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Announcing NDESOR 1994

One of the surprises on the last day of Ellington ’94 was a presentation by Luciano Massagli and Giovanni Volonté of what was to become NDESOR – the totally indispensable tool for any serious Ellington collector.

They were not in the original program but asked for a slot only a couple of weeks before the conference and – of course -the organizers was happy to give them one.

So the last day of the conference started started a little bit earlier than originally scheduled to accomodate their half an hour presentation.

As can be seen and heard in the video below, Massagli talked about what NDESOR would be like and  Volonté presented the just published book ”Duke Ellington : un genio, un mito”, which he had written together with Antonio Berini.


A 12 page handout about the 740 page book was provided to the conference participants. It gives an overview of the chapters of the book plus the foreword by Leonard Feather and the introduction by the authors. It is available in the Ellington Archive.


DR Ellington Broadcasts (22)

The second ”goodie” for March is program 22 in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted 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 June 21, 1985 and the announcer is once again Bjarne Busk

The program brings the listeners some good sessions from mid-1967 and early 1956. However, it starts with a selection from June 6, 1962. It is the next to last performance of H’ya Sue in Ellington’s discography. Three takes were recorded that day and in the broadcast the second take is played. A month later (or July 8 to be exact), Ellington played it for the last time. It was at the 1962 edition of the the Newport Jazz Festival.

Next, Bjarne Busk turns to the ”stockpile” recording session of July 11, 1967 and features the four songs recorded on this occasion – Rondolet, Mich (or Acht O’Clock Rock), Lady and Lele. It is really a ”rock” session”, as Busk says in the program.

After this, the broadcast continues with what is often called ”The Pentape Session” on March 18, 1956. Busk plays two of the songs – Where’s the Music and Play the Blues and Go Home – recorded by a small group from the the band on that day .

The website wrote about the ”Pentape Session” session on June 16 last year (https://ellington.se/2016/06/16/pentape-originals/).

The program ends with two selections from the ”stockpile session” of January 3, 1956. First, Willie Cook solos in Tea for Two in a way quite similar to what he played at the Newport Jazz Festival half a year later.

Then comes a 11 minute long untitled blues, which ends the program. It is called ”Long Time Blues” in the discographies.




The Duke at The Hollywood Empire in 1949 (2) with Billie Holiday

Duke & Billie

Duke & Billie around 1949

Our next visit to the Empire Hotel in Hollywood brings you music from February 9, 1949, originally issued on AFRS JJ-47 (AFRS=Armed Forces Radio Service). It has not been issued commercially, but one of the numbers, The Tattooed Bride, appears on an LP record presented at the Ellington-90 conference. Our source tape also includes two numbers sung by Billie Holliday, but it is not known whether this was part of the original broadcast material or if the Holiday songs were inserted for a re-broadcast. Be that as it may, it is always a pleasure to listen to her singing.

Billie sings Miss Brown To You

Members will find the complete recording from this occasion in the Goodies Room, the sound quality being acceptable, and hopefully the contents is of interest. (mer…)

Ellington-serie på Sveriges Radio 1994 (5)

Den här gången är det dags för det femte programmet i Jan Bruérs och Lars Westins serie om Duke Ellington.

Titeln på programmet är ”Lush Life” och det handlar naturligtvis om Billy Strayhorn. Det sändes första gången den 7 mars 1994.

Jan och Lars skissar hans karriär och utveckling med många exempel och gör programmet till en perfekt introduktion till Strayhorn.

Liksom de föregåendet programmen i serien finns det tillgängligt för DESS-medlemmar i radiodelen av Elllington-arkivet.

Ellington ’89 in Washington D.C.

In mid-October last year, the DESS website presented the first Ellington Study Group Conference, which took place in Washington D.C. in May 1983.

Six years later the conference was back in Washington D.C. – this time on the occasion of Ellington’s 90th birthday.

At the end of this month. we will publish some articles about the conference. We have quite a lot of video tapes with presentations as a basis for this, but we are still looking for photos, personal memories etc, to give a more full picture. Please contact the web editor if you have material to contribute.

However, to give you a taste of the conference, we already publish today some excerpts from the conference proceedings.

Herb Jeffries was one of the invited guest to perform at the conference and tell about his time with Ellington. He got a very special honor.


On two nights of the conference,  Doug Richard’s and his Great American Music Ensemble presented Ellington’s music from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.


One of the presenter’s the last day was Sjef Hoefsmit and his lecture on ”Ellington’s Trains” should not be missed.



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