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
The discographical information about the piano solos is rather confusing. In its issue 1994:4, the DESS Bulletin published a discography by Bosse Scherman and Göran Wallén of the Duke and Ella concerts in Stockholm February 7 and 8, 1966. They list two takes of each songs that Ellington played on the piano. However, in a reply to Sjef Hoefsmit in a later issue of the Bulletin, they admitted that the only thing they had heard was “a tape from a radio broadcast, which includes only one take of each title” and gave Ole Nielsen’s Ellington discography as the source for the claim of two takes. NDESOR also lists two takes of each song and presumably also had Nielsen as source.
To make things even more confusing, it seems that Sjef Hoefsmit in commenting in the DESS Bulletin on the Scherman-Wallén discography seems to claim that there were two takes of Looking Glass and only one of the other two songs.
If anyone has got a tape with two takes of each of the three songs, please let us know. We are of course also very interested if anyone has got a copy of the TV-program as well.