Home » Articles posted by duke00

Author Archives: duke00

Categories for posts

Jantzen Beach Ballroom, Nov. 13, 1954, part 4

Long Time Ago In Portland!

Duke Ellington, Scurlock Photographic Collection, National Museum of American History

Our Piano Player

plays a medley of a couple of his most popular songs –  Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me and Prelude To Kiss -and Jimmy Grissom gives a vocal version of Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me.

After the Medley (where Duke steals most of the show and which is regrettably subject to a bit of distortion), Honeysuckle Rose is played with the  usual piano introduction by Duke, before the field is opened for Jimmy Hamilton’s clarinet.

Next comes Isle Of Capri in an arrangement of Gerald Wilson, who has given it a Latin touch. Harry Carney and Quentin Jackson  are featured soloists. It is followed by Give Me The Right sung by Jimmy Grissom, who also is  heard on  Love You Madly, in which Rick Henderson is the soloist on alto sax.

Part 4 of this dance date ends with some well known  Ellington creations, namely Creole Love Call, Monologue and Mood Indigo (nc).

In the Goodies Room, you’ll find this last part of the dance date from the Jantzen Beach Ballroom.


Jantzen Beach Ballroom, Nov. 13, 1954, part 3

Big Dipper in Jantzen Beach Amusement Park

Rick Henderson plays All The Things You Are

Welcome back to the Jantzen Beach dance date on Nov. 13, 1954!

This part of the dance date starts with an Ellington original named Chili Bowl a song that remained in the band book for a year or so, to fade away into obscurity and never recorded again after 1954. Ellington is active at the piano and Ray Nance plays a solo on trumpet. The next number,Mood Indigo, is one of the most frequently played Ellington tunes. At this time the trio introducing it consisted of Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson and Harry Carney, followed by Russell Procope and Willia Cook, before the trio comes back with the main theme. Just Squeeze (more…)

Jantzen Beach Ballroom, Nov. 13, 1954, part 2

Advert for Jantzen Beach Amusement Park

It’s time for the second visit to the Jantzen Beach Ball Room in Portland, Oregon. First a tidbit as to what you can find in the Goodies Room.

Harry Carney

Harry Carney in Serious Serenade

In addition to this song, DESS members will be able to hear and download the following numbers in the Goodies Room.

*Smada*In The Mood*If I Give My Heart To You*Sophisticated Lady*Serious Serenade*Perdiso*Caravan*

This session starts with a Strayhorn composition named Smada with Jimmy Hamilton soloing on calarinet. The next item that we present is a tune attributed to Joe Garland, called In The Mood. Everybody of course knows that this was a number made popular by Glenn Miller’s orchestra in 1939 and Ellington made a studio recording of it in 1954. After Duke’s piano introduction, we hear Peck Morrison in a couple of breaks and Clark Terry, Russel Procope,Jimmy Hamilton and Ray Nance  soloing. In If I GiveMy Heart To You, a popular song at the time, Ellington and Harry Carney share the solos, and in Sophisticated Lady we hear Harry Carney’s impressive bass clarinet playing. (more…)

Jantzen Beach Ballroom, Nov. 13, 1954

The period 1951-1955 is an interesting Ellington period. As was discussed in the first article in the Premiered by Ellington  series last month, it was a transitional period for Ellington and the orchestra both in terms of band members and repertoire but also as regards jobs particularly in New York with the fierce competition with new styles of jazz.

During these years, Ellington was on the road almost constantly and he played a lot at clubs and venues on the West Coast and in the mid-West. In the invaluable, The Duke Where and When (tdwaw.ca), David Palmquist has put together a special section called Ellington’s Marathon 1951-1952 (http://tdwaw.ellingtonweb.ca/1951-1952Marathon.html), which illustrates this.

The touring continued in more or less the same way in 1953-1954 with a lot of dance dates and concerts for Ellington in the West and Northwest of the country.

Much from the tours has been issued on LPs and CDs but there is a lot of unissued material from appearances in Chicago to the North Western states,, which the website will try to make available to DESS members in the coming months.

We start with a complete recording of Ellington’s dance date at Jantzen Beach Ballroom on Nov. 13, 1954. Due to its length it will be published in four parts.

The Jantzen Beach Amusement Park in Portland, Oregon, was during the years 1928-1970 one of the biggest of its kind and was sometimes called “the Coney Island in the West”. It had everything that could be expected in an amusement park. It also had restaurants and a well-known venue for dancing named Jantzen Beach Ballroom.

Jantzen Beach Ballroom in the 40’s

In 1954-1955, Duke Ellington and his orchestra performed there at least three times. NDESOR and TDWAW gives the dates as May 1 1954, Nov. 13, 1954 and Nov. 6 1955.

At the time of the dance on Nov. 13, 1954, Peck Morrison had replaced Wendell Marshall on bass and Frank Butler replaced Dave Black on drums and that Rick Henderson played alto sax. Frank Butler was not very well known, but he had played with Dave Brubeck, Edgar Hayes and Perez Prado. Peck Morrison was an experienced bass player who had worked with Lucky Thompson, Gerry Mulligan Art Framer and Jay & Kai. Rick Henderson was of the Charlie Parker school and he played with the orchestra for a couple of years, replacing Hilton Jefferson.

Here is a tidbit from the dance. It is Smile, composed by Charlie Chaplin

The program starts with Dick Vance’s fine arrangement of Stompin’ At The Savoy with the following soloists: Jimmy Hamilton, Clark Terry, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves, Frank Butler (a few bars) and Rick Henderson. The next number is a joint venture by Ellington and Strayhorn (John LaTouche wrote lyrics  which are not used here) called Maybe I Should Change My Ways, written for the ill-fated Beggar’s Opera and we hear Britt Woodman and Ray Nance soloing. From the Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times comes Smile, which did not stay in the band book for long despite  Gonsalves, Nance and Carney doing their best. Cocktails For Two is a tune that Ellington had recorded already in 1934 and in this 1954 version Ellington, Nance and Hamilton are heard. Time On My Hands and Summertime follow and they are solo vehicles for Jimmy Hamilton and Cat Anderson, respectively, before we finally hear two versions of Take The A Train, with Ray Nance and Paul Gonsalves in the main roles.

Here we take a break, but will be back with more from Jantzen Beach Ballroom next week.

This first part of the dance is available for DESS members in the Goodies Room.

We hope you’ll enjoy the music!






Duke Ellington at the Band Box in NYC

4  Feb. 1953

According to New DESOR, Oscar Pettiford is the bass player on this broadcast from the Band Box in NYC, but according to other sources it might  be Charlie Mingus. Who can tell? Wendell Marshall had temporarily left the band and Duke needed a good bass player until Marshall would come back.It is however confirmed that Pettiford was present two weeks later at Apollo Theatre. On this broadcast, Tony Scott was replacing Paul Gonsalves, and Hilton Jeffersson played alto.

Pin on And All That Jazz

Ray Nance from the Band Box

The bass player is clearly audible on the opening bars on Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’. Maybe it is Oscar Pettiford after all? The Ellington band played at the Band Box from Jan. 30 to Feb 14, 1953. It is reported that broadcasts were occuring almost daily. In one such broadcast, Stan Getz was guest soloist. (more…)

Duke Ellington at the Civic Opera House in Chicago

Feb. 2, 1947

Civic Opera House, Chicago

Civic Opera House, Chicago

Here is another live performance in which Oscar Pettiford is present. Ellington played at the Civic Opera House in Chicago a few times during Pettifords tenure with the band, and once in 1967.

Brown Penny sung by Kay Davis

On Februari 2, 1947 Duke and his Men took part in a concert at the Civic Opera House in Chicago where some selections recently recorded on Musicraft and some music that had been written for the Broadway Show, Beggar’s Holiday were played. Beggar’s Holiday was based on an 18th century British theatre play called Beggar’s Opera and was said to have resulted in a co-operation between librettist John Latouche, and Duke Ellington , but in reality Duke had very little time for the project, since he was touring with his band and could not communicate directly with Latouche. Instead, Billy Strayhorn had to fill the void, and he seems to have been the key factor in the fulfillment of the show. He wrote quite a number of new tunes for the show, which only ran for 16 weeks, due to various problems, not least financial. We  can here listen to the Beggar’s Holiday Medley, which consists of Take Love Easy, When I Walk With You, Tomorrow Mountain and Brown Penny. Despite his deep involvement in  creating the music for the show, Strayhorn got sadly little credit for his work, instead Duke and John Latouche got all the ovations from the media. (more…)

Dogwood Hollow, Stony Brook, 18 July 1958, Part 2

Oscar Pettiford

Some years ago, I got a parcel from the late Sjef Hoefsmit. The contents was  a CD, with some notable recordings with the Ellington orchestra where Oscar Pettiford was the  basist, outside his regular role (1945-48) with Duke. I  believe this should be of interest to the DESS-members, and the webbsite has therefor decided to make this music available to DESS’ members in the the Goodies Room.

It is a concert at Stony Brook in 1958 and we published the first part of it a couple of weeks ago.. Now we offer the second par of the concert for DESS members listening. Other parts will be presented in December and Januari respectively.

Oscar Pettiford | Miles Davis Official Site

Before Oscar started with Duke Ellington he had a thorough reputation as a bass player with the then young Beboppers such as Gillespie, Monk, and Kenny Clarke but he had also played with Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins. When he joined the Ellington band in 1945 he continued in the row of brilliant bass players tha started with Jimmy Blanton and continued with Junior Raglin. He was also an accomplished cello player. which he showed from time to time. After his tenure with Ellington he was very active in various jazz groups, ranging from small bands to big bands, such as Thelonious Monk’s and Woody Herman’s. He also played with his own groups. In 1958 he moved to Copenhagen and there he died in 1960, at 38 years of age, from a virus disease.

Johnny Hodges at Dogwood Hollow playing Violet Blue

Back to the concert at Dogwood Hollow

The following numbers are played:

*Take The A Train*Such Sweet Thunder*Violet Blue*All Of Me*St Louis BluesBill Bailey*Walkin’ And Singin’ The Blues*Hi Fi Fo Fum (nc)*Hi Fi Fo Fum*Medley:Do’t Get Around Much Anymore/Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me/In A SentimentMood Indigo/I’m Beginning To See The Light/Sophisticated Lady/Caravan/I Got It Bad/Just Squeeze Me/It Don’t Mean A Thing*

Go to the Goodies Room and the second part of the concert

We hope you  will enjoy it!






Dogwood Hollow, Stony Brook, 18 July 1958

Such Sweet Thunder

Stony Brook is a small University town situated on the north shore of Long Island, NY. It  is famous for its University and an open air amphi theatre, Dogwood Hollow, which has been the venue of many musical events. On July 18, 1958, the theatre was visited by Duke Ellington and his orchestra who performed in concert. It is claimed that the concert was recorded with only one microphone, through a hole in the stage floor (DEMS). This concert has hitherto been unissued commercially, but we intend to give our members the opportunity to listen to the complete proceedings. Because of the length of the concert, we prefer to divide it in two parts, wherof this is part 1. Above you can see a sketch of Dogwood Hollow and a programme with Ellingron’s autograph.  Duke and his men played there already on July 27, 1957, but also this concert is not issued commercially but possibly there are collectors who have a tape of it.

On this date Oscar Pettiford, who subbed for Jimmy Woode on bass, did his last gig with Ellington. He was regularly with the Ellington band from 1945 to 1948. He died in 1960.

Oscar Pettiford

The first part of the concert is In the Goodies Room,  where DESS-members can listen to and download it. (more…)

A Duke Ellington Video Montage (4)

We can now offer a new video montage to the DESS members. You’ll find it in the Goodies section. When clicking on the arrow below, you will find the introduction to a film short by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, “Salute To Duke Ellington” from March 6, 1950.


In the Goodies section this will continue into a piece called The History Of Jazz In 3 Minutes, and this is the first item in the montage. If you look carefully, you might recogonize a number of musicians which did not stay for a long period with Ellington, such as Nelson Williams, Al Killian, Dave Burns on trumpets, and Alva McCain and Charlie Rouse on tenors.

The second part is a video clip from a CBS telecast, “Music 55” from July 26, 1955. Here we can see and hear Stan Kenton and Ellington chat and play Artistry In Rhythm and Take The A Train together on two pianos, whereafter Duke performs his own Monologue. The famous violin player Yehudi Menuhin then plays Come Sunday together with Ellington.

In the third part we will hear Ed Murrow interviewing Duke Ellington in Duke’s apartment in NYC. This is from a telecast called “Person To Person” that took place on March 15, 1957.

The last video clip is from a concert in Bergen, Norway on Nov. 3, 1969. The band plays Take The A Train, Cottontail, Up Jump and La Plus Belle Africaine. The soloists are of course announced by Duke himself.



A Duke Ellington Video Montage (3)

There is a new video montage for DESS members available in the Goodies Room. As usual it is a mixture of old and new. But any visitor to the website will be able to watch a performance of Take The A Train with two drummers, Elvin Jones and Skeets Marsh, by clicking the arrow in the picture below. Both Jones and Marsh were subbing for Louie Bellson, who should have been on this tour, but couldn’t beause of other engagements.

From a concert in Milano, Jan. 30. 1966

We start the motage in the Goodies Room with a sequence from the 1934 movie Murder At The Vanities, where almost all members of the band can be seen individually. Quite recently we published some excerpts from the making of this film donated to us by Steven Lasker, as a Christmas gift. The musical performance is built around Franz List’s Hungarien Rhapsody and main theme is called Ebony Rhapsody.

The next is from an RAI telecast in Milano’s Teatro Lirico from January 30, 1966. The band plays an enjoyable version of Ad Lib On Nippon, a suite in four parts. Jimmy Hamilton and John Lamb are featured. The four parts of the suite are named Fugi, Igoo, Nagoya and Tokyo respectively.

From the same RAI telecast we present Duke, Ella Fitzgerald and Italian actor Vittorio Gassman. The latter performs Hamlet’s monologue (mainly in Italian) to the accompaniment of Duke, whereafter Ella and Duke together cooperates in I’m Just A Lucky So-And-So.

In 1963 and 1964 Ellington and the band recorded two telecasts for Granada in England. The first part from 1963 has the following contents: *Theme*C-Jam Blues*The Eighth Veil*Rockin’ In Rhythm*Angu*. 1963 and 1964 were truly great years for the Ellington organization.

As a closing performance we will hear Alice Babs and Johnny Hodges from the 1969 telecast of Sacred Music in Stockholm 1969. Heaven, was one of the main numbers of that telecast.




%d bloggers like this: