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After a break of almost four and a half years, Danish Radio resumed its broadcasting of Ellington material from the Mercer Ellington donation by putting on the air three programs in July, 1990. They had been put together by Fleming Sjølund-Jensen, who was also the presenter in the programs.
The program broadcasted on July 9, 1990 is the third DESS “goodie” this month. It is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.
The program starts with two selections from an stockpile session, Love You Madly and Satin Doll . Both of them are mainly showcases for Paul Gonsalves.
Sjølund-Jensen gives the date for this session as January 29, 1957 and in the first volume of the Private Collection (LMR 83000), where they are included, it is Dec 16, 1956.
However, in NDESOR the reciording date for the two songs is revised to February 1957.
Between the two songs, there is an excerpt of an interview of Ellington in March 1962, in which he talks about from where he got the name Duke and the origin of the “Love You Madly” phrase.
Next, the broadcast turns to the April 14, 1965 stockpile session April 14, 1965 and Sjølund-Jensen lets the listerners hear Blues take 2 and Limbo take 1 and 2.
The session produced six songs, which were later included in the Concert in the Virgin Islands album but the two in the broadcast – Blues (aka Big Fat Alice’s Blues) take 2 and Limbo take 1 and 2 are not among them.
The broadcast continues with three songs from a concert broadcast by the King-FM radio station from the DJ’s at 2214 4th Avenue in Seattle –The Shepherd, Drag and Take The A Train (theme) The first is of course a feature for Cootie Williams and the second for Johnny Hodges. The first documented performance of Drag is actually the first concert in Stockholm on January 24, 1967.
After this, we hear part of a recording session in Chicago on March 16, 1962 with Milt Grayson in the central role. On this occasion he recorded five Ellington songs with a small Ellington group . One of them being The Blues Ain’t and the six takes of it ends the broadcast. Ellington is coaching in this part of the stock pile session and Strayhorn is at the piano.
The program of the Ellington ’92 conference also included a presentation on the Mercer Ellington donation to Danish Radio. It was delivered by Erik Wiedemann, Bjarne Busk and Flemming Sjølund Jensen.
Photo: Bjarne Busk
First Erik Wiedemann spoke about Mercer Ellington’s donation of 781 Ellington tapes to Danish Radio on the condition that it would properly mixed onto new tapes.
Then Bjarne Busk and Flemming Sjølund Jensen followed up by letting the audience listen to examples from the archive.
Busk talked among other things about his excitement when he listened to the first tape, which started with what turned out to be Pastel from the Degas Suite. He also gave some figures on the donation. 443 tapes were studio recordings from 128 dates. There was also 69 tapes with live recordings from 35 occasions and 53 tapes with interviews of Ellington.
Photo: Bjarne Busk
Busk finished his presentation by playing a recording from the Aug. 18, 1966 session “which will never be issued” but also other examples from the tapes were included in it.
Sjølund Jensen focused his presentation on an untitled blues recorded on Nov. 23, 1968 and used it to demonstrate “how Ellington and the band developed their material”. He very much featured Lawrence Brown in his clips.