadcast 47 to have have covered all Danish Radio’s Ellington program when the series ends in some monnths.

The program starts with Love You Madly but this time it is sung by Nell Brooksire in a 3 February, 1971 stockpile recording session.

Ken Steiner – The TDES Sequel

In the beginning of this month, we published Ken Steiner’s Zoom presentation last year to TDES about Ellington 1941. Due to technical problems, this presentation had to be cut short and Ken did not get the opportunity to talk about and play Salute To Canada Lee and Billy Strayhorn’s Raincheck.

Last week, we arranged a Zoom meeting with Ken in which he did it.

In the Salute To Canada Lee broadcast, Ellington plays two songs from Jump For Joy, which was to open a week later.

Raincheck is the Victor version from 2 Dec, 1941 with Strayhorn himself is at the piano. Enjoy!

DESS Ellington Meeting 2022

As announced last month, there will be a virtual DESS Ellington Meeting also this year.

It is organized by the editor of the website on behalf of DESS and with the support of a Program Committee.

The Meeting will take place on April 25, 26, 28 and 29 on Zoom. The language will be English as last year.

The program is ready and available in the Ellington Meeting section of the website.

12 speakers from different strata of the international Ellington community have agreed to make presentations. They will cover areas such as Duke Ellington and Leonard Bernstein, Ellington Medleys, Ellington’s Experimentation Techniques in New Orleans Suite, Boola, Dance to the Dukeand many more.

Registration will open on March 3.

 

Ellington At 50

Ellington turned 50 during his three weeks engagement at the Paramount Theater at Times Square in New York 20 April to 10 May 1949.

There are no traces of a big birthday party for him. It seems to have been just a normal working day with six performances to give.

However, in the breaks between the performances, Barry Ulanov interviewed him extensively for Metronome and the result was a three-page article published in the June issue of the magazine.

Judging from the article, Ulanov and Ellington talked about many things during the interviews.

One of them was the musical Ellington was working on with producer and lyricist/composer Sid Kuller to the theme of the route of the ‘A’ Train of the Independant Subway System in New York. “Oh, yes”, Ellington said according to Ulanov, “the band must play an important part in it. That’s our gimmick. To put a new sound into a Broadway theatre”.

The musical never materialized but perhaps there traces of it in the Ellington Archive at the Smithsonian?

Another topic was bebop. “Of course, bop’s in the air and naturally some people hear a little bit of it in our music”, Ellington says in the interview, “they thought there were some bop influences in The Tatooed Bride. Anyhow, I thought we offered a new departure in it.”

Ellington also commented on Charlie Parker. “He is just a great instrumentalist who’s been put in a category and just to oblige he may make a couple of bop statements here and there. But Charlie’s an individual. That’s not bop.”

Ulanov brought up atonality and counterpoint. “You know”, Ellington said about this, “the normal trends of jazz lead you lead so far from it that you can only indulge your interest in counterpoint for your own personal kicks ….. I like to do counterpoint, like it a lot.”

They also talked about the routining of musicals. “The secret of any dramatic art is routining” Ellington says in the article. “When the first show doesn’tgo over, you haven’t got a a week in New Haven and two in Philadelphia to straighten it out. You have got four or five more to do that day and six more tough days to go and you get it right by the second or third show or you are bust.”

The full article is available to DESS members in the section Articles in the Ellington Archive.

 

 

 

 

A Duke Ellington video montage (2)

Today, DESS members can find a new video montage in the Goodies Room.

 

But all visitors to the website can watch Take The A Train from the movie Reveille With Beverly (above).

The montage in the Goodies Room includes the following:

1. The Perfume Suite – A short film by George Pal from 1946, described in detail by Klaus Stratemann in his book Duke Ellington Day by Day and Film by Film.

2. “Rehearsal” in Paris during the band’s summer tour in Europe in of 1950. This is an extremely rare footoge. It is possible to identify a number of sidemen that did not stay with the orchestra very long, for example Ernie Royal (brother of Marshall Royal, the Basie lead alto), Alva McCain, Nelson Williams and others. The first 10-15 seconds you will hear the sound only.

3. A short presentation of Such Sweet Thunder by Ellington and actor Tyrone Power from Oct 13 1957. The second part of  this is a medley of “popular hits”.

4. El Viti played by Cat Anderson from Teatro Lirico in Milan Jan. 30 1966

5. Ed Sullivan Show, March 7, 1965. Ella Fitzgerald sings Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me

6. Ellington visits the Dean Martin Show on June 26, 1966 and plays the piano

Enjoy!

 

Ken Steiner – Ellington in 1941

Last year, Ken Steiner was invited by TDES to make a Zoom presentation for its members and other interested.

He chose Ellington in 1941 as topic and covered particularly Jimmie Blanton,  Ivie Anderson and Jump For Joy in his presentation. It is a very good and well prepared presentation.

Unfortunately, there were some problems with the Zoom cast, particularly with the music parts. The website has got the permission from TDES and Ken to try to fix the issues with the video of the presentation and the result is below.

Feedback is welcomed!

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