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Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 14

The 14th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the third ”Goodie” for the month of March.

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

It was broadcasted on March 1, 1985 and this time the program presenter is Erik Wiedeman.

The broadcast starts with three songs recorded at a stockpile session in Las Vegas on January 7, 1970 by a small group drawn from the band. Duke and the band had had a two-week engagement at Caesar’s Palace over the Christmas and New Year seasons and was on the way to the Far East for a six-week long tour.

The three songs – Tippying-toeing Through The Jungle, The Kissing Mist and Rocochet (aka Noon Mooning) – are all credited to Ellington but at least Tippytoeing Through The Jungle smacks a lot of Wild Bill Davis. Paul Gonsalves solos on all three, Lawrence Brown on the first two and Willie Cook on the first one. The Kissing Mist is one of the two songs from the session that has not been issued on LP or CD so far.

The broadcast then continues with excerpts from another stockpile session almost one and a half year later or on June 28, 1971 – this time with the full orchestra. The broadcast brings us early versions of two of the movements of what was later to be known as Togo Brava Suite – Mkis (aka Soul Soothing Beach) and Yogo (aka Naturellement) – together with Tego which Ellington considered to be part of the Afro-Eurasian Eclipse suite.

It ends with two songs – In A Mellotone and Happy Reunion – from the intimate session on June 24, 1958 in Chicago when Duke sat down with Paul Gonsalves to give him ample space to show his talents. Jimmy Woode and Sam Woodyard form the rest of the rhythm section. The session is the first known performance of Happy Reunion.

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 13

The 13th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the third ”Goodie” for the month of February.

mercer-donation

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

It was broadcasted on February 22, 1985 and this time the program presenter was Bjarne Busk. He use the program to bring the listerners more of the interviews he had done with Mercer Ellington and composer/arranger Billy Moore when preparing the Danish Radio Ellington broadcasts.

The program starts with a section on ”Take The ”A” Train”. After a short excerpt of the first take of tune from the ”stockpile session” on March 29, 1966, Billy Moore tells Busk a little story on how  ”Take The ”A” Train” come about. Then take 3 from the stockpile session is played.

Next, Mercer Ellington has some interesting things to say about Duke as a piano player before Moore and Mercer tells Busk about Billy Strayhorn and ”Portrait of Pea” from January 5, 1966 is heard.

The program ends with five selections from the January 14, 1964 broadcast from Basin Street East, including Strayhorn playing and singing ”Lush Life”.

 

 

 

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 12

The 12th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the first ”Goodie” for the month of February.

mercer-donation

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

The program was broadcasted on February 15, 1985 and the program presenter was Bent Schjarff.

It starts with two tracks – Jam With Sam and Caravan – from the stockpile recording session on May 1, 1962. On both of them, Paul Gonsalves has a central role. The presenter says that it is recordings made in Karachi in Pakistan in 1963 but this is not correct. They were made in New York on May 1, 1962.

More of stockpile recordings follows next. First comes a complete version of ”The Blues” sung by Tony Watkins from May 6, 1971, which was cut short in the previous broadcast. It is followed by ”Rocks In My Bed” sung by Nell Brookshire (aka Bobbie Gordon). Quite a different version from Ivie Anderson’s.

(mer…)

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 11

The 11th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the second ”Goodie” for the month of November.

mercer-donation

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

It was broadcasted on February 8, 1985 and this time the program presenter was Bent Schjarff.

With one exception, it covers two stockpile recording sessions – May 15, 1963 and May 18, 1965.

It starts with five selections from May 15, 1963. ”Stoona” was recorded with Alice Babs two and a half month earlier in Paris. Here it is different version with Ray Nance and Johnny Hodges as soloists.

”Serenade To Sweden” was also part of the recording session with Babs. The version in the program has Shorty Baker and Ray Nance at the center.

Then comes ”Bad Woman” (aka Walk Right In) and Schjarff let us follow the evolution of the song in the studio by offering  to two slightly different takes  – take 8 and take 10.

The May 15, 1963 section ends with ”Harmony In Harlem” in a new arrangement with Johnny Hodges, Ray Nance, Jimmy Hamilton and Paul Gonsalves as soloists.

(mer…)

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 10

The 10th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s is the third ”Goodie” for the month of October.

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

It was broadcasted on February 1, 1985 and the program was presented by Bjarne Busk.

It is focused on late compositions by Ellington and offers some really good listening.

It starts with Gigl (or Giggling Rapids) and Sophisticated Lady from the stockpile recording session of December 29, 1968. Gigl has a different arrangement than other versions of Giggling Rapids and Sophisticated Lady is played beautifully – not by Harry Carney as usual but by Johnny Hodges. (mer…)

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 9

The 9th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s is the first ”Goodie” for  the month of October. As usual, it is available in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).

dems-clip-for-dr-broadcasts

It was broadcasted on January 25, 1985 and the program is presented by Bjarne Busk.

It starts with a groovy tune called REXT, which showcases Paul Gonsalves. It was recorded in the stockpile session of  April 25 1970, which also produced the New Orleans Suite. According to NDESOR, this session is the only occasion when Ellington  played it

It is followed by Guitar Amour from October 25, 1961. It is the trumpet version of the song with a short solo by Ray Nance.

Next comes three excerpts from the BBC telecast on February 20, 1964 – Take The ”A” Train (theme), Perdido and a full version of Take The ”A” Train (with Ernie Shepheard scat singing). The concerns of the sound technician about the recording of Perdido can be heard.

Bjarne Busk then moves on to a summary version of the Afro Bossa album. It is appropriately called Afro Bossa Piano Summation. Ellington plays short versions of the songs of the LP together with Ernie Shepherd and Sam Woodyard. In my view, it is one of the gems of the program. It was recorded on January 8, 1963 – three days after the full orchestra recordings for Afro Bossa were finished.

Another gem follows. It is Short Sheet Cluster from January 18, 1956 – a stockpile recording session – with Clark Terry at the center. Busk let us listen to four takes to get a sense of how things were built up towards final version, which will be heard in program 10 of the series.

The program ends with Cat Anderson in splendid form playing The Prowling Cat from March 31, 1965 and TAJM (For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow) from July 18, 1963. It gives solo opportunities to in particular Harry Carnet, Lawrence Brown and Ray Nance but also Cootie Williams and Johnny Hodges can be heard.

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 8

The 8th Ellington program broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s is the fourth ”Goodie” for  the month of September. As the others, it is available in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).

dems-clip-for-dr-broadcasts

It was broadcasted on January 18, 1985 and Bjarne Busk is the presenter.

A special feature of the broadcast is that segments of an interview with the Jimmy Lunceford arranger and the initiator of the Ben Webster Foundation, Billy Moore, are integrated in the program.

The program includes several stockpile recordings, some of which are not available on LP or CD.

The program starts with a stockpile recording of a rather unknown song – Elysée. Then follows some comments by Billy Moore on Ellington as composer and a snapshot of C Jam Blues with more Moore comments.

Next is an instrumental version of Strange Feeling from August 20, 1963 and the rocky ”There’s A Place” recorded on February 17, 1971. I wonder if Wild Bill Davis did not have a hand in ”There’s A Place?

After more comments by Billy Moore on Ellington as composer, the program turns to ”The River Suite” and let us listen to a take of respectively ”The Meander” and ”The River” from March 9, 1972. I hope that we will hear more from the ”River Suite” in later programs.

Comments by Billy Moore on Ellington as a piano player lead into an excerpt of of ”A Blue Mural From Two Perspectives” – the Billy Strayhorn composition from 1965, which apparently Ellington played quite often late in life.

The program ends with first another example of Ellington as pianist – the only recording of the rather unknown Cordon Blue from September 13, 1962 – and then a nice example of Ray Nance’s trumpet playing – ”Do Not Disturb” (aka Le Sucrier Velours) recorded on January 3, 1956.

In the Ellington Archive, there are a couple of documents with more information on the Danish Radio Ellington broadcasts, including a discography of the Danish Radio Ellington programs, which so far have been made available to DESS members on the website.

 

 

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