The first issue for 2017 has started to arrive in the mailboxes of DESUK members.
The postman delivered it to my box a couple of days after I learned about the passing-away of DESUK’s Chairman, Geoff Smith and it is moving to read his “From The Chairman” editorial. As always, he talks about the next thing to do to serve DESUK members and the world-wide Ellington community. Geoff was a man full of energy and kindness and he will be deeply missed by our community! The website sends its condolences to his family.
Otherwise, the key feature in the new issue is an eight pages long article by DESUK member Stuart Emerson about “Such Sweet Thunder”. It is fascinating to follow his steps to solve some of the mysteries linked to the suite and doing so widen our perspective on the work.
Also the Blue Light editor, Ian Bradley, tries to solve a mystery. In his article he tells us about “The Jaywalker” play – its background and the music. Another good reading!
In the “News” part, we are told about the venture of Birmingham Conservatoire to form a new Ellington orchestra. From September 2017, it will play every two weeks at the Conservatoire’s jazz club.
Something To Live For
The first set of Cirkus concert was undoubtedly telecasted by Swedish Television (and was also rebroadcasted by the French TV-station M6 around 1990). However, it is more doubtful if the second set was ever broadcasted. The new DESOR lists it as “Pre-rec for SR telecast” and so far a video copy of a telecast of the second set has not surfaced. Fortunately, copies of the soundtrack of the second set exist and we are happy to give DESS’ members the opportunity to listen to this. The origin is unknown and the audio material seems to come from two different sources, judging from the sound quality, which is somewhat different for the Ellington and Fitzgerald parts. Any additional information from the members about this would be appreciated.
The following songs are played:
Take The A Train & intro*Black And Tan Fantasy#* Soul Call* Wings And Things* Jam With Sam are all played by Ellington and the orchestra (more…)
Imagine My Frustration
The performance at Cirkus in Stockholm on February 8, 1966 was carried out as one concert with an intermission. Both sets are believed to have been broadcasted by Swedish Television, but video copies of the second part still remain missing – or was it ever broadcast? We however have audio copies and DESS members can now find a copy of the first part in the “Goodies Room”. As mentioned earlier, the format of the concerts during Ellington’s 1966 tour to Europe was that Duke and the orchestra played the first part of the program with Ella Fitzgerald and her trio playing the second. This routine was repeated after the intermission.
The concert starts with Take The A Train after which Ellington announces West Indian Pancake which is a new number where Paul Gonsalves shows what he is able to do . Neaxt the “Piano player” sits down at the piano to tinkle at tune known to everybody as Kinda Dukish which continues into one of the Ellington oldies, Rockin’ In Rhythm. La Plus Belle Africaine, one of Ellington’s more ambitious works, is also new for this season, and is often played in the years to come. To conclude the first part of the concert, Ellington announces The Opener as the closing number. (more…)
On September 15, 2016, we published an article by Jan Bruér with his recollections of the rehearsal for Ellington’s telecast from Cirkus in Stockholm on February 8, 1966. In his article, Jan says that during the rehearsal, the director of the telecast, Lars Egler, announced that Ellington was going to record a piano solo and asked for silence. He remembers that Duke played “a wonderful solo version of Serenade To Sweden and also did a retake of it.”
Actually, Ellington recorded three songs in front of the TV cameras – in addition to Serenade To Sweden also Looking Glass and The Queen’s Gard. Together with footage from the beginning of the rehearsal, they were included in a 23 minutes telecast that was aired on Swedish Television on March 19, 1966 – the day before the broadcast of the concert itself. The TV-program is not availabe to DESS but it is archived at the Swedish National Library in Stockholm.
However, DESS members can listen to and download the full soundtrack in the “Goodies of the Month” section of the website. Here is a sample:
Serenade to Sweden
Webbplatsen har tidigare rapporterat om det trevliga initiativet av Frimurarlogen Gyllene Snittet i Karlstad att ägna ett av sina medlemsmöten åt Ellington och hans musik. Arrangemanget har nu också uppmärksammats i tidningen Frimuraren – organ för Svenska Frimurarorden – i en lång artikel.
Också i Dalarna rör det på sig. DESS’ nye medlem Leif Borgert har rapporterat om två evenemang där med Ellingtonmusik. Det ena var två konserter i Orsa resp. Djura kyrka med “Sacred Music”
och det andra en konsert anordnad av Ludvika Jazzklubb.
Tack för initiativen!
Storyville has just released volume 23 in its Treasury Shows series. Now only two more issues remain until the series is complete.
It picks up where volume 22 ended, i.e. with a broadcast from Meadowbrook Garden Café but this time it is from August 24, 1946. Actually, Ellington did two broadcasts from Meadowbrook Garden Café on this date – the one for ABC on CD 1 of the album and another for MBS later in the day.
After his long engagement at Meadowbrook Garden Café August 9-25, 1946 had ended, Ellington moved on to Los Angeles. The second broadcast in volume 23 (on CD 2) is one from Lincoln Theatre in Los Angeles on August 31, 1946.
A month later, Duke was back in New York for a month-long engagement at the Aquarium Restaurant. It is from here that the third “Your Saturday Date With The Duke” broadcast in volume 23 emanates. The date is October 5, 1946.
The bonus broadcast in volume 23 is another one from the Hurricane Restaurant – this time from August 26, 1943.
The details of the broadcast can be found at the Storyville website and of course in NDESOR.
Storyville has also issued a CD called “An Intimate Piano Session” with music from the “stockpile” recording in New York on August 25, 1972.
On this occasion, Ellington sat down with only his two singers at the time – Anita Moore and Tony Watkins – to record a number of songs not featured very often. At least one version of all the songs recorded except one is included in the CD. In additon, the CD has four tracks recorded at the end of the Rotterdam concert in 1969 when Duke sat down with Wild Bill Davis, Victor Gaskin and Ruus Jones to give the audience some extras.
Details are available at the Storyville website.
Bo Haufman fyller 80 år idag. Duke Ellington Society of Sweden (DESS) och webbplatsen ber att få gratulera den ungdomlige jubilaren.
Happy Birthday Bosse!
Foto: Sonja Svensson
Bo är en av stora beundrarna av Duke Ellington och hans musik och en hängiven samlare av hans inspelningar. Bo delar generöst med sig sin kärlek och har ägnat stor del av sin fritid sedan tidigt 80-tal att sprida kunskap om Duke Ellington.
Sedan 1985 har Bo varit medlem i Jazz Society och när Duke Ellington Society of Sweden bildades 1993-4 blev Bo den som tog den tunga bördan att som sekreterare dokumentera arbetet som ledde fram till en lyckad d konferens 1994. Därefter har han haft en ledande roll inom Duke Ellington of Society i olika positioner. Efter många år som sekreterare i styrelsen är Bo idag klubbens vice ordförande och på många sätt dess grå eminens.
Genom sitt internationella kontaktnät och hans resor sedan tidigt 90-tal till alla Ellington konferenser har han fått en unik kunskap om allt som är väsentligt och intressant när det kommer till Duke Ellington och hans musikaliska värld. Denna kunskap har han generöst delat med sig till DESS’ medlemmar och andra genom sina otaliga artiklar om Dukes musik och musiker i DESS-bulletinen. Där har han också demonstrerat sitt stora intresse för korsord och utmanat hjärnkraften hos medlemmarna.
Bo har ingått i redaktionen för Bulletinen alltsedan starten och har varit dess redaktör sedan 2008. Med sina många artiklar och sin förmåga att knyta bidragsgivare över hela världen till tidningen har Bo sett till att Bullen ett av de ledande organen i världen för Ellington och hans musik som DESS-medlemmar och andra Ellington-vänner ser fram mot varje kvartal.
Göran Wallén / Anders Asplund / Ulf W. Lundin
The 14th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the third “Goodie” for the month of March.
As usual, it is available in the “Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).
It was broadcasted on March 1, 1985 and this time the program presenter is Erik Wiedeman.
The broadcast starts with three songs recorded at a stockpile session in Las Vegas on January 7, 1970 by a small group drawn from the band. Duke and the band had had a two-week engagement at Caesar’s Palace over the Christmas and New Year seasons and was on the way to the Far East for a six-week long tour.
The three songs – Tippying-toeing Through The Jungle, The Kissing Mist and Rocochet (aka Noon Mooning) – are all credited to Ellington but at least Tippytoeing Through The Jungle smacks a lot of Wild Bill Davis. Paul Gonsalves solos on all three, Lawrence Brown on the first two and Willie Cook on the first one. The Kissing Mist is one of the two songs from the session that has not been issued on LP or CD so far.
The broadcast then continues with excerpts from another stockpile session almost one and a half year later or on June 28, 1971 – this time with the full orchestra. The broadcast brings us early versions of two of the movements of what was later to be known as Togo Brava Suite – Mkis (aka Soul Soothing Beach) and Yogo (aka Naturellement) – together with Tego which Ellington considered to be part of the Afro-Eurasian Eclipse suite.
It ends with two songs – In A Mellotone and Happy Reunion – from the intimate session on June 24, 1958 in Chicago when Duke sat down with Paul Gonsalves to give him ample space to show his talents. Jimmy Woode and Sam Woodyard form the rest of the rhythm section. The session is the first known performance of Happy Reunion.
The first issue of DESUK’s Blue Light in 2015 is now available to DESS members in the Ellington Archive. It is added to the issues of Blue Light 2011-2014 already there and more 2015 issues will be added during the year.
As always when it comes to Blue Light, there is a lot of good reading.
The main feature of the issue is Jack Chambers’ very solid and detailed 10 pages article on Ellington’s Stockpile recordings. It includes a discography of the recordings published so far on CD.
In addition, DESS and DESUK member David Palmquist shares one of his many findings in his research on Duke’s where and when. This time is is the Ellington Orchestra’s appearance at the first annual Fiestaval in Emporia, Kansas on May 9, 1940.
In another article, Blue Light editor Ian Bradley reports on a tape that surfaced on eBay of the first set of Ellington’s appearance at the Chaote School in Willingford, Connecticut on January 23, 1968.
In addition to these three articles, there are all the usual regular features like the record reviews and reports on DESUK work and activities.
From Calloway to Mulligan
Charlie Barnet Boyd Raeburn Gerry Mulligan
Count Basie Cab Calloway Jimmie Lunceford
Nobody really knows how many songs Duke Ellington wrote during his long career as a song writer, and many of them were only performed by himself or his orchestra. Quite a few, however, became ever-greens and many others were appreciated as jazz standards which were favoured by other orchestras.
Charlie Barnet was probably the one band-leader that had the largest number of Ellington’s compositions in his book and he also was a good friend of Duke’s. He didn’t try to copy Duke’s arrangements, instead he made his own typical interpretation of his songs. Above, you can click to listen to his recording of Black Beauty, an early Ellington composition, played by one of Charlie Barnet’s last bands from 1967. In the Goodies Room you’ll find more music by other bands. (more…)