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Ellington DR Broadcasts (34)

The second ”goodie” in February is program 34 in the Duke Ellington series broadcast by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

This program was broadcasted on October 13, 1985 and presented by Bjarne Busk.

It starts with a snapshot from Ted O’Reilly’s interview of Ellington in Toronto on March 17, 1970 in which Ellington talks about his stockpile of unreleased recording.

Next comes New Concerto For Cootie recorded on September 13, 1962. The day before Cootie Williams had rejoined the Ellington orchestra and recorded Ellington’s welcoming piece for him – Tutti For Cootie.

The broadcast then moves on to the February 1957 stockpile recording session, from which Busk let the listeners hear C-Jam Blues and In A Sentimental Mood with Paul Gonsalves soloing. He shares this role with Clark Terry in ”C Jam Blues”.

After this, Busk features in the program an Ellington’s medley of French songs recorded on February 27, 1962 – My Heart Sings, My Man and No Regrets.

The last two are Edit Piaf songs –  Mon Homme and No Je Ne Regret Rien – and the first one an early 1940’s song Ma Mie written by the team Henri Herpin and Jamblan and first recorded by Jean Sablon.

However, ”My Heart Sings” and ”No Regrets” included in the Midnight In Paris album are from the recording session June 26, 1962. (mer…)

The Mercer Ellington donation

The program of the Ellington ’92 conference also included a presentation on the Mercer Ellington donation to Danish Radio. It was delivered by Erik Wiedemann, Bjarne Busk and Flemming Sjølund Jensen.

Photo: Bjarne Busk

First Erik Wiedemann spoke about Mercer Ellington’s donation of 781 Ellington tapes to Danish Radio on the condition that it would properly mixed onto new tapes.

Then Bjarne Busk and Flemming Sjølund Jensen followed up by letting the audience listen to examples from the archive.

Busk talked among other things about his excitement when he listened to the first tape, which started with what turned out to be Pastel from the Degas Suite. He also gave some figures on the donation. 443 tapes were studio recordings from 128 dates. There was also 69 tapes with live recordings from 35 occasions and 53 tapes with interviews of Ellington.

Photo: Bjarne Busk

Busk finished his presentation by playing a recording from the Aug. 18, 1966 session ”which will never be issued” but also other examples from the tapes were included in it.

Sjølund Jensen focused his presentation on an untitled blues recorded on Nov. 23, 1968 and used it to demonstrate ”how Ellington and the band developed their material”. He very much featured Lawrence Brown in his clips.

Copenhagen Sep. 30, 1959 corrected

The file with the Copenhagen Sep. 30, 1959 concert made available to DESS members on Jan. 26 turns out to be something totally different. It brings together selections from Ellington’s concert in Paris on Sep.20, 1959 (both first and second concerts) and the second concert in Stockholm on Sep. 26, 1959.

We apologize for having put it on the website and thank Bjarne Busk for bringing the issue to our attention.

However, when the file was published, it was believed to be a genuine recording of the Copenhagen concert.

It was found by the DESS group charged with cataloguing Benny Åslund’s tape collection, which had been donated to DESS.

In the fall of 2011, the group sent the file together with a number of files of Ellington concerts in Sweden to Sjef Hoefsmit, who wrote about them in the 2012-1 issue of the DEMS Bulletin.

Under the headline A lot of Swedish NEW FINDS, he reported what the group had found. Amongst other things Hoefsmit said ”A totally unknown (to us) concert is from Copenhagen, 30Sep59, K.B. Hallen”.

He followed this up by publishing a correction sheet (1107) to NDESOR with the ”new” information.

So, not surprisingly, the DESS group thought that they had found an unknown recording of the Copenhagen concert.

However, what Hoefsmit forgot when he said ”a totally unknown concert to him  was that 20 years earlier at the Ellington conference in Los Angeles in 1991, he had said and written that the concert was ”a fake” in a review of the 3rd edition of the Willie Timner’s Ellingtonia”. He repeated this in comments on Timner’s 4th edition in the DEMS Newsletter 2001-3.

Hoefsmit built his view on a presentation Erik Wiedemann made at the Ellington conference in Washington D.C. in 1989. Wiedemann had by then published a very detailed paper on Ellington’s visits to Denmark and recordings made of the concerts there. As regards the 1959 concert, he says: ”There seems to be no recordings of the concerts.”

 

The source of the ”fake” file is not known to us but it was apparently rather widely circulated among Ellington collectors. Benny Åslund had it, Willie Timner had it and it is also listed in the catalogue for the auction of more than 100 reel-to-reel tapes belonging tho the French Ellington collector André Mahus, which Sjef Hoefsmit (!) organised for his widow.

The Jan. 26 article on the website has been deleted. However, the file in the Goodies Room will stay there for the time being and a list of its contents is here.

 

 

 

 

Ellington ’92 in Copenhagen (1)

The 10th Ellington Study Group Conference took place in Copenhagen May 28-31, 1992.

The lead organisers of the conference were Arnvid Meyer, Niels Toft and Karl Emil Knudsen – three leading figures in the Danish jazz and Ellington community. They organised the conference together with the recently founded ”The Scandinavian Duke Ellington Society – Danish Chapter”.

It followed in the path of previous Ellington conferences and offered an ambitious program mixing musical events and presentations.

The full program is here.

Unfortunately only recordings of the presentations are available and they are sound recording made by the organisers. It seems as if Benny Åslund, who attended the conference, did some filming but the videos have not been found so far.

Photo Bjarne Busk

Bjarne Busk was one of the participants in the conference. He remembers it as ”a serious one, with a lot of information, and a lot of music”.

”On the first day of the conference, nine jazzclubs in Copenhagen had organized concerts and sessions linked to the conference and the conference participants had got 2 tickets to use how they liked.

At one of the places Mercer Ellington conducted a fine Danish big band. I also remember the closing dance with groups of musicians, including Buster Cooper and Clark Terry, and some with the great swedes Rolf Billberg, Arne Domnerus and Rolf Ericson.”

Bo Haufman was another participants. He was one of the first to register for the conference. ”I was actually the third one to do so”, he says. ”The Falconer Center in Copenhagen was the conference venue and it was absolutely perfect for this.

Leonard Feather is one of the presenters Bo remembers particularly well. ”He started his presentation by saying ”Duke is not dead”

”It was also very interesting to hear Erik Moseholm presentation about the inspiration of Ellington’s bass player to the Danish Bass Tradition bearing in mind that Denmark is known for its excellent bass player.”

”Among the many musical events, I remember in particular a concert by Arne Domnérus och Bengt Hallberg, says Bo also. ”They had composed a special number called  ”Jazz Å Du”.

Arnvid Meyer chaired the first session of the conference.

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One angle in the program was Ellington in Denmark.  Erik Wiedemann – Mr. Jazz in Denmark – was the first presenter on this theme. He talked about four Danish jazz recording with a strong Ellington influence.

The first one was Copenhagen Rhapsody played by the leading Danish big band in the early 30’s led by Erik Tuxen. Then Wiedemann gave the audience first a recording by a piano-bass combo with Borge Roger Henrichsen and Niels Foss, which played Preludium in C followed by Donkey Party played by a band led by Leo Mathisen. Both of them from the early 1940’s when Denmark was under occupation.

Wiedeman’s last example was actually a 1990 recording of an Ellington composition – The Mooche – but played in avant-guard way by Pierre Dørge & New Jungle Orchestra.

 

 

DR Ellington Broadcasts (26)

The fourth  ”goodie” in September is program 26 in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

This program was broadcasted on July 19, 1985 and the announcer is Bjarne Busk.

It combines a stockpile session from 1971 with excerpts from Ellington’s concert in the Coventry Cathedral February 21, 1966.

The February 1-3, 1971 stockpile session features the singer Bobby Gordon in three number – Rocks In My Bed, Love You Madly and Looking For My Man.

”Not a very subtle singer”, one commentator has said but she certainly rocks with a strong bluesy feeling. She toured with Ellington for 15 months in 1971-1973 under her artistic name Nell Brookshire.

The stockpile part of the broadcast ends with Peke – another groovy blues with Wild Bill Davis in a prominent role together with Ellington. Harold Ashby, Malcolm Taylor and Cootie Williams also solo. Peke was later issued by Storyville on the Togo Brava Suite CD.

Next comes four selections from Coventry Cathedral – Come Easter, Tell Me It’s The Truth, West Indian Pancake and La Plus Belles Africaine. For those, who have not yet bought Storyville’s complete version of the concert, have now the opportunity to hear half of it.

The broadcast ends with Ellington soloing on the piano in Japan in 1964. Bjarne Busk’s appeal to the listerners to help him to identify what Ellington is playing. It turned out to be an early version of something that later developed into Ad Lib on Nippon. In the Ellington discographies it is listed as Nagoya.

 

 

DR Ellington broadcasts (25)

The third  ”goodie” in June is program 25 in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

 

The program was broadcasted on July 12, 1985 and the announcer is Bjarne Busk.

Ellington’s My People is the focus of the broadcast. Busk gives the listerners 11 selections from the musical recorded either on August 20, 1963 or August 21 and August 27 plus a short interview with Mercer Ellington about ”My People”.

The program starts with a ”Piano Blues Ouverture”. It is the non-vocal version of ”Jail Blues” which is not included in the program.

Next comes ”Blues at Sundown”, a long-term feature for Jimmy Grissom.

Joya Sherrill sung ”My Heritage (aka My Mother, My Father and Love)” in the original performance of the musical. Bjarne Busk let us hear it in the broadcast (including the narration) but also a short retake of the ending of the song.

Then follows an incomplete take (-1) ”King” (”aka King Fit The Battle Of Alabam) and the full take-2 of the piece. In the show it was apparently preceeded by a slower version of the same song. The latter is unfortunately not included in the broadcast but available on CD.

The broadcast continues with a rendition of ”The Blues Ain’t” sung by Lee Greenwood. In the show this song was performed by Joya Sherrill just before ”Blues At Sundown”.

A non-complete version of ”Walking And Singin’ The Blues” sung by Lee Greenwood comes next.

Following a short interview with Mercer Ellington, the broadcast ends with ”Strange Feeling” from ”Perfume Suite”sung by Jimmy Grissom and ”After Bird Jungle” with Rudy Powell as clarinet soloist.

From a discographical point of view, it is not easy to decode the broadcast but it seems to be a fair presumption that the dates and takes of the different songs are basically identical to what is included in the Storyville issue of the complete show (Storyville 1018430).

 

 

 

 

DR Ellington Broadcasts – Program 18

The fourth ”goodie” for September is program 18 in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.

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

The program was broadcasted on March 29, 1985 and the presenter is Erik Wiedeman. It is – like the broadcast on March 22, 1985 – entirely devoted to the music of the ballett ”The River”. Together, the two programs includes all the movements of ”The River” in different stages of development.

The program starts with the piano version of ”The River” from May 25, 1970. It is followed by ”The Meander” – also a piano version – from May 11, 1970. It was meant to be played in Program 17 but because of a mix-up ”The Lake” was played instead. ”The Meander” is the third movement

The orchestral version of ”The Lake” (May 25, 1970) comes next. It is the fifth movement of the suite.

(mer…)

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