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Ellington interviewed in Sweden, England and Denmark

Ellington was frequently interviewed during his concert tours all over the world. The website has already published some of those interviews like the CBC one by Bryng Whittaker on September 2, 1964 (https://ellington.se/2016/09/09/duke-ellington-cbc-interview-september-2-1964) and the one by Willis Conover in 1973 (https://ellington.se/2017/05/23/conover-interviews-ellington-1973/).

Here are three more.

During his visit to Sweden in 1971, the TV producer Gunilla Marcus managed to get Ellington to sit down with her for a talk after the second concert in Uppsala.

In 1964, Ellington started his European tour in England where he stayed 16 days. According to the indispensable TDWAW (http://tdwaw.ca/), they arrived on 15 February, most likely in the morning. Later in the day trumpeter and band leader Humphrey Lyttleton and the Melody Maker jazz critic Max Jones interviewed Ellington for BBC.

In the interview Ellington talks about how he started his musical career in Washington D.C., how he went on to establish himself in New York (NYC) and about Billy Strayhorn’s arrival in his life.

It is an excerpt of a longer interview. If anyone of the readers of the web site has the longer one, please contact the DESS web editor.

The last interview is from Ellington’s visit to Copenhagen in 1958, when he was interviewed on the news program Aktuelt Kvarter by a Danish journalist on September 7, 1958.

Ellington politely answers the questions of the journalist who summaries the answers in Danish. At the end of the interview Ellington says that he could do without the analysts and just keep the listeners.

Ellington In Stockholm 1965 (1)

Ellington’s 1965 European tour lasted from January 25 to February 28. It started in France where Duke and the orchestra performed in Paris, and Lyon. They then went north, first to Copenhagen (Denmark) and then to Sweden for concerts in Lund, Malmö and Stockholm. After stops in Germany and Switzerland, the tour ended with two weeks of concerts (and a telecast) in England from February 13 to February 28

Ellington’s concerts in Stockholm took place on February 2 and the venue was Konserthuset (Stockholm Concert Hall).

 

Photo and copyright: Roland Sterner

The two concerts – one at 7 pm and one at 9pm – were well attended but the critics were rather negativ.

Orkesterjounalen’s Bertil Sundin seems to have had his opinion formed already before the concerts started. ”One can not expect that this group of older gentlemen will sound particularly inspired and in Stockholm on February 2 they didn’t ” he wrote. Sundin only had positiv comments  on Johnny Hodge’s performance of ”Come Sunday” and Paul Gonsalves’ of Chelsea Bridge. However, Leif Anderson reviewing the Ellington concerts in Copenhagen, Lund and Malmö also in Orkesterjournalen was much more positiv.

The two reviews are available in the Ellington Archive

One of the concerts were broadcasted by Swedish Radio, most likely the second one, and DESS members can listen to it and download it in the Goodies Room. Here is a short excerpt from the broadcast.

The Opener

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Ellington gör entré

Alf Arvidsson, professor vid Institutionen för kultur- och medievetenskaper vid Umeå universitet, har gjort tillgänglig för DESS’ medlemmar en rapport med de första artiklarna om Duke Ellington i svensk press. Den finns upplagd i Ellington-arkivet – här

omslag

Rapporten ingår i en serie undersökningar i projektet ”Svenska jazzdiskurser 1919-1969” om olika sätt att skriva om jazz i Sverige, från de första omnämnandena 1919 och in på 60-talet. Tanken är att projektet, som pågår till slutet av 2018, ska utmynna i en kommenterad antologi.

Alf har också skrivit nedanstående sammanfattning av rapporten för DESS’ webbplats. Han tar gärna emot kommentarer och hans epost-adress är alf.arvidsson@umu.se

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