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In addition to the 40 minutes film we presented on the website the other day, there is about one hour of raw material from the filming of the Second Sacred Concert in Saint Sulpice in Paris on Nov. 16, 1969.
Some of this material is identical to what appears in the film but it also features some of the songs that were left out from the film.
News clips are available too, they were filmed by ORTF during the rehearsal for the concert and the website has located a segment of one of them. ORTF was the agency responsible for public radio and television in France between 1964 and 1974.
Because of technical WordPress limitations, we have decided to present the material in four separate segments rather than edit all of them together in one clip.
We start with a snapshot from the rehearsal.
Then we move on to the moment when the audience arrives and the orchestra gets on stage to the organ music of Wild Bill Davis.
Next comes the moment when Ellington enters and is welcomed by the chaplain of Saint Sulpice. Then the concert starts and Ellington announces Harry Carney in Praise God. After this follow Supreme Being , Something ‘Bout Believing, Almighty God, The Shepherd , Heaven. And finally the segment ends with Freedom.
The last segment is the final 13 minutes of the film we brought to our readers on Nov. 19. It starts with Ellington paying tribute to Alice Babs, Tony Watkins, Harry Carney and The Swingle Singers for their performance of Freedom. He then announces a break. When he comes back, the film goes directly to Meditation and then continues with Alice Babs singing T.G.T.T and an incomplete version of Praise God And Dance.
With the four segments, we bring you most of what happened in Saint Sulpice on Nov. 16, 1969.
However, despite our efforts, we have not been able to find film clips with the performances of The Biggest, Dont Get Down On Your Knees and Father Forgive, which would have given us a complete version of the concert. Neither have we found clips with The Preacher’s Song and In The Beginning God, which, according to NDESOR, ended the concert.
Luckily, we have at our disposal a sound tape with the five missing songs. The tape seems to be the result of someone recording the concert from a television broadcast. There are two reasons we believe this. Firstly, the sound is very different from the two other film sources we have used; secondly, a French voice describes what is going on in the concert and interpret into French what Ellington says. This voice no doubt belongs to Phillipe Adler (see previous article) but we doubt that the tape was recorded from a Jazz 6 program. It simply does not sounds like one. So the sound on the tape must come from a telecast of the concert at the time.
The tape has everything that follows the performance of Freedom, that is The Biggest, Meditation (nc), Dont Get Down On Your Knees, Father Forgive, The Preacher’s Song and In The Beginning God. The sound quality of the tape is inferior but we have decided to publish it anyhow.
As part of the Alice Babs series in November and December 2016, the website published the first part of Ellington’s performance of the ”Second Sacred Concert” in the Gustav Vasa Church in Stockholm. The article was published on December 8, 2016 and can be read here.
The second part has now been recovered as well and it is available for DESS members in the Goodies Room as a present ahead of Duke’s 119th birthday on Sunday.
However, it is also available below in a more compressed version.
Duke in front of the band in Bergen
Early this summer, NRK – Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation – published a video file with an Ellington concert from Bergen on November 3, 1969 on its web site. This concert was said to have been telecast only once (June 1970), which is a long time ago.
Probably only a few people outside Norway had the opportunity to watch it. Because of this and the good quality of the video, we decided to make this available to the DESS members in the Goodies Room.
The content of the programme is what can be expected from this tour, with the exception of the the closing number Acht O’Clock Rock with Tony Watkins performing a strange show as a dancer. In this number, Cat Anderson plays a very nice solo trumpet, mainly in the lower and medium registers.
Otherwise, Cootie is the soloist in Take The A Train and Paul Gonsalves in Cottontail.
What we see in the video is obviously the second part of the concert; the first part was probably not recorded, judging from its absence in discographies and Duke’s introductory remark about Cootie returning to the solo microphone.. The full programme is as follows:
*Take The A Train*Cottontail*Up Jump*La Plus Belle Africaine*Come Off The Veldt*El Gato*Medley*Acht O’Clock Rock*
Below is a sound recording of Up Jump from the concert:
We hope you will enjoy the show!
Den 29 april 1899 föddes Edward Kennedy Ellington i Washington DC. Föräldrarna tillhörde stadens svarta medelklass och Duke, som han tidigt kom att kallas, fick en solitt borgerlig uppfostran. Duke brukade inte fira sina födelsedagar med något överdåd, men då han skulle fylla 70 år, hade han uppnått en sådan status i sitt hemland och världen i övrigt att inte ens USAs president kunde blunda för faktum.
President Nixon bjöd därför in till en hejdundrande fest i Vita Huset, med deltagande av många kända jazzprofiler. Denna fest finns bl. a. dokumenterad dels i form av en film, med kommentarer av Willis Conover och en bok betitlad ”Ellington At The White House 1969” författad av Edward Allan Faine. Filmen, som nu görs tillgänglig för DESS-medlemmarna i Godisrummet, skickades ursprungligen ut till ett antal olika USA-ambassader i världen i avsikt att användas i kulturellt propagandasyfte.
Den lades senare upp på YouTube av USAs kulturdepartement.
When Duke Ellington and his orchestra embarked on his 1969 tour of Europe, the Second Sacred Concert was set to be performed as well. The first possibility to do so occurred in Stockholm on 6 November 1969, where Alice Babs would be a vital ingredient who was also available to to take part. This memorable occasion took part in one of the churches in central Stockholm, the Gustav Vasa church. Of the band’s ordinary members at the time, Herbie Jones and Buster Cooper stayed behind in the USA, and for this concert they were replaced by the Swedish musicians Rolf Ericson and Gunnar Medberg. British trumpeter Ambrose Jackson was also added to the trumpet section. There were also dancers taking part and last but not the least the show was supported by the Swedish Radio Choir, under the direction Eric Ericson. The scene was thus set for a memorable performance. DESS members will be able to look at or download the first part of the concert in the Goodies Room, as it was televised by Swedish Radio. Above you can enjoy Almighty Good, a duet with Alice Babs and Russell Procope. (mer…)
On March 3, 1965, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired an one-hour long television program with Duke Ellington. It included sections of an interview made on September 2, 1994 and of performances of the Ellington orchestra and dancer Bunny Briggs recorded on September 3 and 4. The interview was made by Byng Whittaker – a famous CBC announcer and interviewer – and he got Ellington to relax and open up to his questions.
One of his questions were: ”Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?” and here is what Duke answered.
The tune on which Ellington improvises is ”Blue Tune” from 1932.
Whittaker asked of course many more questions. Duke’s answers to them and the music he played to illustrate them further can be heard on a tape, which will be available on the website in a couple of days. It will be accompanied by comments by the Ellington scholar Louis Tavecchio, who presented the program and the recordings to the 21st Study Group Conference in Woking, England in 2012.