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The first ”goodie” in February is program 33 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 September 29, 1985 and was presented by Bjarne Busk.
It is totally dedicated to the stock pile recording session December 28-29, 1966. The session took place in the RCA Studios in New York.
Busk starts with what transpired on the second day, which was Tony Watkin’s day.
He recorded three Ellington songs – I’m Just A Lucky So And So, Blues At Sundown and The Lonely Ones. The first one was originally a number for Al Hibler and the second one sung by Jimmy Grissom on a couple of occasions in 1952 and in My People.
Before Watkins, ”The Lonely Ones” had been recorded by Johnny Ray and the Ellington band for Columbia on September 26, 1958. and by Milt Grayson in a stockpile session on September 13, 1962.
None of the songs recorded by Watkins and played in the broadcast have been issued on K7, LP or CD so far.
Next in the broadcast , Ellington sits down at the piano for some meditation. On the tape box, the number is simply called Piano Track 1. Later it became Meditation.
Busk says that Ellington sat down at the end of the second day. However, according to Ellington discographies he actually did this at the start of the first day when he played a total of four songs for himself.
The rest of the day was a small group session. Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney, John Lamb and Rufus Jones joined Ellington to record I’m Beginning To See The Light, Dragon Blues, Now Ain’t It, Cotton Head and Last Time Around.
”Now Ain’t It” is a Melba Liston arrangement and in Ellington discographies ”Dragon Blues” is called Draggin’ Blues. Only ”I’m Beginning To See The Light” has not been issued on K7, LP or CD so far.
In all, another interesting and enjoyable broadcast making good use of the Mercer Ellington donation.
The fourth ”goodie” in December is program 32 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 broadcast on August 30, 1985 and the presenter is once again Erik V. Krustrup.
He continues to bring the listeners some of the music Ellington composed and recorded for film The Impressionists At The Racetrack.
The program starts with the version of Race with Harry Carney and Russell Procope that ended the previous broadcast. Krustrup then plays some more takes of the melody. The first one is played by Ellington solo and the second features Russell Procope in particular .
The next number is Pastel with Paul Gonsalves in the solo role. According to notes from the recording session, it was supposed to follow Race in the film.
After this, comes Drawings, which is an interplay between Ellington, Willie Cook and the trombone section. It is followed by Prat – a solo number for Harry Carney – and the same Opening Titles as was heard in the previous broadcast.
The section with music recorded for Racing World ends with Piano Pastel – an Ellington solo number. Krustrup says that he plays it ”as an epilog to the suite”. However, it was not meant to end the film. Apparently, this was to be done by Opening Titles.
The broadcast continues with three selections from stockpile sessions at the end of November 1969. First comes three takes of Reva recorded on November 29, 1969 and then two takes of each Just A Little Jive and Riverboat. In the broadcast they are respectively referred to as Untitled Blues and Country.
The broadcast ends with two rockin’ numbers from the stockpile session on December 9, 1970 – Sans Snyphelle and Big Luv (aka Amore Grande).
The third ”goodie” in December is program 31 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 August 23, 1985 and the presenter is Erik V. Krustrup.
It is totally focused on the music that Ellington wrote for the film Racing World or The Impressionists At The Racetrack). However, the musical part is most commonly known as The Degas Suite.
The film was to be a 30 minutes documentary about paintings and sketches of race courses by foremost Degas but also other impressionist painters like Forain and Dufy. Unfortunately, the project run out of money before the film was finished so it was never released.
Using the many pieces of music recorded for the film found in Mercer Ellington’s donation, Krustrup tries to bring The Degas Suite to the listerners in a form close to what it was meant to be.
As an appetizer, the broadcast start with one of the takes of Race. This one is played by Paul Gonsalves. Then the program continues with some examples of recorded snippets and how they were used to build larger musical blocks like for the opening squence of the film.
Four takes of Race comes next – two with Johnny Hodges and two with Ellington. They are followed by Promenade (aka Red Circle), COPA II, Racing, Trump, Sonnet and Daily Double.
The broadcast ends with a piece called Improvisation and another take of Race.
Improvisation was later used in The River and then called The Run. It is the same theme as The Queen’s Guard, which Ellington played on piano at the rehearsal for the telecast from Cirkus in Stockholm on February 8, 1966.
More of The Degas Suite is in the next broadcast.
The second ”goodie” in December is program 28 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 August 2, 1985 and the presenter is Knud Sörensen.
The first 1/3 of the broadcast let us listen to 16 very short snippets of music Ellington composed for the film Change of Mind, which was released in October 1969. The snippets in the broadcast were recorded on April 25, 1969 but music for the film was also recorded in two sessions in May and one in June 1969.
This part of the broadcast ends with a longer piece – Neo-Creole – played by Ellington on electric piano. It’s a rock adaptation of the main theme from Creole Rhapsody.
Those interested in how the music was used in the film can find part of it on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfIVJ50357I). At 8:53 there is a segment with Ellington’s music. Thank you to Brian Koller for the link.
From ”Change of Mind”, the broadcast moves on the May 24, 1962 stockpile session. The selection in the program has Ray Nance in the lead role. We hear him play Flirtibird and Smada. The recording engineer announces Flirtibird as take -3 which means that it is different from the take used for the issues on LP and CD.
Sörensen then brings the listener The Feeling of Jazz recorded on May 25, 1962. It is sung by Milt Grayson accompanied by Ellington at the piano.
Next in the broadcast comes a small jewel, We hear Ellington sitting down alone at the piano in Paris March 10, 1967 playing Meditation, T.G.T.T. and Little Purple Flower. The circumstances surrounding this session is not known to us. Was it recorded in a rehearsal room at Theatre Des Champs Elysée before the concert there started? Anyone knows?
The broadcast ends with an excerpt from the recording session November 23, 1968 in which Harold Ashby in a tribute to Ben Webster plays I Can’t Get Started accompanied only by trio.
The first ”goodie” in December is program 27 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 26, 1985 and the presenter is Fleming Jensen.
He starts the program with Feeling of Jazz from the July 3, 1962 stockpile session. First we hear take -8, which has been issued on both LP and CD, and then the short take -2.
The next feature in the program is three selections from March 29, 1962 – Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, I Got It Bad and Jam In C (Circle Blues in NDESOR). Jensen thinks that in this small group session Sonny Greer replaces Sam Woodyard on drums. The ellingtonia.com discography agrees with this but only as regards Jam In C.
Three numbers from the stockpile session March 15, 1967 bring the broadcast to the end. Apparently, there were no names on the score sheets They when they were recorded but were only identified by numbers – No. 3, No. 5, No. 4 and No. 6.
However, They have been given names both in the Ellington discographies and in the album texts to the LP and CD issues of them.
No. 3 is Tell Me ‘Bout My Baby, no. 5 is Kentucky Ave, AC, No. 4 Near North and No. 6 Soul Country
By including six takes of No. 6, Fleming Jensen gives the listener an opportunity to follow the creative when a new melody is born.
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.
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).