Kalmar Sporthall Feb. 9 1963
The Kalmar Castle
Duke Ellington’s Nordic tour in February 1963 ended with two concerts in Kalmar in the southeast of Sweden on February 9, The band had arrived in England on January 11 to return to USA on March 15 from Paris. During this time more than 30 concert venues had been visited and also some visits to recording studios. Kalmar was one of the lesser towns on this tour, but there was obviously great local interest in this event. Following is part of an article in the local newspaper Barometern on February 11, 1963.
There were two concerts that evening in Kalmar, and a fair part of the the first has survived and also the opening of the second. Below you’ll find a sound example from the first concert
Jimmy Hamilton in Caliné (Silk Lace)
All the recorded material can be found in the Goodies Room.
Telecast from Cirkus, Stockholm, Feb. 7 , ”INDIGO”
As was previously pointed out, this telecast was presented on the website on Nov. 24, 2016, but it has not been available for viewing for quite some time. We however want it to come in chronological context with the other Swedish Ellington concerts we are currently presenting, so here it is again. Just click on start and you will be able to see the full telecast.
In November 2106, we wrote:
This very word makes you think about Duke Ellington’s music.
It has been used in some of his song-titles but in 1963, Swedish Television used this word as a title of a telecast from the famous concert venue in Stockholm, Cirkus. It was to be Alice Babs’ first appearance and collaboration with Duke Ellington and his orchestra.
The telecast was the brain-child of program producer Arne Arnbom, one of the creative and innovative producers at Swedish Television at that time.
He had a strong interest in ballet and jazz and had already produced some program merging them together like “Sax Appeal” from 1960 with music by the pianist/composet Nils Lindberg. Arnbom had also produced TV programs for Swedish Television with the Swe-Danes. Arne Arnbom was also a child-hood friend of Alice Babs.
Towards the end of 1962, Arnbom went to New York to present the project to Duke’s organization. He told them that he wanted to have a Swedish singer included in the program and that this singer should be Alice Babs.
To give a sense of her singing to his Ellington counterparts, he presented them with the LP album “Alice & Wonderband”, which Babs had recorded with Arne Domnérus’ orchestra in mid-1959 and which included three Ellington songs – “Prelude To A Kiss” among them.
The project and Babs were accepted and the program was recorded on February 7, 1963 following Ellington’s concert at the Stockholm Concert Hall the night before. It was broadcasted on April 6, 1963.
“Indigo” is undoubtedly one of the best telecasts with Ellington and his band. Bringing in Alice Babs to sing and adding ballet performances choreograph by the famous Swedish choreographer Birgit Cullberg makes it very special. Arne Arnbom’s direct and almost ascetic pictorial language contributes also a lot to this.
It is a great pleasure to be able to offer our members to share it by viewing it in its totality.
The opening, as well as the concluding theme is Mood Indigo, hence the name of the telecast, Indigo.
Alice Babs takes part in three numbers, Take The ”A” Train, Take Love Easy and Come Sunday and it is obvious that Duke is quite impressed by her performance, a fact that would lead to the famous recording sessions with Duke three weeks later in Paris.
In Take The ”A” Train which is partly dedicated to Babs, we also hear a nice solo by Paul Gonsalves. It is reported that Georg Riedel is responsible for arranging vocal part.
The songs played in the program are mostly from Ellington’s concert repertoire at the time and the list of them gives a strong hint of who the solosists are:
Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (Lawrence Brown), The Blues (Milt Grayson), The Eighth Veil (Cat Anderson), Star-Crossed Lovers (Johnny Hodges), Sophisticated Lady (Harry Carney), Honeysuckle Rose (Jimmy Hamilton), Take Love Easy (Alice Babs), Dancers In Love (Duke), I Got It Bad (Johnny Hodges), Guitar Amour (Ray Nance), Tootie For Cootie (guess who), Come Sunday (Alice Babs), Boola (Sam Woodyard).
The Royal Opera ballet dancers Marianne Orlando and Conny Borg perform the Birgit Cullberg choreography to the music of Star-Crossed Lovers (Romeo and Juliette) and Willy Sandberg and members of the Royal Opera Ballett the one to Boola.
There are quite some familiar and prominent jazz and Ellington fans in the audience, e.g. Leif Anderson, Olle Helander, Putte Wickman and others.
Be sure to enjoy this video!
New issue of Blue Light
The 2019-2020 Winter issue of Blue Light was published recently. This time, the journal particularly recognises the passing of clarinetist, saxophonist and orchestra leader Bob Wilber. He died August 4 at his home in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England at the age of 91.
Elaine Marsh (nee Norsworthy), who was very much involved in the organisation of the Ellington ’85 and ’88 conferences, shares her memories of Wilber from those conferences.
Wilber was the musical director of both conferences and in the ’88 one, he also did a presentation on Johnny Hodges. It was originally published by the DESS’ website on 24 June 2018 but we republished it now in a better resolution.
The new Blue Light has a six and a half page transcription of the presentation and the BL team has also created a Spotify playlist with the music Wilber played in his presentation.
Quite appropriately, the two Bob Wilber articles are followed by a (rather lukewarm) review of Con Chapman’s biography of Johnny Hodges.
The Winter issue also has the second installment of Roger Boyes’ article Cabin In The Sky, which deals with Ellington’s activities in California ibetween mid-September and mid-October 1942. The first part was published in the Autum 2019 issue of Blue Light. A related article by Roger – Sherman Shuffle – was published in the Summer 2019 issue of Blue Light. It covers Ellington’s stay in Chicago and the Midwest in the summer of 1942.
Detta är radiostationen att lyssna på alla dagar i veckan för den verkligt jazzintresserade. Den drivs av en stor skara entusiaster och har ett imponerande programutbud. Den erbjuder djuplodande program om enskilda jazzmusiker eller jazzstilar, jazzkonserter framplockade ur privata arkiv eller inspelade på dagens klubbar och festivaler, nyheter om nyutgivna skivor och mycket annat.
Vid lunchtid varannan lördag låter Bjarne Busk lyssnarna ta del av konserter från 50, 60 och 70-talen – ofta med Ellington). Nästa lördagskonsert sänds den 28 mars.
Sedan en tid tillbaka har Ole Matthiessen en serie om Rudy van Gelder Den 18:e delen av den kan höras den 19 mars kl 22:00. Tom Buhman har precis en serie om Coleman Hawkins – (Self) Portrait of the Bean – och det andra programmet sänds den 23 mars kl. 23:00.
För vänner av Duke Ellington är programserien The Wonderful World of Duke Ellington av Henrik Wolsgaard-Iversen ett måste. Program 116 i serien sänds den 18 mars.
Äldre program i serien finns i bloggdelen av Radiojazz tillsammans med många andra tidigare sända program.
Internetadressen till Radiojazz är http://www.radiojazz.dk
Till sist: Varför finns det inte tillräckligt många jazzentusiaster i Sverige intresserade av att erbjuda något liknande i Sverige?
New release of Black, Brown & Beige
Last week the Blue Engine Records label released a recording of Black, Brown & Beige by Wyntom Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra . It was recorded at a live concert in Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, NYC. It is available in several digital formats.
Upcoming Ellington concerts
Art Baron joined the Ellington band in August 1973 and was the last trombonist Ellington ever hired. From time to time Baron performs with his group Art Baron and The Duke’s Men. It can be heard on 19 March in New York in an ”Ellington Everlasting” concert.
The DESS meetings are the rare occasions when Ellington’s music is performed live in Sweden. The next meeting takes place on 27 April and Isabella Lundgren will handle the music part.
Among his many Ellington transcriptions, Michael Kilpatrick has done one of Such Sweet. It will be performed by Harmony In Harlem on 23 April – the birthday of William Shakespeare – in St George’s Guildhall in King’s Lynn, in Norfolk.
There might be other upcoming concerts and the DESS website will be happy to learn about them.