DUKE ELLINGTON SOCIETY OF SWEDEN

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A Birthday Party with Duke Ellington and His Orchestra (2)

jimmy-jones

Jimmy Jones also took part in the birthday party

The first part of Bob Udkoff’s birthday party ended with Duke at the piano playing New World A-Comin’, an important composition of his from the first part of the 1940’s. After a number of attemped intros, the second part of the celebrations starts with New York City Blues, a sweet little tune that was introduced at Carnegie Hall in 1947 and very seldom played in later years. Jimmy Jones joins Ellington at the piano in Fats Waller’s Just Squeeze Me, and then Johnny Hodges plays in his usual solo style Drag, Prelude To A Kiss and Things Ain’t What they Used To Be, the latter being cut short because the tape ran out.

New York City Blues and birthday chatter

After Johnny Hodges’ performances, it is Cootie Williams’ turn to handle I’m Beginning To See The Light and then Satin Doll is played yet another time as background to Duke’s introduction of Bob Udkoff and his wife Evelyn which is followed by a speech by Udkoff and a joint performance of the band and guests of Happy Birthday. (mer…)

Duke at The Hollywood Empire in 1949 (3)

Tom Breneman's Hollywood Restaurant

The predecessor to The Hollywood Empire was called Tom Breneman’s

Thomas Breneman Smith (June 18, 1902 – April 28, 1948) was a popular 1940s American radio personality known to his listeners as Tom Breneman. For most of his career, he was based in Southern California, in Los Angeles and Hollywood. His radio program was such a success that he established  Tom Breneman’s Restaurant in Hollywood, which attracted many actors, musicians and others. In 1948 it was renamed The Hollywood Empire with Gene Norman as one of the partners. For the opening in December 1948, Woody Herman’s 2nd Herd was hired and before Duke Ellington and his orchestra appeared in Februari 1949, both Louis Armstrong and Billy Eckstine appeared there. Our third programme from The Empire is also from Februari 1949, according to New Desor, the session number is DE4906 which would indicate that the recording date is after February 10. Below you can listen to one of Kay Davis’ better performances from the period, He Makes Me Believe.

Kay Davis sings

The complete broadcast, originally issued as  AFRS Jubilee J-349 can be found in the Goodies Room. (mer…)

The Duke at The Hollywood Empire in 1949 (2) with Billie Holiday

Duke & Billie

Duke & Billie around 1949

Our next visit to the Empire Hotel in Hollywood brings you music from February 9, 1949, originally issued on AFRS JJ-47 (AFRS=Armed Forces Radio Service). It has not been issued commercially, but one of the numbers, The Tattooed Bride, appears on an LP record presented at the Ellington-90 conference. Our source tape also includes two numbers sung by Billie Holliday, but it is not known whether this was part of the original broadcast material or if the Holiday songs were inserted for a re-broadcast. Be that as it may, it is always a pleasure to listen to her singing.

Billie sings Miss Brown To You

Members will find the complete recording from this occasion in the Goodies Room, the sound quality being acceptable, and hopefully the contents is of interest. (mer…)

Ellington at Cirkus in 1966 – TV Concert set 2

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Ella sings Satin Doll

Around a year ago we wrote, when presenting a copy of a telecast from Cirkus in Stockholm on Feb. 8, 1966: ”The first set of the Cirkus concert was undoubtedly telecasted by Swedish Television (and was also rebroadcasted by the French TV-station M6 around 1990). However, it is more doubtful if the second set was ever broadcasted. The new DESOR lists it as ”Pre-rec for SR telecast” and so far a video copy of a telecast of the second set has not surfaced.” A copy of the second part has now been found to prove that it was in fact telecasted, although the date is not exactly known. The name of the TV programme was ”Ella at Duke’s Place” and it is now presented to the DESS members in the Goodies Room. (mer…)

Black, Brown and Beige (2)

carnegie-hall-concerts-19431947-8-cd-box-set

                   Duke Ellington & His Orchestra at Carnegie Hall 1943

Joe Williams i The Blues

Black, som är den första delen av Black, Brown and Beige tar c:a 20-21 minuter att spela och de övriga, Brown och Beige är tillsammans något längre så att hela verket tar mellan 45 och 50 minuter att framföra, beroende på vilken version man lyssnar på. För en publik som var van att höra jazzorkestrar spela en standardrepertoar av 3 minuters-nummer, blev detta kanske lite tråkigt. Black blir genom sina motiv i slaveriet ganska tung musik att lyssna på, men bilden förändras när vi kommer till nästa avsnitt som då kallas Brown. Här ges en bild av afro-amerikanernas bidrag under krigen mot spanjorerna i Karibien (West Indian Dance), scener från amerikanska inbördeskriget samt därefter ”the lighter attitude” som rådde ett tag därefter. Brown avlutas med The Blues (Ain’t Nothin’). Den sjöngs vid konserten av Betty Roché som vid tillfället var ny i orkestern. Ivie Anderson hade ju dragit sig tillbaka strax dessförinnan. (mer…)

Black, Brown and Beige

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Duke Ellingtons introduktion till Black, Brown and Beige

Den 23 januari 1943, alltså för i dagarna 75 år sedan, gjorde Duke Ellington och hans orkester sitt första framträdande i New Yorks välkända Carnegie Hall i vad som skulle bli en serie av årliga händelser under 1940-talet. Denna konsert har blivit legendarisk av flera skäl, men det kanske främsta var att här presenterades Ellingtons kanske viktigaste komposition, Black, Brown and Beige, för första gången och i sin helhet.

Den kompletta kompositionen lär har framförts endast tre gånger, förutom vid detta tillfälle också i Boston den 28 januari samt i Cleveland den 20 februari. Konserterna från NYC och Boston finns bevarade, men ljudkvaliteten är inte direkt överväldigande, särskilt inte vad gäller Black.

Någon studioinspelning av det kompletta verket gjordes aldrig, varför det tog många år innan det gick att lyssna på live-inspelningen från Carnegie Hall som utgavs på Prestige 1977. Däremot skapades en svit som likaledes kallades Black, Brown and Beige, och senare gavs ut fyra 78-varvssidor, med utvalt och något omarbetat material jämfört med originalkompositionen. Senare kom Ellington att ”låna” åtskilliga avsnitt ur B, B & B för t. ex. My People, Sacred Concerts etc. och vissa av scenerna i samband med konserter senare under åren. Dessutom gjordes 1965 en studioinspelning av Black som hamnade  i Ellingtons berömda ”stockpile” och sedermera gavs ut på ”The Private Collection” (mer…)

Happy New Year, Duke!

Bildresultat för Blue Note

In the 1950’s Duke Ellington and his orchestra visited Blue Note in Chicago many times. In particular, it was his main venue for New Year’s celebrations, and he played there every New Year’s Eve from 1951 to 1959, except for 1954 when he visited Basin Street East in NYC. You are duly invited to listen to the festivities as they sounded on December 31, 1957 and Jan 1, 1958, exactly 60 years ago, and if you are a DESS member you will find parts of two broadcasts in the Goodies Room.

Midnight at the Blue Note Dec. 31, 1957

The orchestra members at this time were as follows: Harold Baker, Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry and Ray Nance on trumpets, Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson and John Sanders on trombones, Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Paul Gonsalves and Harry Carney on reeds, Ellington, Jimmy Woode and Sam Woodyard in the rhythm section, Jimmy Grissom and Ozzie Bailey vocals. (mer…)

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