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Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 10

The 10th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s is the third ”Goodie” for the month of October.

As usual, it is available in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).

It was broadcasted on February 1, 1985 and the program is presented by Bjarne Busk.

It is focused on late compositions by Ellington and offers some really good listening.

It starts with Gigl (or Giggling Rapids) and Sophisticated Lady from the stockpile recording session of December 29, 1968. Gigl has a different arrangement than other versions of Giggling Rapids and Sophisticated Lady is played beautifully – not by Harry Carney as usual but by Johnny Hodges.

Next comes a take (-10) of “Short Sheet Cluster” from March 18, 1956. Some early takes were featured in program 9 and here we get the fully developed song with Clark Terry as the soloist.

Then the program moves on to the much underrated “Degas Suite” and Bjarne Busk gives the listeners three selection from it – “Copa II”, “Daily Double” (aka “Race”) and “Elos” – recorded at a stockpile session on December 3, 1968.

The program ends with “Toto” (aka “Afrique”) from the Togo Brava Suite recorded on June 29, 1971. Other parts of the suite were recorded on the same day or the day before.

An updated discography of the DR Ellington programs made available by DESS so far is available in the Ellington Archive in the section Music/ DR programs.

La Maison du Duke – A Presentation


I have always had the feeling that France has embraced Duke Ellington more than any other country.

It is symbolically illustrated by the wonderful cartoon by the French caricaturist Cabu (Jean Cabut), who was sadly killed in the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices last year.



Over the years, quite a number of the core members of the inner circle of Ellington experts and devotees have been French and this is still the case. But it goes further. There seems to be more widely spread knowledge of Ellington in France than elsewhere.

Do you know who Duke Ellington was, I asked the young lady sitting next to me on a train last year. Yes, of course I do, she replied. I have read all the novels of Boris Vian. And she is not the only one to have done so or learned about Ellington in other ways.

So it is logical that since October 2009, the family of Duke Ellington associations also has a French member – ”La Maison du Duke”.

It is a non-profit organization with the aim to increase awareness of jazz music in general and that of Duke Ellington in particular. Its membership — after being an initial nucleus of musicologists, journalists, musicians and enlightened amateurs (among them Isabelle Marquis, Claudette de San Isidoro, Claude Carrière, Philippe Baudoin, Laurent Mignard, Christian Bonnet, Jean-François Pitet, Jean-Claude Alexandre and Bernard Villiers) – have increased to around 200 today, with around 3000 more people on its mailing list.

It offers a wide set of activities to the benefit of its members and other Ellington fans. Just to give a few examples:

Every month, it organizes a educational lecture or seminar on a Ellington theme. In a way, they can be seen as the association’s showcase.


Some 40 lectures and seminars have been organized to date (with fifteen guest speakers contributing).

Some of the recent topics are ”Clark Terry”, ”Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club”, ”Exoticism and Ellington”, ”Newport 1956” and ”Ellington’s personality”.

Many of the presentations since 2009 are available as videos on the website.

La Maison du Duke also sponsors and helps to give exposure to the ”Laurent Mignard Duke Orchestra” founded in 2003 by the trumpeter and composer Laurent Mignard. The orchestra appears frequently at jazz festivals and other event and has produced a number of records and DVDs.


One example is the ”Duke Ellington Sacred Concert” at the Madeleine church in Paris in October 2014, in which among others Mercedes Ellington participated. It was also performed in a national tour in 2015.

A third core activity of La Maison du Duke is to provide members with CDs of previously un-released Ellington music.


It does this drawing on the ”Fonds Clavié” – a major Ellington sound archive, which the association acquired in 2010. The archive contains 300 hours of music on tape. The most recently issued CDs are ”Welcome to the Clubs (Blue Note 1956-57, Hickory House 1957, Storyville 1959)”, ”Rare Strayhorn 1941-1965”, ”Elvin chez Duke (Paris, January 1966)”; and ”The Almost Complete Violin Session February 1966”.

Of course, the association also has a website – http://maison-du-duke.com – and there one can find a full list of the activities of La Maison du Duke. It has one open part and one only for members. On the website, there is also information on how to become a member of ”La Maison du Duke”.




Konserten med Kustbandet 9 oktober 2016

Det var festligt och fullspikat när Kustbandet i samarbete med DESS bjöd på Ellington-konsert på Scalateatern i söndags.


Många DESS-medlemmar men också andra tog tillfället i akt att få två härliga timmar med Ellingtonmusik (och lite annat) av ett band som känner den innan och utan och som med sitt showmanship får publiken att trivas.


Från den inledande ”East St. Louis Toodle-oo” till avslutningsnumret ”It Don’t Mean A Thing” var det idel välkända nummer som funnits med länge i Kustbandets repertoar. Om man skall tro diskografierna har ”Black And Tan Fantasy” och ” Jungle Blues” funnits med på den i mer än 60 år och de spelades naturligtvis också den här eftermiddagen.



Publiken kunde också stampa med i C-Jam Blues, Jungle Nights in Harlem, Jubilee Stomp, Caravan och Freeze And Melt. Allt gav goda tillfällen till bandets många goda solister som Peter Lind, Bent Persson, Göran Eriksson, Klas Toresson och andra – Jesse Lingren inte att förglömma – att visa upp sitt kunnande.

Eftermiddagen förhöjdes av två gästartister – altsaxofonisten och klarinettisten Klas Lindqvist – tidigare medlem av bandet –  och Hebbe Sisters.

Den förre bjöd på kanske eftermiddagens höjdpunkt i sin kvartettversion av ”I Got It Bad” och bidrog till att lyfta bandet ytterligare med sitt klarinettspel i bl.a. Caravan och Tishomingo Blues.

Hebbe Sisters var en glad överrasking och ny bekantskap för många.


Från inledningsnumret ”Sakta vi gå genom stan” via ”When The Saints” till avslutningsnumret ”It Don’t Mean A Thing” tillsammans med Kustbandet visade trion att den inte bara är skönsjungande och charmerande utan också har stor showkänsla. En grupp vi säkert får höra talas om mer.






Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, New Jersey, June 8, 1951


Brown Betty Duke Ellington’s broadcast from the Meadowbrook on June 8, 1951 is now available for downloading for the DESS members. Click on the arrow above and listen to a fine sample from this broadcast. You’ll find the complete broadcast in the Goodies Room. The whole band really sounds great on these old recordings, one fine example being some splendid trumpet playing on Brown Betty by Nelson ”Cadillac” Williams. This was his feature number with the band at this time and it is a performance that sticks in people’s memory. It was written by Billy Strayhorn originally with Johnny Hodges as the main soloist. Harry Carney’s powerful interpretation of the bridge is also memorable. (mer…)

New Issue Of Blue Light

Last week, the members of DESUK were blessed with a new issue of Blue Light. It is another issue full of interesting articles, information and comments.

The dominant theme is Ellington in Paris and readers get a full plate of articles on this topic.

Blue Light’s editor, Ian Bradley, summarizes, Ellington’s many visits to Paris and provides the lead-in to the three main articles on the Paris theme.

”68 hours without sleep” is a fascinating diary-style article by German-born jazz critic (and much more) Ernest Borneman written 68 years ago and most likely never published before. It gives a strong sense of the enthusiasm, chaos and festivities which surrounded Ellington’s visit to Paris in 1948. A must read for anyone, who is interested in the general environment in which Ellington lived and played his music.

Paris Blues is covered in a reprint of lengthy essay by Professor Krin Gabbard called ” Paris Blues: Ellungton, Armstrong and Saying It with Music”. It is a very solid article with a lot of details on the making of the music for the film and its integration into it.

The third article on the Paris theme deals with Ellington’s recordings and performances of ”Autumn Leaves” and is written by Roger Boyes. In his habitual style, he walks the readers through Ellington’s recordings and performances of the song and advices them on which to listen to.

In addition to the Paris articles, the new issue of Blue Light also gives a detailed report on the 24th Ellington Study Group Conference written by Geoff Smith. For DESS’ members it supplements the reports on the DESS website and in the latest DESS Bulletin.




DESS-mötet den 3 oktober 2016

Vi har frågat ett par av de av de närvarande vad de tyckte om mötet.

Bosse Haufman var nöjd med det även om alltför få medlemmar hade tagit tillfället i akt att komma samman. Han kommer att publicera en längre rapport i nästa nummer av Bulletinen.

Sonja Svensson ansåg att det var ett härligt möte. Jens/Jesse Lindgren talade livfullt om nära 55 år med Kustbandet och andra konstellationer (och Göran Axelsson stod för det tekniska).


Tala om världskändisar som dessutom ger konsert på Scalateatern på söndag, säger Sonja!

Ordförande Jönsson (som nyss fyllt 75 år) passade på tillfället att avtacka den mångårige ledamoten i DESS-styrelsen och redaktören för webbplatsen, Key Jigerström och i tacket instämde hela publiken.


Sedan följde den annonserade konserten med Daniel Tilling (p), Josef Karnebäck (b), Gustav Rosén (t) och Jesper Qviberg (dr). Den var minnesvärd, säger Sonja, och att det nästan bara Ellington i ung tappning, vilket gladde alla.

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Tack till Sonja Svensson för foton och video!

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 9

The 9th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s is the first ”Goodie” for  the month of October. As usual, it is available in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).


It was broadcasted on January 25, 1985 and the program is presented by Bjarne Busk.

It starts with a groovy tune called REXT, which showcases Paul Gonsalves. It was recorded in the stockpile session of  April 25 1970, which also produced the New Orleans Suite. According to NDESOR, this session is the only occasion when Ellington  played it

It is followed by Guitar Amour from October 25, 1961. It is the trumpet version of the song with a short solo by Ray Nance.

Next comes three excerpts from the BBC telecast on February 20, 1964 – Take The ”A” Train (theme), Perdido and a full version of Take The ”A” Train (with Ernie Shepheard scat singing). The concerns of the sound technician about the recording of Perdido can be heard.

Bjarne Busk then moves on to a summary version of the Afro Bossa album. It is appropriately called Afro Bossa Piano Summation. Ellington plays short versions of the songs of the LP together with Ernie Shepherd and Sam Woodyard. In my view, it is one of the gems of the program. It was recorded on January 8, 1963 – three days after the full orchestra recordings for Afro Bossa were finished.

Another gem follows. It is Short Sheet Cluster from January 18, 1956 – a stockpile recording session – with Clark Terry at the center. Busk let us listen to four takes to get a sense of how things were built up towards final version, which will be heard in program 10 of the series.

The program ends with Cat Anderson in splendid form playing The Prowling Cat from March 31, 1965 and TAJM (For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow) from July 18, 1963. It gives solo opportunities to in particular Harry Carnet, Lawrence Brown and Ray Nance but also Cootie Williams and Johnny Hodges can be heard.

Musik möte 9 maj 2016

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