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Concerts in Sweden

Malmö, 25 October 1973

Ridande Tomte Dräkt - Partyhallen.se

……and a Happy New Year!

Alice Babs om musikens sound 13 februari 2014 kl 12.10 - Vetenskapsradion På djupet | Sveriges Radio

Ellington & Babs (this picture is from an earlier occasion)

Welcome to the second concert at Malmö Stadsteater on October 25, 1973. Due to the length of this concert we will publish the music played in two parts. this being the first 45 minutes. There was obviously no hurry to finish the late performance. You will find this in the Goodies Room!

The program for the first part is as follows: *C-Jam Blues*Take The A Train & intro*Kinda Dukish & Rockin’ In Rhythm*Creole Love Call*Caravan*In Duplicate*New York, New York*I Got It Bad*Blem*Take The A Train*Chinoiserie*Basin Street Blues*Hello Dolly*Medley*. Titles in bold have not been issued commercially. The opening of the concert is similar to that of the 1st concert, with Take The A Train and Hello Dolly added.

Ericson, Rolf – trumpetare, flügelhornist – OrkesterJournalen

Rolf Ericson is featured guest soloist in Take The A Train

Any comments would be similar to the opening of the 1st concert, except that Money Johnson is heard in Hello Dolly an that Harold Ashby is featured in Chinoiserie

The Ellington band in 1973 had lost some of its attraction due to the loss of many familiar faces and voices after the 1960ies, but it was still a fornidable force on the jazz scene.

The closing part of this concert will be published in the Goodies Room in approx. one week’s time.


Smått och gott /Bits And Pieces Dec 2020

New Ellington CD from Maison du Duke

The 13th CD in La Maison du Duke’s series of rare Ellington music and performances is available to MDD members since some weeks.

It is titled is Special Occasions with Cab Calloway, Menuhin & Kenton 1955-1963 but Paul Whiteman’s should also have appeared in it because the first part of the CD is from Whiteman’s telecast with Ellington in the CBS’ series America’s Greatest Bands.

This series ran in the summer of 1955 with Whiteman as host and featured in addition to Ellington guests like Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Xavier Cugat, Ralph Flanagan and Eddie Sauter, Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnet, Percy Faith and others.

Ellington appeared on July 9 following Armstrong the week before.

Two weeks later – July 26 – Ellington was featured on another  CBS’ telecast called Music ’55. It was hosted by Stan Kenton and was a weekly show, which ran every Tuesday night from July 12 to September 13 1955.

The CD has Ellington playing a couple of bars of Artistry In Rhythm and then sharing Take The A Train with Stan Kenton at a separate piano. This is followed by Yehudi Menuhin performing Come Sunday together with Ellington.

Missing from the CD is Ellington narrating Pretty And The Wolf (aka Monologue) with the Kenton “television band” doing the music part.

However, it is included in full filmclip of the July 26 Music telecast. The clip also demonstrates that the principal guest of the show was  Yehudi Menuhin and not Ellington.

Music ’55 July 26, 1955

Kenton’s new singer Ann Richards, who had joined the band 6 months before, also appear in the clip and sings two songs.

The show ends with an “exotic” dance number to Peanut Vendor.

The final part of the CD – and the most enjoyable one – is the concert in Lambertville, New Jersey on August 12, 1963 when Cab Calloway stepped in to conduct the Ellington orchestra and Billy Strayhorn took over the piano chair.

Ellington was at the time in Chicago for the final preparations of the premiere of My People, which opened four days later.

The concert had two parts – a first one with the typical repertoire of the Ellington orchestra at the time and a second with Calloway singing some of his popular songs. Only one of them – St. James Infirmary – is on the CD.

The first part of the concert has previously been issued on the Azure CA 19 cassette.

Like previous MDD CDsones, the new one is only available for members of La Maison du Duke. The membership fee is 20 euros and in addition one has to pay 5 euros for the postage.


Ellington Interview 1962 (2)

The second part of the Jack Cullen interview is now available for DESS members in the Goodies section.

As in the first part, Cullen asks Ellington questions about songs he has written, artists he has worked with and episodes in his life.

Among the songs, they talk about Solitude – “I wrote it in 20 minutes standing up”, In A Sentimental Mood – “it was written very spontaneously in Durham, South Carolina”, I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart – “It was the only song thrown out of the show I wrote for the new Cotton Club” and I Got It Bad – “I wrote it in Salt Lake City”.

As regards artists, Cullen asks only about singers – Ivie Anderson and Al Hibbler – and Ellington talks quite extensively about Anderson and the date when she joined the band – Feb. 13 1931.

Ellington talks also warmly about his short period with Musicraft Records – “wonderful people …. world’s greatest contract” and his recordings for Standard Transcriptions.

As Ellington aficionados and aficionadas know, Music Is My Mistress has a section on Ellington songs. Either Ellington had a very good memory when he talked to Stanley Dance about them because his words in the book about some of the songs are the same as in the Cullen interview or Dance used the interview as an additional source for his writing.




Concerts in Sweden

Malmö, 25 October 1973

Ridande Tomte Dräkt - Partyhallen.se

Merry Christmas to all DESS members!

What we are about to present to you, is a Christmas Gift consisting of mainly unissued and partly undocumented music by Duke Ellington and his orchestra

We are temporarily leaving the chronology for the concerts in Sweden and jumping forward to October 25th in Malmö. The reason for this is that this miserable year will soon come to an end and that we feel should at least bring something good, in the  end. This is why we would like to share with our members two concerts from Malmö from the above date. These concerts have never been issued in their entirety before. The only existing commercial issue, Caprice CAP 21599 consists of a mixture of numbers from the first and second concerts.

This week we start with the 1st concert from Malmö. (more…)

Ellington Interview 1962 (1)

Duke Ellington and his orchestra spent October 1962 in the American West, particularily in California.

At the end of the month, he and the band crossed the border into Canada and started a two-week engagement at Isy’s Supper Club in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In Vancouver, Jack Cullen was a well-known radio host and disc jockey since the late 1940’s with his “Owl Prowl” program. He also had as a speciality to interview visiting music celebrities and make unauthorised recordings of their concerts. This made him considered as “the irreverent rebel in radio”.

On October 30 after the last show at Isy’s, Cullen and his friend Bobby Hughes went back stage and asked Ellington if he would come over to the radio station and do an interview.

“Ellington was in a good mood”, remembers Cullen, “so we walked back the three blocks to my studio ….. and on the way we got him some good Canadian rye to sip during the interview”.

Cullen claims that the group did not break up until 5 in the morning – “it was one of the longest ones I ever done”. Towards the end of the second part of the interview, Cullen notes that the time is 20 to 4 but it seems that the interview continued after that.

The interview we publish today and next week is spoken 35 minutes long and spoken words only. However, when one examines the recording, it is obvious that it has been edited in many places and most likely it is the music played during the interview, which has been cut out.

This month, the website publish the interview in two installments in its Goodies section – the first one today and the second one next week.

Cullen and Hughes quickly get Ellington in a relaxed mood and the interview is a walk with him through quite a number of compositions he had recorded.


We Remember Clark

CLARK TERRY 1920-2015

Today is the 100 anniversary of the birth of Clark Terry. He had a very long and distinguished career and recorded a very a large number of records.

Ellington aficionados remember him especially for his eight years with Duke Ellington (1951-1959) but his legacy is much larger than this.

Today, DESS honour him in DESScafé with snapshots from his career to the beginning of the 1960’s. The second part of Terry’s career will be covered in DESScafé in January.

Clark Terry participated in some of the Ellington conferences, among them the one in Copenhagen in 1992. He played in clubs, participated in the concert with Danish Radio Big Band and appeared together with Arne Domnérus in a conference concert the last day.

DESS member Olle Lindholm was there and took a lot of photos. Here are some with Clark Terry in action. More of Olles photos from Copenhagen will be published in another article in the spring next year.





Concerts in Sweden

Malmö, Nov. 9, 1969

1st Concert

Malmö Stadsteater, the venue for this concert

Two concerts from Sweden in 1969 remains to be accounted for on the DESS web site, namely the 1st and 2nd concerts from Malmö on November 9 at Malmö Stadsteater. These recordings were made privately on a portable device and therefor the sound quality is not the best, but bearable, and for the benefit of those members who want to complete their Ellington collections we nevertheless want to publish them. In the Goodies Room you will now find the 1st one from Malmö.

Since the Stockholm concert a few days earlier, two changes in orchestra personnell had taken place, in that Rolf Ericson replaces Ambrose Jackson on trumpet and Åke Persson is added to the trombone section.

Jump For Joy (more…)

Concerts in Sweden

Malmö Nov. 9, 1969

2nd concert

The Duke in 1969

The recorded material from the 2nd concert at this date is shorter, but sound-wise better compared with the 1st. Here, right from the start, Åke Persson assumes one of the main roles as soloist in the opening number, C-Jam Blues, where he seems to fit in well without any signs of being shy.

DIG Jazz

Åke “Kometen” Persson

The program is similar to that of the 1st concert:

*C-Jam Blues*Kinda Dukish & Rockin’ In Rhythm*4:30 Blues*Serenade To Sweden*Take The A Tarin*Mount Harissa*Up Jump*La Plus Belle Africaine*Come Off The Veldt*Medley*

with the Medley approx 30 minutes long.

After this concert, Duke and the orchestra leave Sweden for extensive concerts in Europe. They will return to Sweden to appear briefly at Liseberg in Gothenburg in 1970. The Liseberg  concerts have like-wise been recorded on a portable recorder and therefor of lesser sound quality. We had originally planned to publish them on these pages, but we could do with some feed-back on whether the DESS member would find them desirable to listen to, despite the inferior sound quality.

Teaching Ellingtonia

In the early 1990’s Kenny Burrell participated in some Ellington conferences.

The first one was Ellington ’90 in Ottawa,  where he was was an important part of the music program. Together with Harold Ashby, Wild Bill Davis, John Lamb and Butch Ballard, Burrell formed the Ellingtonians group and also appeared as soloist with the Andrew Homzy Jazz Orchestra.

The concert with the Ellingtonians has been published on the website.

Kenny Burrell was back at the Ellington ’93 conference in New York, where he once again was part of the music program but also made a presentation on Teaching Ellingtonia the second day.

Burrell first became involved in jazz education in 1978, when he started to teach a 10-week overview of Duke Ellington for UCLA’s Center for African American Studies.

By that time his two first LP album dedicated to Duke Ellington’s music – Ellington Is Forever (Fantasy F 79005) and Ellington Is Forever vol 2 (Fantasy 79008) had been issued.

Burrell’s love for Duke was not obvious in his early career. He belonged to the part of the hardbop generation that came out of Detroit and joined those coming from New York or Philadelphia in recording the new style of jazz for labels like Blue Note and Prestige.

They occasionally included an Ellington song like Cotton Tail, Caravan, The The A Train, Perdido etc in what they recorded but if it was thanks to Kenny Burrell is hard to say.

An interest in Ellington could possibly be spotted in the 1961 Taft Jordan Plays Ellington album (Moodsville MVLP 21). It is not known to which extent Burrell participated in the selection of songs but he certainly played a lot of Ellington music when the album was recorded.

In an interview on the WBUR jazz program in Boston in 1985, Kenny Burrell told the interviewer Tony Cennamo that it was the publicist Al Morgan who had introduced him to Ellington’s music. Unfortunately no date for this is given.

In an interview for National Public Radio in 2014, Burrell said: When I was at Wayne State University in the ’50s, it was a problem studying jazz, even talking about it in some cases, so I decided if I had a chance, I would teach jazz.” And this he did for many years.

In his presentation at Ellington ’93, he explains his approach to this as regards Ellingtonia.




DESScafé Nov. 16, 2020

Nov. 16, DESScafé welcomed again the DESS members to another afternoon of Ellington music and a cup of coffee.

This time the theme was From My Ellington Archive and Leif Jönsson, Claes Brodda, Ander Asplund, Thomas Harne and Owe Persson played and talked about tracks they had chosen from their collections.

The visitors to the DESScafé could enjoy Ellington music from the 1920’s to very end in the 1970’s.

DESScafé 16 nov – llist of songs

A playlist is available in the DESScafé section of the website.



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