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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.

DESS Bulletin 2015-1

Since two years has passed since its publication, the first issue of the DESS Bulletin in 2015 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 DESS website http://www.ellington.se.

The cover feature in this issue is Freddy (Freddie) Jenkins.


In an five-page article about this Ellington trumpeter in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Bo Haufman gives the reader a detailed account of his life and career. The article includes some nice photos of the Ellington orchestra from early 1930s.

Other things to read is an article by Bo Scherman about Cootie Williams’ European tour in 1959 complete with a discography of all the music from the tour, which has been issued and another one is Fred Glueckstein’s about Ruth Ellington.

In his series ”Other Duke’s Places”, Claes Englund writes in this issue of the Bulletin about Nat Hentoff’s perspective on Ellington and Bo Haufman contributes also an article about Accordion Joe.

Friends of comic strips can also enjoy a three page one about Ellington published in 1948.

Thank you to Göran Axelsson for having scanned the issue and provided a short summary of its content.

First 2017 issue of the DESS Bulletin

The first issue of the DESS Bulletin for 2017 has just been published and is on its way to the subscribers.

The cover story of the issue is about Otto Hardwick.


In his usual detailed way Bo Haufman – the editor of the Bulletin – portraits Ellington’s C melody and alto sax player for many  years and tells the story of  of his sometimes turbulent times inside and outside the Ellington orchestra. Among other things, it is interesting to learn more about Hardwick’s time away from Ellington in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

The article is accompanied by a discography on Hardwick’s recordings outside the Ellington band.

In the article, Haufman mentions the 1932 Vidaphone movie ”Smash Your Baggage” featuring Elmer Snowden and his Small’s Paradise Orchestra, which at the time included Hardwick. Roy Eldridge, Dicky Wells and Al Sears were other band members at the time.


The DESS Bulletin – New Issue

The last issue of the DESS Bulletin for 2016 has just been published.


The cover story of this issue is Arthur Whetsel – Ellington’s ”sweet” trumpeter. Bo Haufman – the editor of the Bulletin – gives a very comprehensive portrait of Whetsel in a 3 and a half page article. It is supplemented by a reprint of an article about Whetsel by the late Ellington specialist Eddie Lambert published in Jazz Monthly in 1964.

Another interesting reading in the new issue is an interview of Willie Cook about his time with Earl Hines 1943-1947. It is a treasury of information about the band, its members and on working conditions. The interview was done by former DESS Chair Göran Wallén in 1997. More interviews of Cook will be published in the Bulletin next year.

A third major topic in the new Bulletin is Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. In a 4 page article, DESS member Erling Torkelsson looks at differences and similarities in the personal developments of these two musical giants.


Alice Babs i DESS-bulletinen

DESS-bulletinen är en guldgruva av information. När man vill fördjupa sig i ett ämne är det ofta bra att börja med att läsa gamla Bulletiner. De är lätt tillgängliga eftersom de alla finns i pdf-format på webbplatsen tillsammans med en kort sammanfattning av innehållet i varje nummer.

Alice Babs har naturligtvis varit ett återkommande ämne och Bulletinen har publicerat fem längre artiklar om henne.

Den första finns i nummer 1999-4 och handlar om DESS-träffen den 9 mars 1999 där hon var huvudattraktionen.

Hon gav glimtar ur sin långa karriär vilka illustrerades med skivexempel. Kvällen avslutades med en visning av TV-programmet ”Indigo” och den fick en extra dimension genom att Babs kommenterade programmet och berättade om inspelningen.



Nytt nummer av Bulletinen


Nästa DESS-bulletin är här. Den skickas ut till medlemmarna den 12 september.

Numret är i hög grad ägnat åt Willie Cook (1923-2000).


Det innehåller bl.a. en femsidig intervju gjord 1999 av Göran Wallén. Den täcker Cooks liv från hans barndom i Louisiana och Chicago tills hans nästan 20 år i Stockholm och naturligtvis tiden med Ellington och andra band. En fascinerande läsning!

Wallén kompletterar den med ett par kortare artiklar med vad andra musiker som t.ex. Clark Terry  har sagt om Cook. Bo Haufman bidrar med en översikt av Willie Cook på skiva.

Artiklarna är illustrerade med ett antal inte tidigare publicerade foton av Cook tagna av Olle Lindholm.

Det nya numret av Bulletinen innehåller också bl.a. en artikel av Fred Glueckstein om filmer ”Murder At The Vanities (1934), som Ellington och hans orkester medverkade i, en tvåsidig artikel av Bo Haufman om ”Take The ”A” Train och en intervju av trumslagaren Steve Little om hans tid med Ellington i slutet av 1960-talet.

Till detta kommer en utförlig rapport från Ellington-konferensen i New York i maj, minnesord över Buster Cooper, recensioner av nya CD-skivor med Ellington, en rapport från medlemsmötet i maj och mycket annat.

Rik läsning från Ellington-världen väntar alltså alla DESS-medlemmar. Håll utkik efter brevbäraren!

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