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Stockholm Concert Hall April 1939

Tomorrow, it is 78 years ago since Duke Ellington and his orchestra ended the 1939 tour of Sweden with a concert at the Stockholm Concert Hall. The concert was also part of the celebration of Ellington’s 40th birthday – a celebration that started in the early morning.

During the tour, Ellington made three appearances in Stockholm – on April 16 and 29 at the Stockholm Concert Hall and on April 24 at the Royal Academy of Music.

Someone took a photo during one of the concerts at the Concert Hall – possibly the one on April 16 – and the website is happy to be able to publish it.

Another photo giving a full overview of the main hall of the Concert Hall was published in the May 1939 issue of Orkesterjournalen.

The review in Orkesterjournalen of the April 16 concert is available here and in the Ellington Archive/Articles.

Rolf Dahlgren – then a young and aspiring journalist – reviewed the concert for the socialist daily Folkets Dagblad and it was reprinted in the DESS Bulletin in 2012. Also this review is available here  and in the Ellington Archive/Articles.

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 15

The 15th program in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the third ”Goodie” for April.

As usual, it is available in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).

The program was broadcasted on March 8, 1985.

It is a set of stockpile recordings from April 1963 and November 1968 done by a subset of the Ellington orchestra. It was composed of the sax and rhythm sections plus one or two horns. The songs played are some well-known ones in new interpretations and some rarely heard or never recorded before.

The broadcast starts with two numbers from April 17, 1963 – ”Jeep’s Blues” and the Johnny Hodges composition ”Got Nobody Now”. Both are solo numbers for Ray Nance. It is the only appearance of ”Got Nobody Now” in the Ellington discography.

Next comes three songs recorded the day after. Two of them – ”Butter And Oleo” and ”Blousons Noirs” – were only recorded on this occasion and as regards the third one – Blue Rose – it was the last time it was put on tape. Ray Nance is once again featured prominently but also Johnny Hodges gets some good solo space and in ”Butter and Oleo” every member of the sax section except Harry Carney has a solo.

The second part of the broadcast gives us some of the songs recorded on November 29, 1968. It starts with ”KNUF” which of course can be read as ”FUNK”. Johnny Hodges with good support from Buster Cooper and Willie Cook is at the forefront of this Ellington tune never heard before or after the session. Then the broadcast continues with three well-known Ellington songs – Just Squeeze Me, Mood Indigo and In A Sentimental Mood – but played as never heard before.

”Just Squeeze Me” belongs to Harold Ashby, ”Mood Indigo” to in particular Harry Carney and ”In A Sentimental Mood” to

The broadcast ends with a swinging blues credited to Ellington, ”Waiting For You”. Like KNUF, the session is its only appearance in the Ellington discographies.

All the music in the program has been issued on CD, originally in the ”Private Collection” series.


Smått och Gott

Fler bilder från Cirkus 1966

Också DESS-medlemmen m.m Boris Enquist var på Cirkus 1966 med sin kamera. Han har försett webbplatsen med några av de bilder han tog och själv framkallade.

Jimmy Jones listens. Cirkus 1966

Nästa medlemsmöte

Nu är det bara fyra dagar tills nästa medlemsmöte. Det äger rum nästa torsdag den 27 april kl. 17:00-20:30 och på det välkomponerade programmet står kåseri av Gert Palmcrantz och live musik med Ulf Johansson-Werre. Lokal är som vanligt Franska Skolans aula, Döbelsgatan 3, Stockholm.

Gert Palmstierna kommer att berätta om Ellington och spela upp sällan hört eller outgivet material.

Ulf Johansson-Werre har lovat att demonstrera olika stilarter inom jazzen både på piano och på trombon.

Slut upp mangrant!


Ellington i Stockholm 1965 (2)

Roland Sterner lyckades få många bra bilder på Konserthuset den 2 februari 1965. Det är inte så konstigt med tanke på hans bakgrund. Utbildad hos Christer Strömholm, filmfotograf under många år, filmlärare på Dramatiska Institutet m.m.

Idag blir det Sterners bilder på saxarna. Foton på andra delar av bandet dyker upp i en senare artikel.

Klicka på bilderna så visas de i större format.

Ellington In Stockholm 1965 (1)

Ellington’s 1965 European tour lasted from January 25 to February 28. It started in France where Duke and the orchestra performed in Paris, and Lyon. They then went north, first to Copenhagen (Denmark) and then to Sweden for concerts in Lund, Malmö and Stockholm. After stops in Germany and Switzerland, the tour ended with two weeks of concerts (and a telecast) in England from February 13 to February 28

Ellington’s concerts in Stockholm took place on February 2 and the venue was Konserthuset (Stockholm Concert Hall).

Photo and copyright: Roland Sterner

The two concerts – one at 7 pm and one at 9pm – were well attended but the critics were rather negativ.

Orkesterjounalen’s Bertil Sundin seems to have had his opinion formed already before the concerts started. ”One can not expect that this group of older gentlemen will sound particularly inspired and in Stockholm on February 2 they didn’t ” he wrote. Sundin only had positiv comments  on Johnny Hodge’s performance of ”Come Sunday” and Paul Gonsalves’ of Chelsea Bridge. However, Leif Andersson reviewing the Ellington concerts in Copenhagen, Lund and Malmö also in Orkesterjournalen was much more positiv.

The two reviews are available in the Ellington Archive

One of the concerts were broadcasted by Swedish Radio, most likely the second one, and DESS members can listen to it and download it in the Goodies Room. Here is a short excerpt from the broadcast.

The Opener


DESS-bulletinen 2015-2

Issue 2015-2 of the DESS Bulletin is now available in pdf format to anyone interested in Duke Ellington and his music – DESS member or not. It can be downloaded from the Bulletin section of the website. Just follow this link.

This time, the cover story of the Bulletin is about Clark Terry, who had died on February 21, 2015.

Bo Haufman honors Terry by painting his portrait in a four-page article and Bo Scherman reports on the new (2014) Clark Terry documentary Keep On, Keepin’ On.

Other articles in the 2015-2 issue of the Bulletin is an extensive one by Erling Torkelsson on My People and one by Björn Englund on Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. Both articles are highly recommended.

This time, Claes Englund’s interesting series ”Other Duke’s Places” deals with Ellington at The Apollo.

In addition to all this, there are of course record reviews and also a short article by Bo Haufman about Ellington on stamps.

The Ellington Study Group Conferences (1)

For almost 35 years, The Duke Ellington Study Group Conferences have brought together Ellington scholars and aficionados to share their thoughts and knowledge about his work, life and music, to learn more about it and to enjoy live performances of all kinds. The 24th one took place in New York last year.

Inspired by Göran Wallén, who has participated in many of the conferences and organized two of them, in 1994 and 2004, the DESS website will publish a series of articles about the conferences. Göran Wallén will be the editor of the series and share memories, photos and documents. He hopes that others will contribute as well.

This first article is about how The Duke Ellington Study Group conferences came about.


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