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Duke Ellington With Ella Fitzgerald At Newport 1966

On July 3, 1966, Duke Ellington was back at the Newport Jazz Festival after a couple of years of absence. His previous performance at the Festival was in 1963. He did not mark it as the 10th anniversary of his 1956 success. Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue was not even on the program but he stayed with his standard program of the time.

Take The “A” Train

The Swedish photographer and DESS member Olle Lindholm, who lived in New York at the time, attended the Festival and took some photos during Ellington’s concert even if the light conditions were not ideal.

One of them was of Johnny Hodges, who played a 10 minute set of “I Got It Bad, “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be” and “Wings and Things” during the concert.


Lindholm also got a good shot of the sax section when it played its part of the “Kind A Dukish”/”Rockin’ In Rhythm” combination.


“West Indian Pancake” entered the repertoire as a feature for Paul Gonsalves during the European tour earlier in the year and Olle Lindholm managed to catch him with his camera when Gonsalves played it at Newport as well.



Duke Ellington Treasury Shows vol. 22

Earlier this month, Storyville released volume 22 of its “Duke Ellington Treasury Shows” and the end of the series is slowly approaching. Like volume 21, it gives us two broadcasts from the West Coast or, more precisely, California.

The first one is from August 3, 1946 and the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco and the second one from August 17, 1946 and the Meadowbrook in Culver City. They are supplemented by two bonus broadcasts – one from El Patio Ballroom, July 15, 1942 and the other from the Hurricane Restaurant in New York August 21, 1943.


The two 1946 broadcasts were part of the original Duke Ellington Treasury Show LP series (volume 42 and volume 43) and are Treasury Show broadcasts #43 and #44.


The two bonus broadcasts have not been issued commercially before except for one of the songs played at the El Patio Ballroom, which was included in a Jazz Archive album many years ago.


Duke Ellington at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago, 1942

chicago-hotel-shermanAll I Need Is YouDuke and his orchestra played for dancing at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago several times, the most well-known of these occasions being that of September-October 1940, but the band came back for a similar stint between 19 July and 18 August 1942.

The 1942 performances are not as richly documented on discs. as those of 1940, although a few commercial recordings exist. We have therefore chosen to make  a short sound-clip available for downloading by the DESS members in the Goodies Room .

Above you can listen to a tune called All I Need Is You, performed by Rex Stewart backed up by the orchestra. This is the only known recording of this song by Duke and his men. (more…)

The Duke Lives On – The Laurent Mignard Duke Orchestra

The Laurent Mignard Duke Orchestra is one of the few orchestras in the world entirely devoted to the music of Ellington. It was founded in 2003 by the trumpeter/composer Laurent Mignard who is the leader and conductor of the orchestra.


He is also the one who ensures that it plays a wide Ellington repertoire  from the well-known standards to the larger works and suites including pieces that have never or rarely performed. Contrary to many Elllington-performing orchestras, the Duke Orchestra have a strong focus on the later repertoire of Ellington (including the standards of the 1940s).

Mignard says that he is inspired not only by Ellington but also the likes of Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Henri Dutilleux. But when one listens to the band, it has also a kind of Basie feeling in its punchy way of playing.

Below are some examples of the band.


DR Ellington Broadcasts (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 was 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. (more…)

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”. (more…)

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.




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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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!

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