Ellington DR Broadcasts (41)

After a break of almost four and a half years, Danish Radio resumed its broadcasting of Ellington material from the Mercer Ellington donation by putting on the air three programs in July, 1990. They had been put together by Fleming Sjølund-Jensen, who was also the presenter in the programs.

The program broadcasted on July 9, 1990 is the third DESS “goodie” this month. It is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

The program starts with two selections from an stockpile session, Love You Madly and Satin Doll  . Both of them are mainly showcases for Paul Gonsalves.

Sjølund-Jensen gives the date for this session as January 29, 1957 and in the first volume of the Private Collection (LMR 83000), where they are included, it is Dec 16, 1956.

However, in NDESOR the reciording date for the two songs is revised to February 1957.

Between the two songs, there is an excerpt of an interview of Ellington in March 1962, in which he talks about from where he got the name Duke and the origin of the “Love You Madly” phrase.

Next, the broadcast turns to the April 14, 1965 stockpile session April 14, 1965 and Sjølund-Jensen lets the listerners hear Blues take 2 and Limbo take 1 and 2.

The session produced six songs, which were later included in the Concert in the Virgin Islands album but the two in the broadcast – Blues (aka Big Fat Alice’s Blues) take 2 and Limbo take 1 and 2 are not among them.

The broadcast continues with three songs from a concert broadcast by the King-FM radio station from the DJ’s at 2214 4th Avenue in Seattle –The Shepherd, Drag and Take The A Train (theme) The first is of course a feature for Cootie Williams and the second for Johnny Hodges. The first documented performance of Drag is actually the first concert in Stockholm on January 24, 1967.

After this, we hear part of  a recording session in Chicago on March 16, 1962 with Milt Grayson in the central role. On this occasion he recorded five Ellington songs with a small Ellington group . One of them being The Blues Ain’t and the six takes of it ends the broadcast. Ellington is coaching in this part of the stock pile session and Strayhorn is at the piano.



Ellington in Europe 1939

Duke Ellington’s monthlong tour of Europe between April 1 and May 1, 1939 took him and the orchestra to France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

They spent most of the time in Sweden, where Ellington gave 22 concerts in 14 cities. He played three times in both Stockholm and Göteborg.

In addition, Ellington and the orchestra performed in Oslo, Norway and in Copenhagen, Denmark, (two concerts in each city).

The tour meant that thousands of Swedes, most of them young, experienced Ellington and his music directly. Many of them also made contact with Ellington and band members  to shake hands and get their concert programs autographed.

The website has published two articles about the tour in Sweden with some quite unique photos. One is about Ellington’s concerts in Stockholm on April 16, April 24 and April 29 and the other about the concert in Storvik on April 23, 1939

Ellington’s European tour is well documented in The Duke – Where and When with links to what has been witten about the tour and lists of the music played at the concerts in The Netherlands.

Preparing for the Ellington ’90 conference, John E. Hasse researched the Ellington Archive for material about the 1939 tour and on the last day of the conference he made an hourlong presentation on it.

As a true pedagog, Hasse had prepared an eight pages handout with essential information from his presentation. Roger Boyes of DESUK has very kindly shared his copy of the handout with the website to allow us to share it with our readers.

Ellington in Europe 1939 handout




Concerts in Sweden 1964

Gothenburg March 11, 1964


Konserthuset in Gothenburg

Harry Carney in Agra

On the above date, there were two concerts at Konserthuset in Gothenburg. In our previous comments on the concerts in Stockholm, which took place two days earlier, we gave part of the story associated with these concerts. A more detailed account of this may be found in DEMS 12/1-6 which can be found in the DESS archive section. There is no to us available recording of the complete concert, but we have recordings from the 2nd concert from two main sources:

1. SR broadcast of edited parts of the concert  ( in bold below)

2. Pablo CD 2308-245 “HARLEM”

The complete concert contents were suggested by Sjef Hoefsmit to be as follows:

*Take The A Train*Black And Tan Fantasy/Creole Love Call/The Mooche*Perdido*Amad*Agra*Blue Bird Of Delhi*Depk*The Opener*Happy Reunion*Wailing Interval (AKA Blow By Blow)*HARLEM*Caravan*Tootie For Cootie*Isfahan*Things Ain’t What They Used To Be*All Of Me*The Prowling Cat*Kinda Dukish & Rockin’ In Rhythm*Satin Doll*Jones & bc close* (more…)

Concerts in Sweden 1964

Fichier:Duke Ellington 1964.jpg

Duke Ellington in 1964

If there is an abundance of surviving recordings from Duke Ellington’s tours in Sweden 1963, the resulting recordings from the 1964 tour is rather meagre with only three  cities visited: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö with two concerts each. We have at hand a copy of parts of the first concert in Stockholm, and the complete program from 2nd concert from Gothenburg (from various sources). No copies have survived from the Malmö visit.

Paul Gonsalves plays Happy Reunion

The circumstances surrounding these concerts were for a long time unclear, where parts of the Gothenburg concert were thought to be from the 2nd concert in Stockholm. DESS was able to support the late Sjef Hoefsmit to sort this problem out. We can therefor present parts of the first concert in Stockholm on March 9, 1964 to our members. You’ll find it in the Goodies Room. (more…)

Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

The Ellington Effect

David Berger – composer, arranger, orchestra leader, lecturer, Ellington collaborator and foremost expert on the music of Duke Ellington – launched last month an ambitious and important initiativ to write a new, 5-part book series that will analyzes in depth the music of Ellington.

Read more about it here.

He is calling for support to make the project happen and the most important at the moment is to raise USD 25.000 to match a much larger grant. He is counting on the support of the Duke Ellington community. Give it before May 13!

Jimmie Blanton – again

In January, the website reported on the Blanton CD issued by Maison du Duke (https://ellington.se/2020/01/12/smatt-och-gott-i-januari-2020-1/).

We noticed then that two tunes from the Kraft Music Hall broadcasts were not included in the CD – Jive Rhapsody from Jan 16, 1941 and Flamingo from Oct. 9 1941 – and promised to make them available to DESS members and other visitors to the website.

Here they are.

Kraft Music Hall Jan. 16, 1941

Kraft Music Hall Oct 9, 1941

In the Goodies Room, DESS members can also listen to and download a segment with Pyramid, Pussy Willow and I’m Checking Out -Goom Bye from the broadcast from Club Caprice in the Coronado Hotel in St. Louis on Nov. 1 or 2, 1939.

DEMS and NDESOR give the date of the broadcast as Nov. 1 but the consensus today is that it is rather from Nov. 2.

There is an extensive summary of the di’sscussion of the dates for the broadcast and Blanton’s joining of the Ellington orchestra in the TDWAW website (http://tdwaw.ellingtonweb.ca/TDWAW.html#Yr1939). Go to the Nov 1 and Nov 2 entries.

Ellington Exhibition at Georgetown University

For the Ellington 2020 conference, Professor Anna Celenza had prepared an exhibition of Ellington items held in the Georgetown University Library’s Special Collections. To give as many as possible the opportunity to visit the exhibition, the library has posted a virtual version of the exhibition on their webpage. “If you click on the images, you can download high-resolution images of the various items”, she says in the email she circulated to everybody, who had registered for the conference.


Ellington Concert in Lebanon 1963

In mid April, there was an extensive discussion in the Duke-LYM mailing list about Ellington’s concert in Bagdad or Lebanon on Nov. 18, 19 or 20,. 1963  It was televised and possibly also filmed. The result is titled Le Roi du Jazz Americain Duke Ellington et Son Orchestre.

Lee Farley, the editor of the Duke Ellington Society of Southern California’s newsletter, wrote an article about the concert and the video in the 2011 Summer-Fall issue of the newsletter.

He has generously shared the article with the international Ellington community. On the DESS website, it is available here

The concert is available on YouTube.

NDESOR correction sheets

The complete set of correction sheets for NDESOR put together by Sjef Hoefsmit with contributions and help from many in the Ellington community is now available in the Ellington Archive of the DESS website.

Another Ellington Birthday Celebration

Today is the Maestro’s 121st birthday and the members of the Duke Ellington Society of Sweden join members of other Ellington societies and Ellington fans in general in paying tribute to the memory of one of the most extraordinary personalities of jazz and music in the 20th century  . The DESS Bulletin, the DESS website and the quarterly meetings is our way to keep the memory alive and to get new generations  interested in Ellington’s music and achievements.

The Ellington community celebrated Ellington’s 100th birthday with the 17th Ellington Study Group Conference in Washington D.C. so today might be the proper moment to start revisiting this conference.

As part of this, we give our readers the opportunity to hear Mark Tucker’s presentation Ellington, Washington and the Music of Memory, which was the first of the presentations at the conference. It is available at the end of the article.

But first a little bit about the conference itself.

It seems that it was organized fairly late. There was no announcement about it at the Ellington ’98 conference in Chicago the year before and when Göran Wallén – the Chairman of DESS at the time – brought it up with Theodore (Ted) Hudson – Vice President of the Washington D.C. Ellington Society – , the answer was: “We have not thought about it.”

But Göran Wallén’s question must have triggered some action because in the Sep.-Nov. 1998 issue of the DEMS Bulletin, it was announced that “Ellington ’99 – the 17th Annual  Ellington Conference” was to take place in Washington D.C. “April 28 through May 2, 199” and that the conference was sponsored by the Washington D.C. Duke Ellington Society.

When asked about what he remembers from the ’99 conference, Göran Wallén says: “There was a lot of travelling by to Smithsonian, Library of Congress for study visits and music events and to schools and addresses with an Ellington connection. Unfortunately, there was less time for presentations than at earlier conferences like the ones in Oldham in 1988 and in Chicago in 1989.

Asked the same question, Bjarne Busk answers: “As I remember the conference, part of it was about Duke’s growing up in Washington D.C. and his association with the city. One highlight was the bus tour in Ellington’s Washington – his birth place, where he lived as a boy and young man, places where he played, the commorative statue etc.

Among other things, we stopped at the bar where Duke had played pool in his youth. I wanted to go in and play a little bit but I was firmly told that if I did that I would not come out in one piece.”

Ted Hudson, who played an important role in organizing the conference, has very kindly donated a copy of the official conference program to the website. There are all the details of the conference, including the greetings from President Bill Clinton. Thank you, Ted!

Ellington ’99 Program

There was a strong element of Ellington’s religious side in the conference. The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra provided a concert of Ellington’s sacred music drawn from the three major recorded sacred concerts. Rev. Mark S. Harvey talked about The Sacred Concerts and Duke Ellington’s Religious Vision and Annie Kuebler lectured on The Spiritual Works of Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams: Singing His Praise or Seeking Redemption.

Another group of presentations focused on Ellington’s music and his orchestra.

A panel led by Patricia Willard included among others the Ellington singers June Norton and Yvonne Duke, who talked about their memories of Duke. Claire Gordon “recalled her years as an Ellington enthusiast and employee” in her presentation Me ‘n Duke.

In this category was also Peter MacHare’s presentation Duke Ellington and the Classics, Peter Townsend’s Ellington ’42: A Year In The Life and Jeff Lindberg’s Transcription Crises. Will We Allow Corporate Publishers to Suppress Ellington/Strayhorn’s Creativity In the 21st Century?

In addition, Steven Lasker shared some new discoveries with the audience and Phil Schaap ended the two days of presentation by talking about Duke Ellington’s World Music: Jazz an International Jazz Form.

Ellington ’99 was also the moment when two long-awaited major publications about Duke Ellington’s work and music was unveiled.

Elaine Norsworthy and Peter MacHare presented Eddie Lambert’s Duke Ellington: A Listener’s Guide and Luciano Massagli and Giovanni M. Volonté were present to introduce The New DESOR – the result of many years of incredible work.

The conference had some 170 registered participants and 14 of them were Swedes.

Among the attendees was also Lois Moody, chairperson of Ellington ’90 in Ottawa. After the conference, she wrote a long and detailed report for the Ottawa chapter of Duke Ellington Society. It was also published in the DEMS Bulletin 1999/3.

Now back to Mark Tucker’s presentation. We quote from Lois Moody’s report: “Through examples performed at the piano, Tucker traced the influences of Washington life on Ellington’s and stated his belief that conscious use of memories in composition is more important than technique.”

Here is Tucker’s presentation. Due to technical problems when it was delivered, the file has been edited to improve the sound quality.




Ellington DR Broadcasts (40)

The fifth ”goodie” in April is program 40 in the Duke Ellington series of broadcast 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 Jan 5, 1986. The presenter is once again Erik V Krustrup

It starts with a segment from an interview of Ellington in Toronto in March 1973.

The interview is followed by the Louie Bellson composition Ortseam (=Maestro). It was recorded in the stockpile session on March 3, 1968 with Rufus Jones as the main soloist.

The next selection in the program is Soso (aka Woods) from Togo Brava Suite. It is take 22, which is included in Storyville’s Togo Brava Suite CD.

After another segment of the March 1973 interview, Krustrup moves on to the stockpile session on April 4, 1969.

It features singer Shirley Witherspoon, who was with the band for five months in the beginning of 1969. She recorded three songs in this session and one of them was I Love My Lovin’ Lover. Krustrup chose take 5 of the song. For this take (and a couple of others), Jimmie Jones had taken over the piano chair from Ellington.

However, in the two other selections from the April 4, 1969 session – Happy Birthday (for Buster Cooper) and Rockin’ In Rhythm, (nc) – Ellington is back at the piano.

The next stockpile session featured in the program is the one from June 15, 1970. First comes two takes of All Too Soon – take 27 (nc) and take 28 – and a little bit later in the broadcast Some Summer Fun (take 38).

Between All Too Soon and Some Summer Fun, Krustrup lets the listeners hear more from the group that played Riddle (take 21) in broadcast 39 – Ellington, Wild Bill Davis, Joe Benjamin and Rufus Jones. Benny Aaslund lists what is played this time as Riddle take 22. However, in NDESOR it is listed as Blues No. 18 and this seems more correct since the song played has a different structure than Riddle in broadcast 39.

Blues No. 18 is followed by what Benny Aaslund in his DR listings simply calls an unidentified title with no recording date. However, it is what NDESOR lists as No Title recorded in the same session as Blues No. 18. Its NDESOR number is DE7106am.

Krustrup mistakingly announces Some Summer Fun which follows (see above), as Orgasm, which is a different song composed by Don Byas.

The last stockpile sessions in the program are April 27 and April 28, 1971. From the first one, Krustrup plays Fanfare from the Goutelas Suite (take 27 brkd and take 28)  and Hick – a rocked-up version of New York, New York – from the second.

The broadcast ends with two unissued takes from The Third Sacred Concert in Westminister Abbey on Oct. 24, 1973 – Praise God And Dance and In The Beginning God. Before them Ellington talks about The Sacred Concerts in an interview from New Zealand on Feb. 9, 1970.

Broadcast 40 was the last in the originally scheduled series of programs with material from the Mercer Ellington donation. However, in July 1990 three more programs were broadcasted and they were followed by more programs in1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.

The part of the file with No Title had problems and we have replaced it with a copy from another file.


Ellington DR Broadcasts (39)

The fourth ”goodie” in April is program 39 in the Duke Ellington series of broadcast 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 Dec. 22, 1985. The presenter is Erik V Krustrup

It starts with a short segment of an Ellington interview in which he is asked what his upcoming concert in Montego Bay on Feb. 8, 1973 will be about

“Well”, he says, “a concert is pretty fexible  and  I expect that we will play things with which we are identified like one of the songs that has  been popular like Mood Indigo, Sophisticated Lady, Satin Doll, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore to get the feel right and of course we have interesting soloists who no matter what they play they are interesting and followed by acrobatic something.”

This proclamation leads seamlessly to three stockpile recordings – R.T.M. from Dec. 9, 1970 and Naidni Remus (Indian Summer) together with Hard (aka The Hard Way) from Dec. 11, 1970. Only Hard is unissued so far. It is based on In A Blue Summar Garden, whose second theme was used for Blues To Be There in Newport Suite.

On March 9, 1969, Ellington, Jeff Castleman and Rufus Jones appeared with The California Youth Symphony Orchestra at Stanford University in Palo Alto CA. Two selections from this concert are included in the program – The Mooche and Alcibiades (from Timon of Athens). Nothing from the concert have been issued on LP or CD.

To end the broadcast,, Krustrup had chosen six unissued selections from the second concert in Eastbourne on Dec. 1, 1973. He starts with Blem sung by Anita Moore. It is followed by Chinoiserie and I Can’t Get Started with Harold Ashby as solist, Basin Street Blues and Hello Dolly (nc) played and sung by Money Johnson. The finale is a segment of C Jam Blues from the start of the concert.

Ellington DR Broadcasts (38)

The third ”goodie” in April is program 38 in the Duke Ellington series of broadcast 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 Dec. 8, 1985

It starts with a short rehearsal excerpt of Don Juan recorded in New York on July 18, 1966. Then follows what the presenter says is “an earlier but shorter take of Sam Woodyard’s Blues” from the same stockpile session. He says it is is called 6:40 Blues.

Possibly, this is written on the tape box but what he plays is The Shepheard. Benny Aaslund pointed out this already in his listing of the Danish Radio broadcasts in the DEMS Bulletin 1986/2 and it is listed like this in NDESOR. Despite what Aaslund says in his listing, it is take -2 which is included in The Pianist album.

The broadcast continues with five Ellington selections from another stockpile session – the one in New York on March 17, 1965.

This part starts with what the presenter calls Counter. However, it is better known as Banquet from Ellingtonton’s “incidental music” for Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens. In NDESOR it has the alternative title Counter Theme.

Next comes the unissued take 4 of Pass Out Blues (based on St. Louis Blues) and Skillipop take 3 before the section ends with * Amad from Far East Suite och Monologue (aka Pretty And The Wolf). Both are unissued takes.

The presenter then moves on to the stockpile session of March 4, 1965. First he plays Tutti For Cootie (aka Fade Up) and The Opener – both recordings used in the Concert in Virgin Islands album.

They end Ellington’s part of the recording session but Billy Strayhorn stayed behind and improvised two melodies together with John Lamb and Sam Woodyard. At the time of the broadcast, they were a mystery and in a  comment Benny Aaslund and Sjef Hoefsmit said “this kind of cocktail piano playing is hardly executed Duke Ellington.

The broadcast ends with three selections from different stockpile sessions. First comes Tang from Afro-Eurasian Eclipse followed recorded on Feb. 17, 1971. It is followed by Take The “A” Train recorded on  May 24, 1962 and I‘m Gonna Go Fishin’ from Anatomy Of A Murder recorded the following day.




Dance Dates in Sweden 1963

Amiralen – Wikipedia

Amiralen in Malmö

There are two surviving recordings of dance dates with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in Sweden in 1963  –  one from Dans In  at Gröna Lund in Stockholm from June 8  and one from Malmö in  the south of Sweden on June 19.

The website published a longer article about the dance date at  Gröna Lund with lots of photos on September 1, 2018

The dance date was recorded by Benny Åslund with the permission of Ellington. He managed to get more than two hours of music on his tapes.

There are no other recording of the dance so it must have been the source in one form or the other of the double CD album that Storyville issued in 2018.


Duke Ellington In Gröna Lund - Storyville Records - The Best in ...


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