DR Ellington Broadcasts 48

Broadcast 48 took place on 4 April 1992.  This time it was produced and presented by Bjarne Busk

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

Once again, the program is a broadcast of an (almost) full concert. This time, it is the appearance of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra together with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra (aka Cleveland Summer Orchestra at the Summer Pop Concerts in Cleveland, Ohio on 25 July 1956.

However, Busk starts with an excerpt from an interview of Ellington by Ted Cassidy in Januari 1958 about his symphonic works

As Busk will confirm in the broadcast, the program had three parts: First, the combined Cleveland Pops Orchestra and the Duke Ellington Orchestra played New World A-Comin’ in an arrangement by Luther Henderson. They were conducted by Louis Lane, the musical director of the Pops Orchestra and Ellington was of course the piano soloist.

Then the combined orchestras performed Night Creature, also in an arrangement by Luther Henderson. This time, Ellington was the conducter.

After a refreshing break, Ellington and His Orchestra took over the stage for a short concert, which begun with Skin Deep, followed by a full Medley and ending with Jam With Sam and V.I.P. Boogie. In  the broadcast, only I Got It Bad/It Don’t Mean A Thing (nc) from the Medley and VIP Boogie followed by Jam With Sam is played.

As an extra goodie, we give our readers Skin Deep and the full Medley here.




DESScafé 12 September 2022

DESScafé is back after having been closed for renovation since May.

This time, the meeting was in English and the topic The Young Ben Webster 1932-1939. The music to enjoy and discuss had been selected by Thomas Erikson and myself. It had been chosen to demonstrate Webster’s stylistic development during these formative years.

During this early period, he played in Blanche Calloways’ Her Joy Boys in the spring of 1931 Then joined Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra in the winter 1931/1932 and stayed with it until Christmas time in 1932.

In January 1933, Webster was engaged by Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds, where he met Mary Lou Williams. who meant a lot for his early development.

In March 1934, Lester Young moved from Count Basie band to join Fletcher Henderson’s. However, it was a short stay for Young. A few months later Henderson made a deal with Andy Kirk to exchange Young for Webster and in mid-July Webster started with Henderson. But it was a short stay. In early November the Henderson orchestra disbanded.

Webster was then recruited by Benny Carter but the band had a short life. However, several members of the band, Webster included, was recruited by the singer and entertainer Willie Bryant in January 1935 and Webster stayed with him until August 1935.

During the period with Bryant, Webster recorded not only with him but also with small groups under Bob Howard’s and Teddy Wilson’s name.

After he left Bryant, Webster played two-three weeks with Duke Ellington substituting for Barney Bigard. He participated in a recording session on this occasion and then joined Cab Calloway in September 1935. Webster stayed with Calloway for almost two years.

During the period with Calloway, Webster participate in many small group recordings under Teddy Wilson’s, Mildred Bailey’s and Billie Holiday’s name.

He moved back to Fletcher Henderson in July 1937, where he took over after Chu Berry. In Maj 1938 he abruptly leaves Henderson. Next Webster works for a short period with Stuff Smith’s small group at the Onyx Club on 52nd Street in New York and then with Roy Eldrige’s small band.

In the spring of 1939, Teddy Wilson left Benny Goodman to start a big band and he recruited Webster for the sax section. He spent ten months with the Wilson orchestra before he was invited on 21 January, 1940 to join Duke Ellington.

This is the framework for the 12 September DESScafé.

Play- and soloist list



The Spotify playlist have three songs which were not played played during the meeting. They are: Without That Gal (Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys), Rug Cutter’s Swing (Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra) and Truckin’ (Duke Ellington and His Orchestra). I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm and The Man I Love with Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra are unfortunately not available on Spotify. and are not included in the playlist.

A Swedish text version of this article together with the video is available at https://ellington.se/desscafe/desscafe-12-september-2022/

Author: Ulf Lundin



Ellington News-Nyheter 2022-3 (more)


DESScafé is a virtual meeting place for DESS members andf others to meet and discuss Duke Ellington’s music and musicians.

It takes place on ZOOM. Each meeting has a theme and two-three presenters/animators select and introduce the music linked to it. The meetings last about one hour and a half.

Desscafé opened the first time in October 2020 and since then the café visitors have discussed and listened to interpretations of Ellington music by many Ellingtonians.

So far this year, the themes in the DESScafé has been Ellingtonians in small groups play Ellington in the 1960’s (January), Shorty Baker (February), Essentially Ellington Competion (March), Perdido (April) and Ellington’s last English tours (May).

The next DESScafé will take place on 12 september and will for the first time be in English. The theme is The Young Ben Webster 1932-1939 and the idea is to discuss his stylistic development. Thomas Erikson and myself will be the presenters/animators.

The Zoom link for the meeting is available at https://ellington.se/desscafe/.

Uptown Lockdown

As reported in Ellington News 2022-2, at the end of May, DESUK’s Uptown Lockdown got a new and interesting format with Brian Priestley interviewing a guest. He does it once a month and the interviews are uploaded to the Uptown Lockdown channel on YouTube.

The first one was with the musician, jazz historian and author of many books on jazz, Alyn Shipton. Brian Priestley’s Ellington-oriented conversation with him is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LJ5zYBFAUQ

The next one was with bassist Dave Green, who “enthused about Ellington, Jimmie Blanton and playing frequently with Ben Webster. The interview can be seen and heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbRBTGcNnoc

The third interview was with the saxophonist, clarinettist and Ellington aficionado Alan Barnes. It can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70efqBYML34

Priestley’s latest interview was with trumpeter and arranger Guy Barker. “Learn all about his early interest in Rex Stewart and Cootie Williams and about his mentoring by Clark Terry as well as hearing some great Ellington/Strayhorn music, says Brian. Here is the link to the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fuaHwEKBdA&t=3s

The Ellington Effect

Last week, I learned from David Bergerthe the first volume in this ambitious and amazing project is still a couple of years away. Pity but we have to respect that it is a complicated project for which it is not easy to find a publisher.

Until we have the books, there are the monthly Ellington Effect workshops.

They are monthly ZOOM meetings where David “dives into a single composition each time analyzing it musically line by line and answering questionsfrom the attendees”. They last for more than two hours and sometimes they are hard to follow for a “non-expert”. But since one has to have a subscription to attend the works, one can listen to them over again and discover more aspect each time.

So far there have been 18 workshops. The most recent one was about Blasck Beauty and David gave a fascinating presentation.  The next one, which will be about Harlem Speaks, takes place on 25 September.

The full list of workshops are at https://courses.suchsweetthundermusic.com/products/home.

Canada Lee broadcast

Thank you to Brian Koller and Charlie Dyson for telling us that the full half-hour version of the Canada Lee from 9 June, 1941 is available on the Internet.

There is one on YouTube as part of a 3 hours and 42 minutes of a collage of radio programs from 9 June 1941 in the World War Two Old Time Radio channel. The Canada Lee broadcast is towards the end of the program. The full program is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5_4_Z0YDfU.

Another one is available on Past Daily and the article there has both the radio program and an extensive article about Canada Lee and the background to the program. It was apparently a celebration of the Broadway opening for the Charles Wright play Native Son, in which Canada Lee had the “starring role”.

The article is at https://pastdaily.com/2018/11/10/paul-robeson-richard-wright-hattie-mcdaniel-w-c-handy-duke-ellington-a-tribute-to-canada-lee-1941-past-daily-weekend-gallimaufry/.

The Ellington aspects of the broadcast is that “Duke, Jeffries and Ivie Anderson are mentioned at the start of it. Ellington has a scripted dialogue with Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, then accompanies Jeffries on “Brown-Skin Gal”. It seems that Ellington intended to accompany Ivie Anderson on “Chocolate Shake” but she is a no-show, which obligates Ellington to turn the number into a piano solo” (quote from Brian Koller).

Recently, a video version of the interview was put on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZC4Xn9VMT4

Radio Jazz Copenhagen

The website has written about this radio station a couple of times. It is an amazing one, which broadcasts 24/24 hours a day and have many thematic interesting broadcasts.

One of them is Lördagskonserten (the Saturday Concert) which often features our friend and DESS member Bjarne Busk.

For the moment, the theme is recordings from jazz clubs in New York and the program on 17 September had recordings by Count Basie at Café Society in 1941.

Radio Jazz has also a special program about Ellington. It is called The Wonderful World of Duke Ellington and brings together the Ellington expert Henrik Wolsgaard-Iversen and two of his friends to play and talk about Ellington music.  The latest episode was n:o 151 in the series and others will soon follow.

Like Lördagskonserten, the most recent The Wonderful World of Duke Ellington programs are available in the blog on the website.

But there is much more in the blog like some episodes of series on Ben Webster and the four program about the Swedish singer Nannie Porres.

Unfortunately, everything on  Radio Jazz is broadcasted in Danish so it can be enjoyed only by those who understand this language.

Hot Jazz Saturday Night

In his program on 13 August, Rob Bamberger gave the listeners two hours of music from the period when he had left Ellington. He gave us a good and varied selection and often came back to Con Chapman’s book on Hodges, Rabbit’s Blues.

For a limited period, the program will be available to DESS member in the restricted Rob Bamberger area on the website https://ellington.se/ellington-arkivet/radioprogram/rob-bamberger/. The password is the same as for other restricted areas.


Ellington News-Nyheter 2022-3

DESS Bulletin 2022-3

DESS members got the third issue of the Bulletin by postal mail or email in the beginning of August but because of the summer break, the website has not been able to report about it until now.

It is another issue with a lot of good and informative reading.

Bo Haufman really deserves to be thanked for all his work on the Bulletins. He has to come up with ideas to articles, finding writers for them or write them himself, work with the layout guy and finally put address labels and stamps on the envelops that will carry the new Bulletin to the DESS members.

This time, the lead article is about Jimmy Woode, Ellington’s bass player from 1955 to 1960 and important factor in the resurrection of the Ellington band in the mid 1950’s.

It is an interesting and well researched article. It starts with Woode’s father Jimmy Woode Sr, who spent most of his life in Sweden. He was a pianist and came to Sweden in 1947 with a band called The Harlem Madcaps for a short tour. When it ended, he and his wife decided to remain in Sweden and Woode Sr did so for the rest of his life. Woode was particularly active in the Swedish jazz life during the 1950s and was participating in many recordings both then and later.

Bo also tells us that Jimmy Woode Jr aimed to be a pianist as his father but switched to bass as a late teenager. He practiced hard and was apparently so good that George Wein in c. 1953 recruited him as bass chair in  the house band at Storyville in Boston and Woode also played “occasionally” at the Hi-Hat there.

One can hear Woode in many recordings from the two clubs but his first recording was made in Panama and on 9 August, 1951, he participated in a quintet recording in Los Angeles for Clef. The group also included Bill Harris, Flip Phiips and Lou Levy so Woode must have been well connected.

On 2 January, 1955, Woode joined the Duke Ellington band as a replacement for Wendell Marshall. He was to stay for “five years, four months, two weeks and two days.

Bo writes extensively about Woode’s time with Ellington and the music he discusses can be heard in a playlist on Spotify.

Woode left the Ellington orchestra in April 1960. Shortly thereafter. he moved to Sweden where he stayed for about 3 years participating in many record sessions and playing at dance restaurants with his father.

Woode must also have stayed in contact with American jazz musicians like Kenny Clarke living in Paris and other places in Europe. On 22 April 1961, he played at l’Olympia with a small group led by George Wein.

However, more important was that he participated in a recording by a Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland group for Blue Note in Cologne on 18-19 May, 1961. The recording was issued as The Golden Eight and was much acclaimed when it was issued. It was the beginning of what was to become the Kenny Clark/Francy Boland Big Band but this name was used the first time in 1963 and by that time is was a real big band.

Woode moved to continental Europe in 1963 and remained there until his return to the U.S.A. in 2001. The core of his work in Europe was the touring and recording with the Clark/Boland band until it was disbanded in 1973.  But he continued to be in demand and appeared at jazz festivals and clubs in different configuration. It seems that he in 1973-1974 also was a member of the ORF big band in Vienna.

Woode made his last recording in February 2005, It took place in Hannover even if he by that time lived in the U.S.A. He died two months later.

His discography of the years in Europe is impressive and has much good listening to offer. Explore it!

Personally, I am a big fan of the Kenny Clark/Francy Boland Big Band, in which Woode was an inportant component and also of the recordings by smaller groups from the band like the trio albums Out of the Background and Francy Boland Trio.

Bo’s full article gives more details on what I have said here and covers also other subjects. Read it!

The usual mini portrait of an Ellington artist is this time about the singer Dolores Parker – The Wildest Gal in Town as Bo headline the article about here. She was with the Ellington band for only six months from 27 August 1947 to February 1948. During this period, she took part in seven recording sessions and in them she revealed herself “as a lady who could sing” according to Eddie Lambert.

She started her jazz vocalist career in Fletcher Henderson’s orchestra in November 1941. She stayed with Henderson until 1945 and then joined Earl Hines’ orchestra together with her husband in 1946 after having given birth to a daughter.

She got her job with the Ellington orchestra through an audition. Billy Strayhorn was the judge of the panel and proposed her to Ellington after having heard her sing Lush Life.

The article in Bo’s long series about Ellington compositions is about Lady of the Lavender Mist. He gives a poetic description of the song. “When he composed the song, Duke Ellington probably thought of a beautiful woman who can be seen in a blue-violet lavender mist.” Lady of the Lavender Mist was originally  meant to be the first movement in a longer work to be called The French Suite.

It was recorded 14 August 1947 for Columbia with Jimmy Hamilton and Lawrence Brown as main soloist. It stayed in the repertoire in 1948 and was included in the program of the concert at Carnegie Hall on 13 November 1948. It was also played in the concert at Cornell University on 10 December 1948. Thereafter, the only entry of it in NDESOR is a dance date in March 1952.

The new Bulletin also have some other articles.

Bo Haufman has written a very good summary of the Duke Ellington Meeting 2022. It really tells what happened during the four days of this virtual conference.

There are also a reprint of an article that pianist Bobby Short wroye about his memories of Duke Ellington, reviews of recent new Ellington CDs and a remembrance of the Swedish pianist Nils Lindberg.

New CD

During the summer, Storyville Records issued a CD with Clark Terry and His Big Bad Band in Holland in 1979.

It is a studio recording from 6 September 1979 made for later radio broadcast. It is not known if the recording was broadcasted and if so when.

The songs on the CD are: A Toi; Rabdi; On the Trail; Don’t Speak Now; Blues All Day, Blues All Night; Carney; Rock Skippin’ at the Blue Note; Just Squeeze Me; Jeep’s Blues; Shell Game; Mumbles; Una Mas and Take the “A” Train.

In this version of the Big Bad Band, the only Ellingtonians besides Terry are Chuck Connors and Buster Cooper. The rest of the band is a talented group of younger musicians.

Here is Carney from the CD.

Almost two month before or 15 July to be exact, Terry and his Big Bad Band performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival. It played the same songs as in the studio recording but in a slightly different order.

Here is Jimmy Heath’s arrangement of Una Mas from this occasion.

It is quite likely that the band appeared at other jazz festivals in July and August but no details are known. If someone has information about this, please contact the web editor.

Duke Ellington Society

I end this article with the letter that the Board of the Duke Ellington Society of Southern California (DES) has sent to its members and other Ellington fans recently. “It is good news that it is still among us”, the Chairman of DESS, Bo Haufman, said in a mail to DESS’ members and we all hope that it will stay that way!


Ellington at Basin Street East 1964

Basin Street East was for some years in the 1960s one of the famous jazz clubs in New York. It was located in midtown Manhattan in the Shelton Towers Hotel at 525 Lexington Avenue.

It was quite a singers place. Peggy Lee, Billy Eckstine and Barbra Streisand appeared and recorded there.

Ellington’s first gig at Basin Street East was from 4 to 20 December 1961. It was his first night club residency in 5 years (TDWAW – http://tdwaw.ca).

After this he appeared regularly at the club until the mid-1960s.

In 1964, Ellington had an engagement there from 9 to 18 December (possibly longer) and on 14 January WNEW broadcasted from there with William B Williams as host.

Williams was with WNEW for more than four decades and was in the 50’s one of the DJs at the station in the 50’s who “helped define the “Middle of the Road” (MOR) musical character of WNEW.

During Ellington’s visit to England later in the year, the program was rebroadcasted by BBC in the famous Jazz Club program. By that time, Humphrey Lyttleton was the presenter.

Here is his introduction.

Even if the broadcast from Basin Street East is strictly not a goodie since it is available on CD (Music & Arts 908), we offer it in the Goodies Room to DESS members to enjoy during the last month of the summer. It is digitised from a 50 years old tape in the Benny Åslund (aka Benny Aaslund) so the sound is not hifi but quite acceptable. The concluding East St Louis Toodle-oo

As usual, we appreciate comments and corrections.

Author: Ulf Lundin

Ellington in Copenhagen and Stockholm 1965

Ellington’s 1965 European tour lasted from January 25 to February 28. It started in France where Duke and the orchestra performed in Paris, and Lyon. They then went north, first to Copenhagen (Denmark) and then to Sweden for concerts in Lund, Malmö and Stockholm. After stops in Germany and Switzerland, the tour ended with two weeks of concerts (and a telecast) in England from February 13 to February 28.

There were some changes in  the orchestra compared to the one that toured Europe in 1964. Ernie Shepard and Rolf Ericson were not longer with the band. John Lamb became the bass player in August 1964,  Ray Nance returned to the band for 6 months in January 1965 and Mercer Ellington also joined the trumpet section at about the same time.

Contrary to what was said by many reviewers, the concert program was quite different from the 1964 one. HARLEM was replaced by BLACK and Ad Lip on Nippon was selected from Far East Suite instead of Amad, Agra, Blue Bird of Delhi, Depk and Isfahan.

In the category that critics call “we have heard it before”, new for the 1965 tour was among others Midriff, Chelsea Bridge, Jump for Joy, Passion Flower and Afro Bossa. Jungle Kitty (aka Meow) was brand new composition for Cat Anderson by Ellington and Strayhorn.

So all in all, it was an interesting repertoire. However, the problem was that it was not always well performed. The scandals in this respect in the beginning of the tour marred the overall impression.

This article we focus on Ellington’s concerts in Copenhagen and Stockholm but also cover what happened in between them.

The concert in Copenhagen took place on 31 January. There was only one concert and it started at 19:30 (7:30 PM) local time.


The concert took place in concert hall of Falkoner Centret in the Frederiksberg district of Copenhagen, which was inaugerated in 1958.

The whole concert was filmed by Danish Radio Television and almost all of it was telecasted on 21 June 1965 as Hertugen og hans mænd (The Duke and his Men). It is one of the few recording with a (almost) complete concert from the tour.

The telecast has also been issued on DVD by the American Quantum Leap company and the DVD is most likely the source of the two videos with the concert available on YouTube.

Missing from the telecast (and video) are Solitude, Jam with Sam, Take the “A” Train (theme) and Dancers in Love. They came after Ray Nance’s encore He Huffed ‘n’ Puffed.

Solitude was sung by Bea  Benjamin accompanied by her husband Dollar Brand (aka Abdullah Ibrihim), Cootie Williams, Russell Procope, John Lamb and Sam Woodyard. Brand and Benjamin had an engagement at Montmartre – the famous jazz club in Copenhagen – at the time of the concert and they were friends with Ellington since he recorded them for Reprise in Paris in February 1963.


After this, the orchestra was back to end the concert with Jam with Sam and Take the “A” Train.

NDESOR and Ellingtonia (ellingtonia.com) also lists Dancers in Love played by Ellington accompanied by John Lamb. Possibly this was an encore but it is a little bit of a mystery. It is not mentioned in any reviews of the concert and was not played at any other concert during the tour.

Part of the concert was also broadcast by Danish Radio in a two parts series – Duke Ellington in Copenhagen. The first  was aired on 22 February 1965. DESOR (volume 1963-1965) lists eight songs from the concert and Erik Wiedeman says they were what was broadcast by Danish Radio.

Click on the photos to get them larger.

Danish newspapers covered the concert well and quickly but it is sad that the concert could be labelled The Sleepy Gonsalves concert.

Several reviews gave quite some attention to the fact that Paul Gonsalves went into deep sleep at the beginning of the concert and several other times during it as can be seen in the video. But as Berlingske Tidenes reported, after the concert Gonsalves was fit to go to the Montmarte jazz club to listen to and play with Ben Webster.


The Swedish jazz critic and Ellington fan Leif Anderson also attended the concert and commented on it in an review of the concerts in Copenhagen, Lund and Malmö in the March issue in the Swedish jazz magazine Orkesterjournalen.

Here is his full review together with one by Bertil Sundin for the Stockholm concert.

Leif Andersson – Bertil Sundin

From Copenhagen, Ellington and his band went to Malmö for concerts in Lund and Malmö. They were organised by the young promoter Bo Jonsson, 24 years old at the time, who was to organise many other Ellington concerts in Malmö.

Ellington stayed at the elegant Kramer Hotel right in the centre of Malmö. There he run int Arthur Fiedler, who stayed at the same hotel and was in town to conduct the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. (Leif Andersson)

The concert venue in Lund was the Main Hall in Akademiska Föreningen. It was scheduled to start at 19:30 (7:30 PM) but was seriously delayed since Sam Woodyard never appeared and Johnny Hodges Jr. had to step in and take over the drummer’s tasks. It must have been a total disaster for the arrangers and for Ellington but reviewers were rather calm about it and also about the fact that Gonsalves slept during most of the concert in Lund.

According to Lars Weck – Dagens Nyheter’s  jazz critic – Ellington performed Ad Lib on Nippon, Paul Gonsalves woke up to solo in Chelsea Bridge and Johnny Hodges played Passion Flower, Things Ain’t What They Used To Be and Jeep’s Blues.

From Lund, the band went back to Malmö for a late night concert at Stadsteatern (Malmö City Theatre). It seems that it became a rather improvised concert again since Sam Woodyard was late. While waiting for him, Ellington recited Pretty and the Wolf. Once Woodyard was in place, some of the program from Copenhagen must have been performed but which parts? In his review, Leif Andersson says that Lawrence Brown played Serenade to Sweden as an encore, that Russell Procope did a solo on his alto sax in Jump for Joy and that Buster Cooper had a solo in C Jam Blues.

From Malmö, Ellington and the orchestra went to Stockholm. Norman Granz and his Swedish representatives Karusell Konsertbyrå had advertised the two concerts well in advance in newspapers and with posters but surprisingly not in Orkesterjournalen.

The first concert started at 19:00 local time (7 PM) and the second at 21:00 (9 PM). The concert venue was Konserthuset (Stockholm Concert Hall) in the centre of Stockholm. Both concerts were well attended, one reviewer even says they were sold out.

The length of the concerts is not known but it seems likely that they lasted around 1hour and 30 minutes. Readers who knows more about this, please contact the web editor.

NDESOR lists nine tunes except the opening and ending Take the “A” Train theme (DE6510 b-j) but this is only what was included in a broadcast by Swedish Radio, and not a full concert. Most likely it is edited from the second concert.

Here is a teaser from the broadcast.

The Opener

DESS members can listen to and download the broadcast in the Goodies Room.

The broadcast starts with the station announcement in Swedish followed by an introduction by the presenter Olle Helander. He was responsible for jazz programs on Swedish Radio since the early 1950’s and a well-known voice presenting them.

After the theme and intro (Take the “A” Train), Ellington announces Afro-Bossa (aka Boola). This is a carry-over from 1963 and was often played during the 1963-66 period but disappeared after that from the band’s repertoire.

The Opener follows with the familiar line-up of soloists: Paul Gonsalves, Buster Cooper and Cat Anderson, then Paul Gonsalves is featured in the beautiful Chelsea Bridge.

On the 1965 European tour, Ellington re-introduced Worksong, Come Sunday and Light (Montage) from the 1st movement  of Black, Brown & Beige.

In Paris and Copenhagen, he had also presented Ad Lib On Nippon from Far East Suite. It is not included in this broadcast but was most likely featured in the two Stockholm concerts.

Passion Flower and Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, which are solo numbers for Johnny Hodges, are played next before Cootie Williams gets into the lime-light with Tutti For Cootie.

Based on what is in the radio program and input from people who attended the concert like DESS’ former president Leif Jönsson, it is rather likely that the following music was played during the concerts.

Take The “A” Train (theme), Midriff, Afro-Bossa, The Opener, Chelsea Bridge, A Lib On Nippon – Fugi, Iggo, Nagoya, Tokyo, Black – Worksong, Come Sunday, Light (Montage), Passion Flower, Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, Jump for Joy, Tutti For Cootie and Take the “A” Train (theme).

Songs in italics have to be confirmed. Please send comments to the web editor.

Review of the concerts appeared in daily newspapers and in Orkesterjounalen (OJ). There were distinctly different. One view was represented by Leif Andersson (OJ), Hans Friedlund (Aftonbladet) and Lars Weck (Dagens Nyheter). They were the positiv ones.

The other group with Ludwig Rasmussen (Svenska Dagbladet) and Bertil Sundin (OJ) was the negative one.

Hans Friedlund Aftonbladet 65-02-03

Lars Weck – New Ellington records Dagens Nyheter 65-02-02

The Swedish cinematographer and cinema teacher, Roland Sterner, attended one of the concerts and took many interesting photos, which have been made available to the website.  He was trained by the famous Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, was film photographer for many years, teacher at Dramatiska Institutet etc.

Click on the photos to have them shown in a larger format.

This kind of article is always a work in progress. Therefore, comments, corrections and additions to the article are most welcome.

Authors: Ulf Lundin and Anders Asplund. Press research: Sven-Erik Baun Christensen, Ulf Lundin, Göran Axelsson, Leif Jönsson.


Duke Ellington at UWIS July 1972

In 1971, University of Wisconsin (UWIS) awarded Duke Ellington an Honorary Doctorate in Music

This started a process that brought him and his orchestra to Madison, WI and the university for a full week-long festival in July 1972. The festival started exactly 50 years ago today and the Govenor of Wisconsin had declared it Duke Ellington Week in the whole state.

In a panel interview in April this year, James Latimer, Professor of Jazz in the Music Department at the time and the man who conceived and organized the week, told what happened after Ellington had received his Honorary Doctorate in Music.

Stanley Dance called the week-long festival (July 18-23) “the most rewarding festival we have ever attended”.

The program had two parts. One was a series of clinic‐workshops and master classes for students and teachers with Ellington and leading members of the Ellington orchestra and the students could earn credits by participating. And the other was Ellington concerts with a large attendance almost every night.

Duke Ellington 1972 Festival Program

There were four afternoon clinic-workshops with members of the Ellington band – one for brass, one for reeds and one for rhythm. Mercer Ellington, Johnny Coles and Vince Prudente were among the professors in the brass clinics, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney, Russell Procope and Harold Ashby handled the reed clinics and Rufus Jones and Joe Benjamin the rhythm ones.

In their articles about the Festival (see below), both Patricia Willard and Stanley Dance gave full and lively accounts of what went on in the clinics. Very worthwhile accounts to read!

The “Maestro” himself offered two masterclasses. The second of them were filmed and later broadcasted. The participants in the Ellington Meeting 2022 had the opportunity to watch most of the video and see a very relaxed Ellington, who obviously enjoyed himself very much under a disguise of some reluctancy. It is available for viewing at https://ellington.se/ellington-meetings/ellington-2022/presentations/ellington-at-uwis-july-1972/.

The concert program was as full as the educational workshops program. In Stanley Dance’s words: “The programmes presented perhaps the broadest spectrum of Ellington’s music ever performed within the space of five days.”

On the first night, there was an Ellington Favorites concert with great hits of Ellington’s career. The next night was a Family Concert with “music for people of all ages from eight to eighty”.

The third night offered a Sacred Concert performed by the Ellington orchestra, an Ellington Festival Chorus with more than 100 singers and Tony Watkins together with  invited soloist.

The concert the following night – The Duke at Milwaukee – was meant to “reflect the classic Elliington, different periods of time, all, shaped by the leader’s love for dramatic contrast”.

The last concert was Night of Suites. It had Ellington’s last performance of The Goutelas Suite and premièred the newly written The UWIS Suite. Between them, Ellington and the orchestra played, among others, music from The Queen’s Suite and The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse.

Here is the UWIS Suite with Ellington’s introduction.

A 90 minutes excerpt of the concert is available for DESS members in the Goodies Room.

The music file does not include the final part of the concert with Perdido, The Kiss, the Medley, Hello Dolly, One More Time for the People and Things Ain’t What They Used To Be.

The NDESOR entry for the concert is DE7237 (a-x)  and the same information can be found at ellington.com entry 21 July 1972.

Patricia Willard was very present and involved in Ellington’s visit to UWIS. Afterwards, she wrote an article for Downbeat, which was published in July issue. It is rich account of what went on during the week with many observations.

UWIS article in Down Beat Patricia Willard

Stanley Dance was also in attendence in Wisconsin as Festival Consultant and he summarised the Festival in an article to the English Jazz Journal. Also this article is full of perspectives and details.

UWIS article in Jazz Journal Stanley Dance

This article with be updated as more information is found.

Ellington News-Nyheter 2022-2

Ellington Meeting 2022

The website for the meeting –  https://ellington.se/ellington-meetings/ellington-2022 – has been updated. All the 12 presentations at the meeting are available there for viewing and DESS members can also download them in the Goodies Room https://ellington.se/manadsgodis-2/ellington-2022-presentations-for-download/.

An updated version of the program is also available at the website as well as reports from the four days

New issue of Blue Light

A new issue of Blue Light arrived in the beginning of the summer. It is another expanded edition with 46 pages of interesting reading

Roger Boyes continues his series on Ellington in the Forties. In the new article, he covers the whereabouts of Ellington and his orchestra from the end of 1943 to mid-1944.

Within this framework, Boyes covers the second Carnegie Hall concert and the touring that followed. In that context, he tells about Ellington’s refusal to play a whites-only show for military personnel at the Great Lakes Naval Training Base north of Chicago and changes in the band, including the arrival of singer Wini Johnson.

The final part of the article covers Ellington’s return to the Hurricane, the gradual recommencement of the recording industry and further changes in the Ellington orchestra.

Another ambitious article in the new issue is one written by Gareth Evans himself and is about vocal contributions by Ellington himself on different recordings over the years. It is inspired by his article on Moon Maiden in the previous Blue Light.

Brian Priestley is another contributor to the Spring 2022 issue. In his article, he uses his tremendous knowledge of Charlie Mingus “to trace the ins and outs” of “his love for Ellington’s music”. Fred Glueckstein’s contribution to Blue Light this time is the first part of an article about Queenie Pie.

These four articles are supplemented by concert and book reviews, obituaries and announcements to keep the readers updated on what is going on in the Ellington world.

Uptown Lockdown

There have been some changes in the series. Since a couple of months ago, Brian Priestley is responsible for it together with Antony Pepper. The first edition of the reshaped series went up on YouTube on May 29 and features Priestley’s “Ellington-oriented conversation with renowned author Alyn Shipton”.

The second one is with a 90-minute conversation with bassist Dave Green, who enthusiastically talks  about Duke Ellington, Jimmie Blanton and playing with Ben Webster.

Go to Uptown Lockdown on Youtube to watch and listen to them.

MDD 14 – Playing Others’ Music

La Maison du Duke’s annual CD is now available. It is number 14 in the series and it is called Duke Ellington – Playing Others’ Music.

“Others” refers to Billy Strayhorn, some  members of the Ellington orchestra and composers of the Great American Songbook. T

The major portion of the CD is from Ellington’s appearance at Jantzen Beach Ballroom in Portland, Oregon on 11 June 1955.

It was the last stop  in a long tour that started in in Clemson S.C. (next to Atlanta) on 26 March. From there, Ellington went to Florida with the band and then up the Atlantic coast to Washington D.C.

The cover photo on the CD is actually the famous photo taken in April 1955 in front of Astor Motel in Jacksonville, Florida.

Then, after some zick-zagging, they toured the mid-West in mid-May and continued with engagements and recording sessions on the West Coast and British Columbia in June.

It was Ellington’s second engagement at the Jantzen Beach Ballroom. The previous one was on 13 November, 1954

Both dances were recorded in some way. NDESOR lists 35 songs for the 1954 dance and 45 songs for the one in 1955. Together, they give a good image of Ellington’s dance repertoire in the mid-50’s.

It is very welcome that MDD now gives us a tidbit of it and it is just to hope that MDD or someone else will provide more of this material.

The last three tracks on the CD are from Ellington’s dance date at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield CA on 4 March, 1958. They are already available on Volume 2 of the Private Collection ( LMR CD 83001) together with other music from the dance.

Ellington at Berlin Jazz Festival

Another recent CD with Ellington was issued in June by the French record label The Lost Recordings. It has music from two Ellington appearances at the Berlin Jazz Festival, one on 8 November, 1969 and one on 2 November, 1973.

The two concerts were simultaneously issued on LP and as a hi-res download. Regardless which medium one chooses, one gets excellent sound. This is one of the hallmarks of the label. One wonders though why the record company had to give us two incomplete concerts and not one complete. There must exist complete recordings of both of thre concerts.

Ellington was featured on the poster for the 1969 festival. An introductory remark in program said “The Berlin Jazz Festival 1969 takes place under the motto: Duke Ellington – 70 (source: TDWAW).

The CD (and the other versions) has six songs from the concert – La Plus Belle Africaine, El Gato, I Can’t Get Started, Caravan and Satin Doll. However, this is a small part of the full concert and the full list of what was played in the concert is available at ellingtonia.com (http://ellingtonia.com/discography/1961-1970/). Go to 8 November, 1969.

I Can’t Get Started features Benny Bailey. He joined the Ellington band for some days during the 1969 tour starting with the concerts in Rotterdam on 7 November. Caravan and Satin Doll are from the medley.

In the 1973 festival, Ellington appeared with a small group including Money Johnson, Russell Procope, Paul Gonsalves, Harold Ashby, Harry Carney, Joe Benjamin and Quentin “Rocky” White but it is very much Ellington – the pianist, who is at the center.

The CD starts with Ellington playing what is listed as Piano Improvisation No. 1 but it is basically a version of Meditation. It is followed by Take the “A” Train with an extended introduction by Ellington.

Next on the CD is Pitter Panther Patter with Benjamin and White joining Ellington. The CD ends with the famous tap dancer Baby Laurence demonstrating his skills.

Tone Parallel issue 3

In April, Ian Bradley published the third issues of his ambitious newsletter Tone Parallel and a fourth issue will be published in September. Go to https://toneparallel.substack.com/ to register and get access to them.

The April one is about a symphony that the city of Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast of Florida commissioned Duke Ellington to write to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding. It got the name Celebration and was premiered by Jacksonville Symphony on 16 May 1972 with Ellington present.

Stanley Dance was also there and he wrote an article about the event for the English Jazz Journal. Ian Bradley is kind to quote extensively from it.

Ellington assigned the orchestration of the symphony to the orchestra leader, composer and arranger Ron Collier, who worked from sketches by Ellington. According to Bradley, Collier also went to Jacksonville just before the première to finish the orchestration there.

An essential part of Bradley’s article is what “retired Senior Managing Attorney at one of the world’s largest financial institutions”, Deborah Hollis Kaye told him in an interview earlier this year. She is the daughter of the late world-famous plastic surgeon Dr. Bernard L. Kaye, who lived in Jacksonville with his family. He was also a member of the Jacksonville Symphony.

Kaye was chosen by the Symphony to have a solo part in Celebration and Ms. Kaye told Bradley a lot about this and her work in late life to track down the recording of the première of the symphony with Kaye´s solo(s). A fascinating story!

As usual, Bradley brings a lot of his own reflections based on what he had learnt into the article, which makes it even more interesting and worthwhile to read.

The Jacksonville Symphony had intended to play Celebration in March 2020 but had to cancel the performance due to COVID restrictions. However, it made a short promotional video about this and the symphony, which is available on YouTube.




Jan Bruér – Ellingtonmusik framförd av svenska grupper

Jan Bruér kåseri på DESS’ årsmöte den 4 april om Ellingtonmusik framförd av svenska grupper. Det spelades in av Göran Axelssons och han lyckades fånga hela föredraget utom de första 30 sekunderna.

Musiken som Jan spelade och pratade om var:

Bobo Stenson: Reflections in D (1983)

Gals and Pals: Det är vårt öde att doa (Satin Doll) (1964)

Nisse Lind: Jubilee Stomp (1937)

Alice Babs: Diga Diga Do (1940)

Svenska Hotkvintetten: Mood Indigo (1940)

Thore Ehrling: Ring Dem Bells (1945)

Sonya Hedenbratt med Arne Domnerus’ orkester: Perdido (1951)

Lars Gullin: I Got It Bad (1951)

Putte Wickman: Koko (1953)

Lennart Åberg: Rockin’ In Rhythm (1996)

Arne Domnérus: Chelsea Bridge

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.



%d bloggers like this: