DUKE ELLINGTON SOCIETY OF SWEDEN

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DR Ellington broadcasts 25

The third  ”goodie” in June is program 25 in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

 

The program was broadcasted on July 12, 1985 and the announcer is Bjarne Busk.

Ellington’s My People is the focus of the broadcast. Busk gives the listerners 11 selections from the musical recorded either on August 20, 1963 or August 21 and August 27 plus a short interview with Mercer Ellington about ”My People”.

The program starts with a ”Piano Blues Ouverture”. It is the non-vocal version of ”Jail Blues” which is not included in the program.

Next comes ”Blues at Sundown”, a long-term feature for Jimmy Grissom.

Joya Sherrill sung ”My Heritage (aka My Mother, My Father and Love)” in the original performance of the musical. Bjarne Busk let us hear it in the broadcast (including the narration) but also a short retake of the ending of the song.

Then follows an incomplete take (-1) ”King” (”aka King Fit The Battle Of Alabam) and the full take-2 of the piece. In the show it was apparently preceeded by a slower version of the same song. The latter is unfortunately not included in the broadcast but available on CD.

The broadcast continues with a rendition of ”The Blues Ain’t” sung by Lee Greenwood. In the show this song was performed by Joya Sherrill just before ”Blues At Sundown”.

A non-complete version of ”Walking And Singin’ The Blues” sung by Lee Greenwood comes next.

Following a short interview with Mercer Ellington, the broadcast ends with ”Strange Feeling” from ”Perfume Suite”sung by Jimmy Grissom and ”After Bird Jungle” with Rudy Powell as clarinet soloist.

From a discographical point of view, it is not easy to decode the broadcast but it seems to be a fair presumption that the dates and takes of the different songs are basically identical to what is included in the Storyville issue of the complete show (Storyville 1018430).

 

 

 

 

Juan Tizol, the composer

Juan Tizol-1

Juan Tizol

His most famous composition is undoubtedly Caravan, which was first recorded in 1936 by a small group, Barney Bigard & His Jazzopators, and then in early 1937 by the full Ellington orchestra.

 

Tizol was a very skilled player of the valve trombone with brilliant technique and a beautiful tone. On his instrument he could play passages that were more or less impossible to do on a slide trombone, and for this reason he was often used by Ellington to play with the sax section. His warm sound can be compared with that of Tommy Dorsey and is easily recognized, whether played in the Ellington orchestra or with others. He first joined the Ellington orchestra in 1929 and stayed until 1944 when he joined Harry James via a short stint with Woody Herman. In 1951 he was back with Ellington again for a two year tenure, again finding his way back to Harry James. In 1960-61 he played with Ellington temporarily. He became a very important member of the Ellington organization helping Duke with the extraction of scores and copying notes for the band members. Undoubtedly, this must have spurred his talants for arranging and writing his own material. His compositions, which in sheer numbers cannot compete with Duke and Strayhorn, are relatively numerous, and include ballads, swingers and more exotic tunes in the latin and oriental vein. Members can go to the Goodies Room and listen to some of Tizol’s finest compositions. (mer…)

Ellington-serie på Sveriges Radio 1994 (8)

Den här gången är det dags för det åttonde programmet i Jan Bruérs och Lars Westins serie om Duke Ellington.

Titeln på programmet är ”Black, Brown and Beige” så det är lätt att förstå vad det handlar om.

Programmet sändes första gången den 18 april 1994.

 

Liksom de föregåendet programmen i serien finns det här programmet tillgängligt för DESS-medlemmar i radiodelen av Elllington-arkivet.

Duke Ellington’s Small Group, June 4, 1958

Bildresultat för Clark Terry and Shorty Baker

Clark Terry and Harold ”Shorty” Baker flanking Paul Gonsalves in 1958. Gonsalves did not take part in the small group we refer to below.

60 years ago, in the beginning of June, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra were playing at the famous Blue Note in Chicago.

On June 4, we find Duke and a small group in a CBS TV-studio in Chicago. He leads a small group consisting of Clark Terry and Harold Baker on trumpets, Britt Woodman on trombone, Jimmy Hamilton clarinet, Jimmy Woode, bass and Sam Woodyard drums and of course Duke himself at the piano. This instrumentation  is pretty unusual for Duke Ellington, maybe the only one in existence, but nevertheless it sounds very good. The telecast title was ”Jazz In The Round”.  Unfortunately we don’t have access to a video copy, but the sound track is of fair quality. Our source material is coming from this telecast, which obviously also had some other contents, hence the announcer says he was going to introduce some girl singer, which does not appear on the tape.

Jimmy Hamilton in Tenderly

Members can go to the Goodies Room to listen to the complete telecast. (mer…)

Ellington ’88 in Oldham (4)

We start by joining the crowd in the Cotton Club to listen to the second part of the concert by Bob Wilber and the Ellington ’88 Orchestra, which ended the second day of the conference. Among other songs, the audience enjoyed Midriff, Passion Flower and Lush Life.

 

 

As said in the previous article on Ellington ’88, a feature in the conference program was to let the Ellington alumnies share their memories of Ellington and their time with him in different panels.

In line with this, the English jazz journalist and Ellington specialist Steven Voce had a spot in the conference to share with the attendees recorded interviews with musicians talking about the Ellington orchestra.

 

After Voce’s presentation, it was time to listen to what Sam Woodyard, Jimmy Woode and Gloria Nance (wife of Ray Nance) have to say about their time with Ellington. Patricia Willard moderated the panel and has also some words of her own to say.

Earlier in the conference, Patricia Willard had made a very interesting presentation about ”Dance – The Unsung Element of Ellingtonia”.

Just before the panel started, Sam Woodyard had been given a special present. Having learnt that Woodyard’s drumset had been stolen in Paris, the participants decided give him a new one. We will return to this in another article.

 

 

 

Smått och gott /Bits and Pieces

Take C of Black and Tan Fantasy

During the last ten years DESS member Bo Lindqvist has tried to add all the original versions of Ellington’s recording for OKeh to his collection.

He seems to have got them all including Take C of Black And Tan Fantasy recorded on November 3, 1927 on Okeh 8521. However, many discographic sources says that it also was issued on OKeh 40955 but Bo has not managed to find a copy of this record with take C but only records with this number with take B.

So he has started to doubt that an Okeh 40955 with take C exists and would like to have the help of DESS members to sort out if this is the case or not.

Bo can be contacted at Lindqvist_50@hotmail.com.

Birmingham 2018

The 25th Ellington Study Group Conference took place in Birmingham last weekend. It was organized in cooperation between The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Birmingham City University with the moral support of DESUK.

In many ways it confirmed that the Ellington conferences now is firmly in the hands of the academic musicologists, which means that a younger generation is taking over the responsibility to keep the Ellington legacy alive.

As a result of the poor selling of the conference, only some forty persons took part in it. The majority were members of DESUK and other Ellington societies like DESS, which was represented by Bo Haufman, Peter Lee, Jan-Olov Isaksson and the web editor. Only one participant came from the U.S.A. and one of the presenters from Canada.

Here is Peter Lee together with John Grover och Leland Farley med hustru (foto Bo Haufman).

The program of the conference included two keynote presentation and 12 shorter presentations in thematic workshops. The themes were:

– Ellington in the Midlands

– Collaboration and Process

– Sonic Reverberations

– Instrumental approaches

– Technology and Mediation

The website will give more details in a later article.

Thanks to the Ellington Orchestra composed of students of the Jazz Department of the Conservatoire, the conference participants could enjoy four full concerts with Ellington music and also an afternoon jamsession.

Here is an example of what we heard. The clip starts ”Tourist Point of View” and ends with ”Blue Bird of Delhi”.

The Director of the Jazz Department, Jeremy Price, has done a very nice job bringing this orchestra together.

 

New Issue of Blue Light

The summer issue of Blue Light was published just in time for the Birmingham conference. It was actually hand-delivered to the conference participants. The reason for this was that this issue of Blue Light has the full program of the conference, including abstracts of the presentations.

But the new issue also have some major articles. One is by Blue Light editor Ian Bradley on ”Ellington in Academia”. It deals with Ellington appearances at universities and his relationships with some of the major American universities.

There is also a lengthy article by Ethan Hine titled ”Duke Ellington, Percy Grainger and the Status of Jazz in the Academy. Highly recommended reading!

The Ellington Orchestra of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire played a concert with Ellington’s Sacred Music in the Lincoln Cathedral on May 12, 2018 and Ian Bradley also provides the readers with a review of this concert.

DESS-mötet 7 maj 2018

Thomas Erikson stod för föredraget den här gången. När han senast framträdde vid ett DESS-möte pratade han om Tricky Sam Nanton. Den här gånger var ämnet Lawrence Brown.

Vi har bett Thomas att ge en liten sammanfattning av sitt föredrag för de många medlemmar som missade det.

Här är musiken, som Thomas spelade, och listan med låtarna.

Spellista Lawrence Brown

Genomgående i alla kommentarer från mötet är att det var ett oerhört bra och intressant föredrag.

”Först gav jag lite fakta om Lawrence Olin Brown, en av jazzens främsta trombonister, levde mellan 1907 och 1988 och tillbringade 29 av sina år i Duke Ellingtons orkester. Han började i orkestern våren 1932 på förslag av Irving Mills. Ellington ska enligt Brown själv ha hälsat honom med att han, Ellington, varken hade hört eller ens ha hört talas om Brown. Flera samtida tyckare ansåg också att Brown passade utomordentligt illa i Ellingtons orkester. En av dessa var John Hammond som bl a karaktäriserade Brown som ”slick” och ”unnegroid”.

Jag fortsatte sedan med att spela upp 13 inspelningar för att visa Browns olika sidor. Där fanns t.ex det virtuosa och rörliga spelet i skivdebuten med Ellington 1932 (The ”Sheik Of Araby), den mjuklyriska nästan celloliknande tonen i ”Serenade To Sweden”, avslappnad blues i ”Jitterbugs Lullaby” (under Johnny Hodges namn 1938), och det noga instuderade studsiga solot i ”Rose Of The Rio Grande”, ett nummer som Brown fick upprepa till leda under sina år med Ellington. Där fanns också, som avslutning, ett nummer (”Feed The Birds” från albumet ”Mary Poppins” 1964) som visade Brown som solist med ”plunger” i Tricky Sam Nantons anda, en roll som han motvilligt åtog sig under sina senare år med Ellington på 60-talet.

Under loppet av föredraget kom jag förstås också in på människan Lawrence Brown. Han var ju enligt bl a egen utsago en renlevnadsman som varken rökte, drack eller brukade andra stimulantia men hade fördrag med andra som gjorde det. Som Rex Stewart har beskrivit honom var han en man som sällan log utom genom sitt instrument där han enligt Stewart också kunde utrycka allt från grymhet till människokärlek.

Att Brown hade ett spänt förhållande till Duke är känt och var förstås också något som jag berörde, liksom det anmärkningsvärda i att han ändå under sina många år med orkestern lojalt fyllde sina roller. Jag lyfte också fram att det mesta som kan sägas om Brown står att läsa i DESS-bulletin nr 2 för 2017, som ju särskilt ägnade sig åt honom.”

Kvällen inledes med en diskussion om det framtida upplägget av medlemsmötena. Åsikterna var många och Lars Björkman antecknade dem noga för styrelsens fortsatta diskussioner av frågan. Hans anteckningar finns här.

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