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Ellington interviewed in Sweden, England and Denmark

Ellington was frequently interviewed during his concert tours all over the world. The website has already published some of those interviews like the CBC one by Bryng Whittaker on September 2, 1964 (https://ellington.se/2016/09/09/duke-ellington-cbc-interview-september-2-1964) and the one by Willis Conover in 1973 (https://ellington.se/2017/05/23/conover-interviews-ellington-1973/).

Here are three more.

During his visit to Sweden in 1971, the TV producer Gunilla Marcus managed to get Ellington to sit down with her for a talk after the second concert in Uppsala.

In 1964, Ellington started his European tour in England where he stayed 16 days. According to the indispensable TDWAW (http://tdwaw.ca/), they arrived on 15 February, most likely in the morning. Later in the day trumpeter and band leader Humphrey Lyttleton and the Melody Maker jazz critic Max Jones interviewed Ellington for BBC.

In the interview Ellington talks about how he started his musical career in Washington D.C., how he went on to establish himself in New York (NYC) and about Billy Strayhorn’s arrival in his life.

It is an excerpt of a longer interview. If anyone of the readers of the web site has the longer one, please contact the DESS web editor.

The last interview is from Ellington’s visit to Copenhagen in 1958, when he was interviewed on the news program Aktuelt Kvarter by a Danish journalist on September 7, 1958.

Ellington politely answers the questions of the journalist who summaries the answers in Danish. At the end of the interview Ellington says that he could do without the analysts and just keep the listeners.

More Ellington In Uppsala 1971

In August, we reviewed Storyville’s new CD with Ellington’s concert in Uppsala Nov. 9, 1971 and gave some further information about the concert. The article is available here.

There were two concerts on Nov. 9 – one at 19:30 and the other at 22:00. Storyville’s CD has the second one but also the first one was recorded.

It was done by someone in the audience using a portable recorder so the sound is rather low-fi but it is still quite enjoyable.  The music is identical to the one in the second concert except for Hello Dolly, One More Time For The People and Lotus Blossom, which ended the second concert.

So the first concert kicked off with C Jam Blues.

The full concert is available to DESS members in the Goodies Room.


Stockholm, 26 september 1959, andra föreställningen

Bildresultat för stockholms konserthus

Stockholms Konserthus omkring 1960

I ett tänkt scenario där vi publicerar alla nu kända Ellingtonkonserter i Sverige (eller för oss tillgängliga delar därav) har vi nu kommit fram till den andra konserten i Stockholms konserthus den 26 september 1959. Nyligen har den första konserten från detta datum publicerats och tidigare även de få nummer som finns bevarade från 1939 samt de två konserterna från 1958. Från turnén 1950 finns dessvärre ingenting bevarat från Sverige, men för den som vill höra hur orkestern kunde låta då, finns en utmärkt inspelning på CD från Zürich samt en inspelning från Hamburg (tidigare publicerad på denna hemsida)

Från den andra konserten den 26 september 1959 kan ni höra de delar som sändes i efterhand av Sveriges Radio med följande innehåll:

*Medley (Black And Tan Fantasy, Creole Love Call & The Mooche)* Such Sweet Thunder* Kinda Dukish & Rockin’ In Rhythm* El Gato* Passion Flower* Things Ain’t What They Used Be* All Of Me Happy Anatomy* Medley,

Följande nummer ingick i konsertprogrammet men togs inte med i radioutsändningen (förmodligen för att man ville begränsa denna till en timma): Take The A Train (Theme), VIP’s Boogie, Jam With Sam och Diminuendo & Crescendo In Blue. (more…)

Stockholm, 26 september 1959, första föreställningen

Relaterad bild

Stockholms Konserthus

Under Ellingtons europaturné 1959 hölls konserter på följande platser i Sverige:

23/9 – Malmö, MFF-Stadion
24/9 – Borås, Boråshallen
25/9 – Örebro, Idrottshuset
26/9 – Stockholm, Konserthuset
27/9 – Linköping, Sporthallen
28/9 – Stockholm, Konserthuset
29/9 – Göteborg, Mässhallen

Såvitt känt finns endast de båda konserterna som ägde rum i Stockholm den 26 september bevarade, men endast några få nummer från den andra konserten har någonsin givits ut kommersiellt (Jfr Famous 5 LP box). Däremot finns det mesta av den första konserten på en Azure kassett, CA-30, från 2002. (more…)

Hertigens spelmän program 4

Det fjärde programmet i Jan Bruérs radioserie Hertigens spelmän sändes den 17 aug. 1981.

Det handlar om altsaxofonisterna i Ellingtons orkester.

Johnny Hodges dominerar förstås programmet. Han låter oss inledningsvis höra Hodges i hans första skivinspelning med Ellington och en inspelning som konstraterar Hodges’ stil med Otto Harwicks. Vi får också smakprov på hur Willie Smith lät i Ellingtonbandet och Jan låter oss även höra den ganska okände altsaxofonisten Harold Minerve som spelade med Ellington en kort period i mitten av 1971.

Programmet avslutas med fler exempel på Hodges’ konst. Vi får höra honom som på balladmästare och swingman.

DESS’ medlemmar kan lyssna till programmet här.

God lyssning!

DESS Bulletin – The Winter Issue

It might not be winter yet but the new issue of the DESS Bulletin was sent to its subscribers = the DESS members yesterday. As usual a lot of good reading thanks to the energetic work of Bo Haufman.

Elmer Snowden is the featured artist this time.

“Was he really an Ellingtonian,” asks Bo and gives an affirmative answer in a detailed and well-researched article. The focus is of course on Snowden’s collaboration with Duke Ellington but other aspects of Snowden’s career are also well covered.

Another article by Bo Haufman deals with Duke Ellington’s “occasional” vocalists i.e. the well-known 1920’s and 1930’s vocalists who Irving Mills paired with Ellington in recording sessions. Bo maps this group, gives short biographies and the songs recorded.

From Bo’s pen comes also an article about the Juan Tizol-Duke Ellington composition Congo Brava. NDESOR lists only two recordings of the song. Bo is puzzled by this and reflect on it in the article. He also quotes what Eddie Lambert and Gunther Schuller has written about it  and refer the reader to an article by Lawrence Gushee in the Ellington Reader.

Mike Zirpolo’s contribution to the new Bulletin is an article about Morning Glory. It is a reprint from his website Swing & Beyond, where it was originally published in December last year. It was among the songs recorded by Ellington on his first session for Victor in 1940. He is credited as the composer but it is apparently Rex Stewart who composed it. The article tells the story of how the rights got into Ellington’s hands.

Another find by Bo for reprint in the Bulletin is the part about Ellington in the diary Spike Hughes kept during his visit to New York in1933. It paints an interesting picture not so much of Ellington as of Hughes.

In addition to these articles, the new Bulletin reports from the DESS meeting on 16 September and reviews of Jack Chambers new book Sweet Thunder – Duke Ellington’s Music in Nine Themes as well as Storyville’s CD with Ellington’s concert in Uppsala in 1971. It also has the program of the upcoming Ellington conference in Washington D.C. in March next year.





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