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Smått och Gott /Bits And Pieces

The Ellington Conference in Birmingham

There is still no website for the conference but  it seems for sure that it will take place. The facility for buying conference tickets is up and running. Go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/25th-duke-ellington-conference-3-day-tickets-tickets-44978484859.

A three-day ticket to the conference costs £75 and one-day tickets will cost £30 for the Friday events, £35 for Saturday and £15 for Sunday.

Have trust in the organizers, buy your ticket(s) and book flight and hotel asap!

Jump For Joy documentary

A documentary about the musical revue is under preparation by a team in Los Angeles. One member of it is the jazz film specialist Mark Cantor, which should guarantee that it will be of high quality. It is still not known when it will be released. The DESS website will keep you posted.

Those of you that are not aware of Cantor’s fabulous website ”Jazz on Film (http://jazz-on-film.com) are strongly adviced to visit it. It is a treasury of information about films with jazz elements, especially from the 1930s and 1940s, and a labour of love.

Spring issue of Blue Light 2018 and 2016

The latest issue of DESUK’s Blue Light has arrived in the mailbox. Once again, its editor Ian Bradley provides a lot of interesting Ellington read.

The issue is dominated by the third installment of the series on Irving Mills’ Advertising Manuals for Ellington. This time it is a reprint of a third manual but without any commenting texts.

It also includes a major five-page article by Roger Boyes on ”Creole Rhapsody” and an article by Krin Gabbard on the firing of Charles Mingus from the Ellington Orchestra.

Since two years has passed since the 2016 Spring issue of Blue Light was published, it is now available to DESS members in the Ellington Archive.

Among the articles are two about Ellington’s Sacred Concert in the Coventry Cathedral in 1966, one about Harold Ashby as leader on records and one about Ellington’s visit to Châtaeu Goutelas in Loire (France) in 1966.

Ellington Reflections

Steve Bowie, who is a muscian living in Pasadena, California, publish regularly podcasts on different aspects of Ellington and his music.

The latest podcast published just a couple of days ago is called ”Beyond The Usual Suspects, Again” and has as its starting point the handful of Ellington compositions like Mood IndigoSatin DollIn A Sentimental Mood, etc.which played over and over again at tribute concerts and in recording.

The one before was about Ray Nance as violinist and called ”Duke Ellington’s String Section”.

The podcasts are available on http://www.ellingtonreflections.com and can be downloaded from iTunes. They are also announced on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

Ellington Study Group Conference May 25-27, 2018

Even if there is still no official announcement, it seems that the 25th Ellington Study Group Conference will take place in England or more precisely in Birmingham on May 25-27.

It is organized and hosted by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the School of Media, Birmingham City University in association with Duke Ellington Society UK (DESUK).

The conference starts at 17 o’clock on May 27 and ends on 13 o’clock on May 29.

The programme includes two keynote presentations, six thematic panels with presentations and four concerts by the Birmingham Conservatoire’s Ellington Jazz Orchestra.

The keynote presentations will be given by Dr. Harvey Cohen, Senior Lecturer, Kings College London and Dr. Katherine Williams, Lecturer in Music, Plymouth College. Dr. Cohen is the author of ”Duke Ellington’s America” and Dr. Williams is doing research for a new book on Duke Ellington.

The web editor has done some research on hotels in Birmingham not far from the site of the conference and the result can be found here.

Jazzy Poppins

In the beginning of January, Laurent Mignard and his Duke Orchestra presented a ”spectacle musical” in Paris called Jazzy Poppins. The show is inspired by the musical Mary Poppins and Duke Ellington’s Reprise album ”Duke Ellington Plays Mary Poppins”.

Another set of performances took place at the end of February and early March. Most likely, there will be even more.

Those, who do not live in Paris, can enjoy the show on CD. It can be ordered at the Laurant Mignard website http://www.laurent-mignard.com/jazzy-poppins-boutique/

On May 6 at 11 o’clock, the Duke Orchestra and the lead singer in the show, Sophie Kaufmann, will appear on the public radio station France Music (www. francemusique.fr) to perform a substantial part of the show.

Blue Light

In accordance with the agreement between the website and DESUK, issues 2015:4 and of Blue Light are now available to members of DESS in the Ellington article.

Especially interesting features in this issue is a report by DESUK’s late chairman Geoff Smith on the 2015 Ellington Study Group Conference in Portland, Oregon on Nov. 6-8, 2015, the first of two article by Matthew J. Cooper on Ellington as a pianist and a discussion between Roger Boyes and Geoff Smith on the Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington published in 2015.


Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

DESS Bulletin 2016-1

It is now available also to non-DESS members (and to those who joined DESS in 2017 or this year) to read and download. Just go to the tab ”Bulletinen” on the front page.

This issue put the focus on Tyree Glenn. Bo Haufman portraits him in a four-page article.

Other interesting articles are – among others – one by Irving Townsend about Ellington in private and another by Ken Steiner reporting on the 23rd Ellington Study Group conference in Portland, Oregon.

Radio program – Bill Saxonis

Bill Saxonis’ 4 timmar långa Ellington-program på radiostationen WCDB (90.9-FM), Albany, New York finns nu i Ellington-arkivet uppdelat i fyra avsnitt.

Det första avsnittet har fokus på Ella Fitzgerald och det andra på Thelonius Monk. Den tredje delen ägnas åt Svend Asmussen och Dizzy Gillespie och den fjärde åt Buster Cooper och Joe Temperley.

Al Hirschfeld

The famous American caricaturist Al Hirschfeld made several caricatures of Duke Ellington. His most famous is the one he made in 1931 for the Irving Mills organization and which was used in the first of Mills’ ”advertising manual” for Ellington.

Steven Lasker has written a quite detailed article about it for the Al Hirschfeld Foundation. The article is called ”Backstory in Black and White” (http://www.alhirschfeldfoundation.org/spotlight/backstory-black-and-white).


The ”Just Jazz” broadcasts on February 9, 1949 from ”The Hollywood Empire” club at 1539 Vine Street in Hollywood is available on YouTube since early January.


Thank you to Brian Koller for drawing the attention of the Ellington community to this and to Patricia Willard for her comment to the YouTube posting.

Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

Nästa DESS-möte 12 februari 2018

Det äger som vanligt rum i på Franska Skolans Aula, Döbelnsgatan 3 i Stockholm som vanligt. Peter Lee , styrelseledamot i DESS och mycket annat svarar för kvällens föredrag. Han kommer att prata om  Wynton Marsalis och hans Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, som är en av de orkestrar som håller Ellington-arvet ledande.

Föredraget föregås av årsmötet för DESS med val av styrelse och annat.

Duon Fredrik Lindborg på saxofon/klarinett och Martin Sjöstedt på piano/bas svarar för kvällens musik.

Slut upp mangrant!


From time to time DESS members contact the website about Ellington concerts and broadcasts on YouTube. We will pass them on if we consider that they are worthwhile.

Recently David Palmquist passed on the following link to the Duke-LYM mailing list https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa6uaE2oYj4.

It is a telecast from the Australian Broadcast Corporation, which was recorded by the French ORTF on July 2 and 6, 1970 (NDESOR 7050) and broadcasted on July 7, 1970. The ABC clip is a shorter version of the telecast.

Another YouTube recommendation comes from Göran Axelsson , who frequently harvests YouTube. It is ”Blue Reverie” from Benny Goodman’s Carnegie Hall concert in 1938 played by a small group from the Ellington orchestra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kELNBR8V_28. Possibly, the sound file is ripped from the Columbia Legacy CD box released in 1999. It has all the Goodman introductions recorded in 1950.

YouTube also has  a ”Blue Reverie” video claimed to originate from a Columbia 78 promo issued in 1951 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ7bW-SRuLc.

Blue Light

The last 2017 issue of DESUK’s Blue Light recently reached its subscribers, i.e. the DESUK members.

The key feature is the second install of the series on Irving Mills’ publicity manuals for Duke Ellington.

This time the article is written by Carl Woideck, who gave a presentation on the 1933-1934 manual to the Ellington Conference in New York in 2016. The full manual is reprinted in Blue Light in a beautiful way.

In addition to record reviews and DESUK ”cuisine”, the new issue of Blue Light also has a review of the book ”Duke Ellington Studies” published by Cambridge University Press. The two page article takes a positive position on the book, which unfortunately has been neglected by the Ellington community because of its price.

Ellington and Dixie Girl Revue 1923

Ken Steiner has, together with Steven Lasker and David Palmquist, an impressive record of finding information about the early career of Duke Ellington by harvesting newspapers and journals. Recently he reported on Facebook that he had found an ad in New York Evening Telegram of November 8, 1923 in which Ellington is mentioned as composer. It is an ad for the opening of the ”Dixie Girl Revue”.

In his Facebook post, Ken says that it is the earliest reference in print to Ellington as a composer that he has seen so far.

Well done, Ken!




Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

Next Ellington Study Group Conference

The next Ellington Study Group Conference will take place in Birmingham, England on 25-27 May 2018.

The conference is organized jointly by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Birmingham City University in cooperation with DESUK. The main conference venue will be the  Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Details about the conference is in the announcement (attached) in the latest issue of DESUK’s Blue Light.

Member CDs

Maison du Duke has issued a new CD – ”Mingus Chez Duke” – to the benefit of its members. It has 20 tracks from the appearance of the Duke Ellington orchestra at Bandbox in New York Jan. 30-Feb. 9, 1953. To get the CD, one only has to pay the 20 EUR membership fee plus 5 EUR to cover the postage. Follow this link http://maison-du-duke.com/espace-membres/adherer-2/ to learn how to do it.

With the new issue of Blue Light, also DESUK provides its members with a CD. It is a copy of the CD of Hurricane airshots from the Timme Rosenkrantz collection, which Frits Schjøtt put together for the benefit of the participants at the 2016 Ellington conference.

Ellington article

In its August 17, 2017 issue, The New Yorker published an Ellington article by the pianist and composer Ethan Iverson, which is highly recommended for reading.

It is titled ”Duke Ellington, Bill Evans and A Night in New York” and can be found at this link:


It is also available to DESS members in the Ellington Archive.


Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

In English

Nästa klubbmöte

Nästa DESS-möte äger rum torsdagen den 7 december 2017. Fullständig kallelse finns i nästa nummer av Bulletinen.

Grundaren av skiv- och distributionsbolaget AdLib, Ivan Sundberg, kommer att bjuda på en musikalisk ”Pytt-i-Panna à la Duke efter behag” och Stockholm Jazz Trio kommer att svara för den levande musiken.

Trion bestående av Daniel Tilling piano, Jan Adefelt bas och Jesper Kviberg trummor och den kommer att framföra något de kallar för History of Piano Trio Jazz med bl.a. musik av Duke Ellington och Billy Strayhorn.

Ivie Anderson

David Palmquists oumbärliga webbplats ”The Duke – Where and When” (TDWAW) (http://tdwaw.ca) har nu försetts med en tillägssida fokuserad på Ivie Anderson.

Den har utvecklats tillsammans med Steven Lasker och Ken Steiner och innehåller mycket information om Andersons karriär och liv. Rekommenderas på det varmaste. Länken till den är http://tdwaw.ellingtonweb.ca/IvieAnderson.html.

Laurent Mignard Duke Orchestra

Den 29 april 2017 gav orkestern gav en Ellington-konsert i den legendariska studio 104 i Maison de la radio i Paris. France Musique sände en inspelning av den i två delar den 23 och 24 september. Länken till dem är https://www.francemusique.fr/personne/laurent-mignard. Men en sammanklippning av de båda utsändningarna finns också i radioavdelningen av Ellington-arkivet.



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