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DR Ellington Broadcasts (46)

Program 46 was broadcasted on May 28, 1991. It was produced and presented by Fleming Sjølund-Jensen.

It is the the first “goodie” this month and is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

The program starts with Love You Madly sung by Milt Grayson. It is from the March 19, 1962 stockpile session when Grayson recorded four songs.

In addition to Love You Madly, they are Solitude, You Better Know and There’s No One But You. The last song was made popular by Mills Brothers in the mid-1940’s and was apparently composed by Austen Croom-Johnson and Red Evans. Nothing from the session has been issued on vinyl or CD.

Next Sjølund-Jensen turns to the recording session July 18, 1966 when Ellington together with John Lamb and Sam Woodyard recorded six songs, which was later included in the album The Pianist.

However, he does not let the listeners hear any of the songs but focuses on the second part of the session when Ellington recorded Tingling Is A Happiness and Dancers in Love and a congratulatory talk to be included in an exclusive record for the participants  in the 50 anniversary conference of Field Enterprises Educational Corporation

Sjølund-Jensen continues the broadcast with six selections from August 27, 1972. They are all issued on the Storyville CD An Intimate Piano Session (1018445)

He starts with a short version of I’m Afraid Of Loving You Too Much followed by what Sjølund-Jensen says is an unnamed improvisation but in discographies said to be The Anticipation from UWIS Suite and after that Le Sucrier Velours from Queen’s Suite.

Next in the broadcast is Come Sunday sung by Tony Watkins – in English and in Hebrew –  and two more piano numbers by Ellington – first A Mural From Two Perspectives and then the Strayhorn composition My Little Brown Book, which someone asks him to play. Finally he does it but very reluctantly. “I don’t know it! I don’t remember it!”

After this, Sjølund-Jensen moves to the September 5, 1972 stockpile session, which is for Anita Moore accompanied by a tentet from the full Ellington orchestra.

In the broadcast one hears her sing New York, New York, I Got It Bad, I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart and Misty. In the last one, Moore is accompanied only by Ellington, Joe Benjamin and Rufus Jones. None of the songs have been issued on vinyl or CD.

The broadcast ends with a version of Take The “A” Train (nc) played by Ellington, Jeff Castlemans and Rufus Jones at Ellington’s concert at Stanford University with California Youth Symphony Orchestra on March 9, 1969. This is also unissued.



Ellington at 49 Street and Broadway

One of the speakers at Ellington ’90 in Ottawa was Jerry Valburn.

He talked about Ellington’s periods at the New York restaurants The Hurrican in 1943 and 1944 and at Cafe Zanzibar in 1945. One followed the other in the large restaurant and dance space on the second floor of the Brill Building at 49th Street and Broadway in the center of Manhattan.

In the Ellington community, Valburn is best known for the Duke Ellington Treasury Show (DETS) series but he also issued LPs with rare material under labels such as Merrit and Blue Disc.

The DETS series was announced in the DEMS Bulletin in the spring of 1981 and the first volumes were issued in mid-1981. To get them, one had to subscribe to the series and only 400 subscribers would be accepted.

In the DEMS announcement, Valburn said that three records should be released every month (except for July and August) and that each record should have an insert sheet with “a complete script of the actual broadcast”. Subscribers would also get a 50% discount on an Benny Aaslund-Jerry Valburn “special book on the Ellington Treasury Series” which was to be published in 1981.

Rather quickly, it turned out that the schedule was too optimistic and it took several years (and many reminders) before one had the 49 albums in one’s hand.

To get some of the last volumes, I had to meet Valburn at the Eddie Condon Jazz Club on 54th Street in New York. When I arrived, it turned out that the club had closed the night before and when Jerry and I were eating our hamburgers, workers were dismantling the place. But I got my records!

Anyhow, the Treasury Show series must be considered as a major achievement and Ellington collectors all over the world should be grateful that Valburn (and Jack Towers) carried it through to the end.

In his hour-long presentation, Valburn presents and plays fourteen songs from six broadcasts as follows:

4 April 1943 What Am I Here For, Could It Be You and Goin’ Up

23 Sep. 1943 At’s In There and Solid Old Man

20 April 1944 San Fernando Valley, Suddenly It Jumped, On The Alamo and Things Ain’t What THey Used To Be

12 May 1944 Time Alone Will Tell

20 May 1944 Since You Went Away and How Blue The Night. They are unissued and Valburn gives the date as 21 May. Thank you to Anders Asplund for providing the material and the correct date.

24 Sep. 1945 Take The “A” Train (theme) and Stompy Jones. Valburn had announced that he would playtwo more but he runs of time for them.


Valburn’s presentation was one of the presentations and panel discussions at Ellington ’90 filmed by Sjef Hoefsmit. It has been digitalized and edited by the web editor. Because of the technical setup in Ottawa, the sound quality of the original video is quite poor and part of the music played by Valburn has been replaced with material from Storyville’s DETS series.

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