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Wolfram Knauer on BB&B

Wolfram Knauer, Director of the Jazzinstutut Darmstadt, did his first appearance at an Ellington Study Group Conference in Copenhagen in 1992.

He had chosen to talk about Simulated Improvisation in Black, Brown and Beige. The presentation built on an article Dr. Knauer had published in the journal The Black Perspective in Music in 1990.

In a 1986 article, André Hodier used the term ”simulated improvisation” to described an element in his compositions from the 1950s and Knauer considers that Ellington’s Black Brown and Beige is an early example of a comparable technique.

He gives several examples of this from the first part of the suite but starts his talk with some background on BB&B.

To help the audience to follow the presentation, Dr. Knauer had prepared a two-page handout, which is available here.

It is very good to have it at hand when listening to the talk.

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Extended Ellington (2)

On June 24 – just before the summer break – we published the first part of ”The Extended Ellington” concert, which ended the third day of the Ellington ’88 conference.

The second part of the concert starts with what is the ”world premiere performance” of The Queen’s Suite. It refers to the fact that this is the first public performance ever of the suite.

It took another 14 years before there was a second public performance took place. In 2012 during the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Queen Elisabeth II, the Echoes of Harlem orchestra played it at the Marlborough International Jazz Festival.

At the fourth day of Ellington ’88, Roger Boyes talked about the Duke meeting the Queens in Leeds in 1958 and his memories from Ellington’s performances there. It can be heard here.

After a break, the orchestra continues with ”Black, Brown and Beige”. Alan Cohen steps in as guest conductor and June Norton is vocalist.

The concert ends with a swinging Stompy Jones with Bill Berry, Buster Cooper, Jimmy Woode, Sam Woodyard, Alice Babs, Herb Jeffries and others joining in. A good way to end another succesful Ellington conference!

And it also marks the end of the series of articles on Ellington ’88 in Oldham.

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