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Concerts in Sweden 1966

Concerts in Stockholm 1966 (2)

DUKE & ELLA at Cirkus, Stockholm, Feb 8, 1966 | DUKE ELLINGTON ...

Action att Cirkus in Stockholm 1966

Ella sings Duke’s “favorite” tune

In contrast to the first concert from Stockholm’s Concert Hall on February 7, 1966, the second concert was broadcast by Swedish Radio. There was one broadcast on February 21 and one on March 11. Ella Fitzgerald and her trio were also part of this concert, but we strictly follow the New Desor on in our programming, meaning that Ella Fitzgerald is omitted, except for the two tunes att the end of the concert. The two concerts are not identical in contents, but differences are slight. (more…)

Concerts in Sweden 1965-66

Concerts in Stockholm 1966

Ella Fitzgerald with Duke Ellington: It Don't Mean A Thing (1965 ...

In our endeavor to publish Duke Ellington’s concerts in Sweden in chronological order, you will have noticed that the only surviving concert from 1965 was extensively covered in three different articles in April-May 2017. We will therefore continue with events in Stockholm 1966. That year there were two concerts at the Stockholm Concert Hall (Konserthuset) on February 7 and a televised concert from Cirkus on February 8, which we previously have presented in videoformat. The two concerts in the Concert Hall have never been issued on record, nor have have we presented them in these pages, but some numbers have found their way on LP records.

The 1966 tour was organized by Norman Granz and in the concerts the time was divided more or less equally by Duke and his orchestra and Ella Fitzgerald and her trio.

Cotton Tail with Ella Fitzgerald

We here present parts of the first concert (we have left out the parts where Ellington is not present in order to avoid a too large music file) in the Goodies Room. We have no evidence of this part ever being broadcast, in contrast to the second concert which was indeed broadcast by SR. (more…)

Concerts in Sweden 1964

Gothenburg March 11, 1964


Konserthuset in Gothenburg

Harry Carney in Agra

On the above date, there were two concerts at Konserthuset in Gothenburg. In our previous comments on the concerts in Stockholm, which took place two days earlier, we gave part of the story associated with these concerts. A more detailed account of this may be found in DEMS 12/1-6 which can be found in the DESS archive section. There is no to us available recording of the complete concert, but we have recordings from the 2nd concert from two main sources:

1. SR broadcast of edited parts of the concert  ( in bold below)

2. Pablo CD 2308-245 “HARLEM”

The complete concert contents were suggested by Sjef Hoefsmit to be as follows:

*Take The A Train*Black And Tan Fantasy/Creole Love Call/The Mooche*Perdido*Amad*Agra*Blue Bird Of Delhi*Depk*The Opener*Happy Reunion*Wailing Interval (AKA Blow By Blow)*HARLEM*Caravan*Tootie For Cootie*Isfahan*Things Ain’t What They Used To Be*All Of Me*The Prowling Cat*Kinda Dukish & Rockin’ In Rhythm*Satin Doll*Jones & bc close* (more…)

Concerts in Sweden 1964

Fichier:Duke Ellington 1964.jpg

Duke Ellington in 1964

If there is an abundance of surviving recordings from Duke Ellington’s tours in Sweden 1963, the resulting recordings from the 1964 tour is rather meagre with only three  cities visited: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö with two concerts each. We have at hand a copy of parts of the first concert in Stockholm, and the complete program from 2nd concert from Gothenburg (from various sources). No copies have survived from the Malmö visit.

Paul Gonsalves plays Happy Reunion

The circumstances surrounding these concerts were for a long time unclear, where parts of the Gothenburg concert were thought to be from the 2nd concert in Stockholm. DESS was able to support the late Sjef Hoefsmit to sort this problem out. We can therefor present parts of the first concert in Stockholm on March 9, 1964 to our members. You’ll find it in the Goodies Room. (more…)

Dance Dates in Sweden 1963

Amiralen – Wikipedia

Amiralen in Malmö

There are two surviving recordings of dance dates with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in Sweden in 1963  –  one from Dans In  at Gröna Lund in Stockholm from June 8  and one from Malmö in  the south of Sweden on June 19.

The website published a longer article about the dance date at  Gröna Lund with lots of photos on September 1, 2018

The dance date was recorded by Benny Åslund with the permission of Ellington. He managed to get more than two hours of music on his tapes.

There are no other recording of the dance so it must have been the source in one form or the other of the double CD album that Storyville issued in 2018.


Duke Ellington In Gröna Lund - Storyville Records - The Best in ...


Concerts in Sweden 1963

Gröna Lund in June 1963

Ellington at Gröna Lund June 1963 (1) | DUKE ELLINGTON SOCIETY OF ...

Duke directing the band in one of the outdoors sessions

After the February visit to Sweden, Cat Anderson left the band temporarily, to turn up again with the band at Newport in July. He was replaced by Eddie Preston, another change in the trumpet section was that Rolf Ericson replaced Roy Burrowes, but the rest of the band was the same as in February. The band played concerts and provided dance music at Gröna Lund from June 4 to 9. Seven outdoor concert from the main scene (see picture above) and one indoor dance date from Dans In have survived. The outdoor concerts were more or less identical, consisting of

*Intro*Take The A Train*Afro-Bossa*Perdido*Medley*Take The A Train*

In one case it ends with the Medley (Take The A Train omitted) and in another case it ends with Satin Doll instead of Take The A Train.  An example from June 4 can be enjoyed below:

Perdido from June 4 with Rolf Ericson


Concerts in Sweden 1963

Kalmar Sporthall Feb. 9 1963


The Kalmar Castle

Duke Ellington’s Nordic tour in February 1963 ended with two concerts in Kalmar in the southeast of Sweden on February 9, The band had arrived in England on January 11 to return to USA on March 15 from Paris. During this time more than 30 concert venues had been visited and also some visits to recording studios. Kalmar was one of the lesser towns on this tour, but there was obviously great local interest in this event. Following is part of an article in the local newspaper Barometern on February 11, 1963.

Kalmar 2

There  were two concerts that evening in Kalmar, and a fair part of the the first has survived and also the opening of the second. Below you’ll find a sound example from the first concert

Jimmy Hamilton in Caliné (Silk Lace)

All the recorded material can be found in the Goodies Room.


Concerts in Sweden 1963

Telecast from Cirkus, Stockholm, Feb. 7 , “INDIGO”

As was previously pointed out, this telecast was presented on the website on Nov. 24, 2016, but it has not been available for viewing for quite some time. We however want it to come in chronological context with the other Swedish Ellington concerts  we are currently presenting, so here it is again. Just click on start and you will be able to see the full telecast.

In November 2106, we wrote:


This very word makes you think about Duke Ellington’s music.

It has been used in some of his song-titles but in 1963, Swedish Television used this word as a title of a telecast from the famous concert venue in Stockholm, Cirkus. It was to be Alice Babs’ first appearance and collaboration with Duke Ellington and his orchestra.

The telecast was the brain-child of program producer Arne Arnbom, one of the creative and innovative producers at Swedish Television at that time.

He had a strong interest in ballet and jazz and had already produced some program merging them together like “Sax Appeal” from 1960 with music by the pianist/composet Nils Lindberg. Arnbom had also produced TV programs for Swedish Television with the Swe-Danes. Arne Arnbom was also a child-hood friend of Alice Babs.

Towards the end of 1962, Arnbom went to New York to present the project to Duke’s organization. He told them that he wanted to have a Swedish singer included in the program and that this singer should be Alice Babs.

To give a sense of her singing to his Ellington counterparts, he presented them with the LP album “Alice & Wonderband”, which Babs had recorded with Arne Domnérus’ orchestra in mid-1959 and which included three Ellington songs – “Prelude To A Kiss” among them.

The project and Babs were accepted and the program was recorded on February 7, 1963 following Ellington’s concert at the Stockholm Concert Hall the night before. It was broadcasted on April 6, 1963.

“Indigo” is undoubtedly one of the best telecasts with Ellington and his band. Bringing in Alice Babs to sing and adding ballet performances choreograph by the famous Swedish choreographer Birgit Cullberg makes it very special. Arne Arnbom’s direct and almost ascetic pictorial language contributes also a lot to this.

It is a great pleasure to be able to offer our members to share it by viewing it in its totality.


The opening, as well as the concluding theme is Mood Indigo, hence the name of the telecast, Indigo.

Alice Babs takes part in three numbers, Take The “A” Train, Take Love Easy and Come Sunday and it is obvious that Duke is quite impressed by her performance, a fact that would lead to the famous recording sessions with Duke three weeks later in Paris.

In Take The “A” Train which is partly dedicated to Babs, we also hear a nice solo by Paul Gonsalves. It is reported that Georg Riedel is responsible for arranging vocal part.

The songs played in the program are mostly from Ellington’s concert repertoire at the time and the list of them gives a strong hint of who the solosists are:

Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (Lawrence Brown), The Blues (Milt Grayson), The Eighth Veil (Cat Anderson), Star-Crossed Lovers (Johnny Hodges), Sophisticated Lady (Harry Carney), Honeysuckle Rose (Jimmy Hamilton), Take Love Easy (Alice Babs), Dancers In Love (Duke), I Got It Bad (Johnny Hodges), Guitar Amour (Ray Nance), Tootie For Cootie (guess who), Come Sunday (Alice Babs), Boola (Sam Woodyard).

The Royal Opera ballet dancers Marianne Orlando and Conny Borg perform the Birgit Cullberg choreography to the music of Star-Crossed Lovers (Romeo and Juliette) and Willy Sandberg and members of the Royal Opera Ballett the one to Boola.

There are quite some familiar and prominent jazz and Ellington fans in the audience, e.g. Leif Anderson, Olle Helander, Putte Wickman and others.

Be sure to enjoy this video!


A mix from Ellington ’90

We will finish our series of articles from Ellington ’90 in Ottawa with another three selections from the rich program of the conference.

Our first selection is the presentation of Kurt Dietrich on Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton. He did a presention on Ellington’s trombonists at the Ellington ’89 in Washington D.C. and his presentation in Ottawa was in a sense a follow-up to it.

His two books Ellington’s Trombonists and Jazz Trombonists are highly recommended.

By the time of the Ottawa conference, John E. Haase had been Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for six years. In this capacity, he was leading the work to turn the big collection of Duke Ellington documents and papers, which were transferred to the Smithsonian in 1988, into the Ellington Archive.

On the first day of the conference he chaired a panel of key members of his team, who presented different aspects of the Ellington Archive. On the last day of the conference, Haase put on his research cloths and gave a presentation titled Ellington Storms Europe, 1939 on Ellington’s second visit to Europe.

As in some earlier Ellington Study Group conferences, there was also a panel with mostly Ellington alumni. Harold Ashby, Butch Ballard, Bobby Boyd, Kenny Burrell, Wild Bill Davis and John Lamb was part of it and Patricia Willard was the moderator.



Concerts in Sweden 1963

Stockholm, February 6, 1963, 2nd concert, part 2

Bildresultat för duke ellington 1963

Action in 1963

Parts of the 2nd concert were broadcast by SR some time after the event and originally a recording from this broadcast was the only notation in Ndesor about the concerts in Stockholms Konserthus. Then in 2012 complete copies of both the 1st and 2nd concerts from the above date were discovered. This was the result of the work of a small group of people who set out to establish every trace of Duke Ellington’s surviving recordings from his concerts in Sweden. The end result of this work can be found in our archives section. Luckily, we were able to help Sjef Hoefsmit to solve the remaining mysteries regarding the “famous 5 LP box”, to his immense satisfaction, and this just a few months before he  passed away.

Bildresultat för Milt Grayson

Milt Grayson sings The Blues (more…)

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