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The Spring Issue of the DESS Bulletin

The second issue of the DESS Bulletin is on its way to the DESS members and some might already have got it in their mailboxes.

It is an issue with total focus on Cat Anderson except for some DESS house-keeping information.

It starts with the presentation that the late Ellington specialist and aficinado, Alexandre Rado, made at the Ellington ’94 conference in Stockholm about his friend Cat Anderson. A video with his presentation was published on the DESS website on December 3 last year and can be viewed here.

Bo Haufman, the editor of the DESS Bulletin, contributes an interesting articles about ”The Cat” as a composer and has transcribed an interview with him, which was published in a Facebook group last year.

The Chairman of DESS, Leif Jönsson, writes very personally about ”My Cat”, for which he has a particular fondness and admiration and the new issue of the Bulletin also includes a reprint of an article about Cat Anderson by the late Leif Andersson in the Swedish jazz magazine Orkesterjournalen in April 1963.

It provides also a discography of Cat Anderson’s recordings under his own name and some examples of video- and sound files with Cat Anderson on YouTube.


New Issue of the DESS Bulletin

The new issue of the Bulletin was sent to the DESS members a couple of days ago.

The cover story is about Britt Woodman.

In a two-page article, Thomas Harne gives us the life and career of this ”master of balance and team player” as Harne calls him.

His article is accompanied by an interview of Woodman by Göran Wallén, a discography of recordings with Woodman as a soloist outside the Ellington orchestra and an excerpt about Woodman from Kurt Dietrich’s book ”Duke’s Bones – Ellington’s Great Trombonists”.

Another main feature in the new Bulletin is Bo Haufman’s five-page article about trumpeters, who played with Ellington during shorter periods like Jabbo Smith, Louis Metcalf, Shorty Baker, Al Killian, Rolf Ericson, Herbie Jones, Jimmy Coles and a hand-full of others.

There is also an interesting article by the late comic book writer and music critic Harvey Pekar about Ellington’s bassists. It is a reprint from the ”Bass Player” magazine from 2000.

Besides these three articles, there is, of course, a lot of other good reading in the new Bulletin.

Particularly, the Swedish readers shouldn’t miss Thomas Harne’s report from the December meeting of DESS. It tells in an elegant way what all DESS members, who did not show up for the meeting, missed.


DESS Bulletin 2017-4

The new issue of the Bulletin has been published and is on its way to DESS members. As usual, a lot of good and interesting reading.

The feature articles this time is about Louie Bellson. Over four pages, Bo Haufman, who had met Bellson personally, paints a portrait of him. He gives us Bellson’s career and his time(s) with Ellington but also Bellson -the drummer and Bellson – the composer. A separate article descibes Bellson’s drumkit as it was circa 1952.

The new issue also has another article by Fred Glueckstein related to early Ellington films. This times it deals with Fredi Washington – the co-star in the film-short ”Black and Tan”.

These are the articles in English this time but for those, who able to read Swedish, there are another four to enjoy. One gives snapshots of what the local press wrote about Ellington’s 1963 tour and another is a reprint from the Swedish jazz magazine ”Estrad” from April 1947, in which Nils Färnström tells about his visit to Harlem and particularly to Apollo Theatre.

The other two articles in Swedish come from the hand of Bo Haufman. One is about Bojangles and the other a review of a concert by Stockholm Swing Stars ”In the Spirit of Duke Ellington” in September 2017.

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.


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