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The DESS Bulletin – New Issue

The indefatigable editor of the DESS Bulletin, Bo Haufman, has produced a new issue. It is the 2019-2 one and it is on its way to the DESS members.

The trumpeter Harold Baker – nicknamed ”Shorty” – is the featured artist in the new issue.

Thomas Eriksson covers his life and career in a five page article. The focus is of course on his time in the Ellington band but the readers with also learn about his time with the big bands of Don Redman, Teddy Wilson and Andy Kirk before Baker joined Ellington in 1942. His time and marriage with Mary Lou Williams is also well covered as are his periods as freelancer.

A second Baker article in the new Bulletin is a reprint from Jazz Journal, in which Clark Terry tells Steven Voce about him. ”There was never a better trumpet player to come out of St. Louis than Harold ”Shorty Baker”, he says.

Another major article in the new Bulletin is about Al Sears. It is written by Nigel Haslewood, an Englishman living in Leicester, UK who runs the online Sadman Record shop.

It is the first part of an article, which was originally published in the IAJRC Journal. Like Thomas Eriksson’s article on Harold Baker, it is very well researched and very detailed. When the second part is also published, the DESS members should have a good monography on Al Sears.

This issue also have some shorter articles by Bo Haufman himself like one about The Women’s Duke Ellington and another on the Ellington-Strayhorn composition The Eighth Veil.

The DESS member Erling Torkelsson have also contributed to the new Bulletin with an article about Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

DESS-mötet 26 nov. 2018

Det var ett nytt möte i det nya formatet – föredrag och film men ingen levande musik.

Kvällens föredragshållare var Bo Haufman och ämnet Cootie Williams.

Bo hörde en platta med honom redan när han var tretton år och det satte djupa spår. Genom åren har han skaffat sig en gedigen kunskap om Williams och i ett timmes långt föredrag delade han den generöst med närvarande DESS-medlemmar.

För DESS-medlemmar finns en video med Bos föredrag tillgängligt i avdelningen DESS-möten.

Efter pausen för förtäring och mingel bjöd Anders Asplund på ett trevligt 35 minuters filmprogram med blandad jazz.

Han visade naturligtvis några filmer med Cootie Williams, bl.a. en med Cooties storband från 1943 eller 1944.

Därefter blev det ett blandat swingprogram  med bl.a. Cab Calloway, Art Tatum, Billy Eckstine opch glimtar från Benny Goodmans Carnegie Hall konsert 1938.

Anders avslutade med delar av ett jazzprogram på BBC 1964. I rutan ses Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck-Paul Desmond och Willie ”the Lion” Smith.

Sammantaget: en bra jazzkväll för alla DESS-medlemmar som besvärat sig att ta sig till Franska Skolan.

DESS Bulletin 2018-4

The last 2018 issue of the DESS Bulletin should have reached the DESS members in Sweden by now but members in other countries might have to wait some more days.

Bill Berry – trumpeter and big band leader who played with Ellington from Dec. 4 1961 to mid-Sep. 1962 – is a key feature of the issue. He is covered in three articles.

The Swedish jazz critic Jan Olsson has contributed the longest one, in which he summaries Berry’s career and particulalrly his time with Ellington. It is supplemented by an interview of Berry by Steve Voce c 1979/1980 and a non-credited article about how got engaged with Ellington.

An article by Mike Zirpolo from his blog ”Swing & Beyond” about Ben Webster and Cotton Tail is another feature in the new Bulletin. It is both a short portrait of Webster before his time with Duke and a guide into of Cotton Tail.

For the rest, it is Bo Haufman’s pen, which has been working.

He contributes no less than five article. Bo gives the readers a portrait of Willie ”The Lion” Smith, presents the new DESS CD (see below), walks us through some of the Ellington memorials, look at the issue of Ellington and colours and tells us how some Ellington tunes got their names.

The Winter issue of the Bulletin comes with a new DESS CD. It is most of The Holiday Ballroon dance date from Nov. 10, 1957 and has been produced in collaboration with DESUK.

It will be presented in an article on the website in a couple of days.

New issue of the DESS Bulletin

The third issue of the Bulletin is now on its way  to the DESS members. As usual, it is full of interesting articles within a broad range of Ellington subjects. The fact that the editor and his team manage to do this quarter after quarter is really impressive.

This time, the cover article is about Russell Procope – the clarinet and alto sax player, who was a solid part of the Ellington orchestra for more than 25 years.

In a four-page article, Bo Haufman – the Bulletin editor – let us follow the career of Procope from his early days on the New York big band scene in the 1920 and 1930s to the John Kirby Sextet and military service before focusing on his years with Ellington, whom he joined in 1946. Of course, the author goes more into detail as regards the Ellington period and separately deals with Procope – the altosaxophonist and Procope – the clarinettist.

The article lists many of the recordings in which Procope participated both with Ellington but also other bands like Clarence Williams, Fletcher Henderson and John Kirby. They can be listened to in the (right) music player of the website. Details of the songs are listed in a comment to this article.

The Swedish readers of the Bulletin can also enjoy a reprint from Orkesterjournal of a review by Bo Scherman of the concert by Cootie Williams and Russell Procope in the Stockholm jazz club Fasching on February 22, 1978. (mer…)

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.

Bo Haufman 80 år

Bo Haufman fyller 80 år idag. Duke Ellington Society of Sweden (DESS) och webbplatsen ber att få gratulera den ungdomlige jubilaren.

Happy Birthday Bosse!

 

Foto: Sonja Svensson

Bo är en av stora beundrarna av Duke Ellington och hans musik och en hängiven samlare av hans inspelningar. Bo delar generöst med sig sin kärlek och har ägnat stor del av sin fritid sedan tidigt 80-tal att sprida kunskap om Duke Ellington.

Sedan 1985 har Bo varit medlem i Jazz Society och när Duke Ellington Society of Sweden bildades 1993-4  blev Bo den som tog den tunga bördan att som sekreterare dokumentera arbetet som ledde fram till en lyckad d konferens 1994. Därefter har han haft en ledande roll inom Duke Ellington of Society i olika positioner. Efter många år som sekreterare i styrelsen är Bo idag klubbens vice ordförande och på många sätt dess grå eminens.

Genom sitt internationella kontaktnät och hans resor sedan tidigt 90-tal till alla Ellington konferenser har han fått en unik kunskap om allt som är väsentligt och intressant när det kommer till Duke Ellington och hans musikaliska värld. Denna kunskap har han generöst delat med sig till DESS’ medlemmar och andra genom sina otaliga artiklar om Dukes musik och musiker i DESS-bulletinen. Där har han också demonstrerat sitt stora intresse för korsord och utmanat hjärnkraften hos medlemmarna.

Bo har ingått i redaktionen för Bulletinen alltsedan starten och har varit dess redaktör sedan 2008. Med sina många artiklar och sin förmåga att knyta bidragsgivare över hela världen till tidningen har Bo sett till att Bullen ett av de ledande organen i världen för Ellington och hans musik som DESS-medlemmar och andra Ellington-vänner ser fram mot varje kvartal.

Göran Wallén / Anders Asplund / Ulf W. Lundin

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