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Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 15

The 15th program in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the third ”Goodie” for April.

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

The program was broadcasted on March 8, 1985.

It is a set of stockpile recordings from April 1963 and November 1968 done by a subset of the Ellington orchestra. It was composed of the sax and rhythm sections plus one or two horns. The songs played are some well-known ones in new interpretations and some rarely heard or never recorded before.

The broadcast starts with two numbers from April 17, 1963 – ”Jeep’s Blues” and the Johnny Hodges composition ”Got Nobody Now”. Both are solo numbers for Ray Nance. It is the only appearance of ”Got Nobody Now” in the Ellington discography.

Next comes three songs recorded the day after. Two of them – ”Butter And Oleo” and ”Blousons Noirs” – were only recorded on this occasion and as regards the third one – Blue Rose – it was the last time it was put on tape. Ray Nance is once again featured prominently but also Johnny Hodges gets some good solo space and in ”Butter and Oleo” every member of the sax section except Harry Carney has a solo.

The second part of the broadcast gives us some of the songs recorded on November 29, 1968. It starts with ”KNUF” which of course can be read as ”FUNK”. Johnny Hodges with good support from Buster Cooper and Willie Cook is at the forefront of this Ellington tune never heard before or after the session. Then the broadcast continues with three well-known Ellington songs – Just Squeeze Me, Mood Indigo and In A Sentimental Mood – but played as never heard before.

”Just Squeeze Me” belongs to Harold Ashby, ”Mood Indigo” to in particular Harry Carney and ”In A Sentimental Mood” to

The broadcast ends with a swinging blues credited to Ellington, ”Waiting For You”. Like KNUF, the session is its only appearance in the Ellington discographies.

All the music in the program has been issued on CD, originally in the ”Private Collection” series.

 

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.

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