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Bill Berry and Buster Cooper interview

Bildresultat för Bill Berry and Buster Cooper

In the November 2018 issue of the DESS Bulletin, Bill Berry (1930-2002), ex-Ellington trumpeter, was featured rather heavily. We came across an interview by doctor Michael Woods, where he was talking to not only Bill Berry, but also Buster Cooper (1929-1916) who played in Ellington’s trombone section from 1962 to 1969. Berry was a member of the trumpet section in the beginning in 1962 and also later on played with Ellington on a few other occasions, so the two men’s tenure with the band was over-lapping for a few months.


By clicking above you will be able to se and hear this interesting interview from 1995. We hope you will enjoy it!

New CD from DESS


DESS and its sister organization  in UK, DESUK, have together produced a CD as a gift to the members, just in time for Christmas. This year we have selected a dance date from the Holiday Ballroom in Chicago on November 10, 1957. The band is the same as appeared at the Newport Festival in the previous year, except that Harold Baker on trumpet and Ozzie Bailey, vocal, are added.

Blue Jean Beguine

The sound on the CD is quite all right, and above you’ll find a sample with Cat Anderson playing trumpet on his own composition. The sound of the audience adds to the autenticity of this real dance date. The contents can be seen on the copy of the CD booklet (top picture), which on its inside has got interesting liner notes by Roger Boyes. We find some rare numbers in the program, such as Mambo Jambo by Perez Prado, In The Mood by Joe Garland and Happy One by Duke himself. In the years just after the Newport ’56 Ferstival, Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue with the Wailing Interval was more or less mandatory in any appearance by Duke Ellington and his orchestra.

We wish all DESS members happy listening!


Meadowbrook Gardens Cafe Oct. 4-5 1947

Bildresultat för Tyree Glenn on vibra

Listen to the vibraphone player!

Medowbrook Gardens, situated in Culver City, California,  burned down to the ground in 1948. It had been started as Sebastian’s Cotton Club, transformed into Casa Mañana and later Meadowbrook Gardens. Duke Ellington and his orchestra played here in 1946 and 1947 (and also earlier in Casa Mañana). We can offer the DESS-members some unissued broadcast material from October 4 and 5 in 1947 with some unusual features. Just go to the Goodies Room! (mer…)

A recording session in 1947 with Duke Ellington & His Orchestra


Duke Ellington in a Columbia recording studio

Chester Crumpler sings Maybe I Should Change My Ways

Ellington made the last recordings of the RCA-Victor period in September 1946 and after some recordings for Musicraft in the end of that year, he signed a contract with Columbia which resulted in several studio dates, the first of which materialized on August 14, 1947 in Hollywood. In the Goodies Room members will find all the recorded material from this session, complete with alternative and breakdown takes. Four different numbers were recorded at that date: H’ya Sue, Lady Of The Lavender Mist, Women, Women, Women, and Maybe I Should Change My Ways


Stichting Doctor Jazz  presents a previously unissued concert by Duke Ellington and his orchestra from the Hill Auditorium at Ann Arbor University in Michigan, dated 2 July, 1956. This happened just a few days before Duke and his men made their appearance at the famous Newport Festival. It is not, however, a rehearsal for that event, but rather an ordinary concert, with a repertoire reflecting what the band usually played at the time. What makes this recording unique is the very good sound quality achieved on this occasion. We also hear some outstanding solo performances, such as Clark Terry in Harlem Air Shaft, Jimmy Hamilton in Clarinet Melodrama, Britt Woodman  in Theme For Trambeam, and Johnny Hodges in Prelude To A Kiss, just to mention a few. Steve Voce has written the interesting liner notes.

The complete play list is as follows: *Black And Tan Fantasy*Stompin’ At The Savoy*Clarinet Melodrama*Harlem Air Shaft*Sophisticated Lady*Theme For Trambeam*Satin Doll*Take The A Train*Take The A train*La Virgen De La Macarena*Monologue*VIP’s Boogie*Jam With Sam*The Hawk Talks*Prelude To A Kiss*Things Ain’t What They Used To Be*Day In, Day Out*

Parts of this material was published on this web-site in August 2016 under the title ”Ann Arbor,2 juli 1956” (in Swedish).

The CD can be ordered from http://www.doctorjazz.nl, e-mail: doctorjazz@online.nl  If you do, you will not be disappointed.





Duke Ellington at the Zanzibar Oct. 29, 1945

1945 1002 NY Post Zanzibar Ad Ellington Louis Jordan.png

Stompy Jones

During the years of the Petrillo recording ban, 1942-1944, there were of course very few studio recordings by Duke Ellington and his orchestra, but fortunately for us, he and the band had long periods of engagement at the Hurricane Restaurant in NYC, from which  fans were able to listen to broadcasts almost daily. This was the case also after the recording ban had been lifted. In 1943 the band played for nearly 6 months at the Hurricane and in 1944 for for about 9 weeks. A great many of these broadcasts have been issued on records in later years, many of them in the great DETS series. (mer…)

Juan Tizol, the composer

Juan Tizol-1

Juan Tizol

His most famous composition is undoubtedly Caravan, which was first recorded in 1936 by a small group, Barney Bigard & His Jazzopators, and then in early 1937 by the full Ellington orchestra.


Tizol was a very skilled player of the valve trombone with brilliant technique and a beautiful tone. On his instrument he could play passages that were more or less impossible to do on a slide trombone, and for this reason he was often used by Ellington to play with the sax section. His warm sound can be compared with that of Tommy Dorsey and is easily recognized, whether played in the Ellington orchestra or with others. He first joined the Ellington orchestra in 1929 and stayed until 1944 when he joined Harry James via a short stint with Woody Herman. In 1951 he was back with Ellington again for a two year tenure, again finding his way back to Harry James. In 1960-61 he played with Ellington temporarily. He became a very important member of the Ellington organization helping Duke with the extraction of scores and copying notes for the band members. Undoubtedly, this must have spurred his talants for arranging and writing his own material. His compositions, which in sheer numbers cannot compete with Duke and Strayhorn, are relatively numerous, and include ballads, swingers and more exotic tunes in the latin and oriental vein. Members can go to the Goodies Room and listen to some of Tizol’s finest compositions. (mer…)

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