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Concerts in Sweden 1969

Stockholm 4 Nov. 1969, 2nd concert

Norris Turney soloing on flute in Fife

At the end of  1969, Norris Turney, was a recent addition to the Duke Ellington organization. Together with Harold Ashby he was obviously intended to fill the gap resulting from Jimmy Hamilton’s leaving the band in 1968. Turney got solo opportunities on alto sax , tenor sax, clarinet and flute, whereas Ashby who joined the band somewhat earlier in 1968,  got some solo space on clarinet, but mainly stuck to his tenor sax. With Turney, the jazz flute was introduced in the band, and Fife became his tour de force. Ashby is here featured in I Can’t Get Started where he shows what a fine ballad player he is. Both Turney and Ashby were later on later on to figure in In Triplicate (with Paul Gonsalves) and In Quadruplicate (with Gonsalves and Ben Webster).

The present concert, which was broadcast by SRT, also includes La Plus Belle Aricaine, which was a number that was played in nearly all concerts at that time. You will find the recording of the 2nd concert in the Goodies Room. (more…)

Ellington Interviewed by Michael Parkinson 1973

In the first days of January 1973, Ellington made a short trip to Paris and London to record in three telecasts.

In London, he was interviewed on January 5 by Michael Parkinson for his famous BBC talk show Parkinson (aka Mike Parkinson Show).

The series begun in 1971 and run on and off until 2004 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson_(TV_series)).

Many famous personalities appeared in the show but Ellington  seems to have been the only one from the world of jazz.

The telecast with Ellington was aired on February 24, 1973 and the DESS website is happy to be able to let its visitors listen to the soundtrack.

The hour-long conversion between Parkinson and Ellington covered a lot of topics Many of them have been covered in other interviews but it is obvious that Ellington felt very relaxed with Parkinson and allowed his thoughts to flow freely.

At the end of the program, Ellington was invited to sit down at the piano. He chose to play a short version of Lotus Blossom after which the studio orchestra joined him in Satin Doll.

Enjoy the interview!

DR Duke Ellington Broadcasts (44)

A new set of programs  with Ellington material from the Mercer Ellington donation was put on the air by Danish Radio in the Spring of 1991. The first one was broadcasted on March 26, 1991. It was produced and presented by Bjarne Busk.

It is the the second “goodie” this month and is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

The program starts with a nice selection.

In the Mercer donation, Busk had found a record with three songs from Ellington’s six weeks engagement at Trianon Ballroom in Southgate, California in April and May 1942. It starts with Ivie Anderson singing The One You Love Belongs To Somebody Else. It is the only documented occasion when this song was performed by the Ellington band but it might have been performed on other occasions as well.

Next comes the first part of Body And Soul featuring Harry Carney and Herb Jeffries. Unfortunately, it is not complete. Missing is the end of Jeffries singing and the bridge by Ellington and Greer. Perhaps there was not enough space on the disc.

When Busk turns it over, Body And Soul continues with part two – an uptempo version played by Ben Webster. This fades into the station signing off followed by a Take The A Train theme. The NDESOR numbers are DE4206a-c

After the visit to Trianon Ballroom, Busk jumps almost 30 years to  a 1971 stockpile recording session in New York City. Busk gives the date as May 14 while NDESOR lists it as from May 13.

The session starts with Nell Brookshire (aka Bobbie Gordon) singing Lover Man. She was with Ellington from the end of December 1970 to mid-February 1972.

Only one of the three takes is a rather full version. Take 6, which is not included in the broadcast, has been issued by Storyville on the Togo Brava Suite CD (STCD 8323).

The May 13, 1971 section of the brodcast ends with Ocht O’Clock Rock (-8 brk and -9) and Charpoy (-10) with Wild Bill Davis as solist.

Ocht O’Clock Rock (-9) is the version included in the original Afro-Eurasian Eclipse LP (Fantasy 9489).

Next comes selections from another 1971 stock pile session, this time the one from the February 11. It is a session basically dedicated to Afro-Eurasian Eclipse material but also some other songs were recorded.

The first selection is two tune with no titles. In NDESOR, they are listed as Blues No. 17 (DE7106a-b). The first one is a very short false start but the second is a full version. Busk says that theme of the 12 bar blues reminds him of the theme of Miles Davis Freddie Freeloader. Anyhow, Norris Turney is the solist but Rufus Jones makes himself very present as well.

13 takes of Gong were recorded in the session and Busk plays six of them (-1fs), -2, -4fs, -5brk, -6 brk, 7 brk, 8 fs and -15).The last one is a six minutes full version with Wild Bill David, Duke Ellington and Paul Gonsalves as soloists. None of the recordings of Gong in the February 11 session have been issued.

The last selections from February 11 are three incomplete versions of Tang (-17brk, -18brk and -19brk).

The broadcast ends with the version of Tang included in the Afro-Eurasian Eclipse album. It was recorded on February 17, 1971.



Concerts in Sweden 1969

Stockholm 4 Nov. 1969, 1st concert

lawrence brown

Lawrence Brown plays Serenade To Sweden

When Duke Ellington & his Orchestra arrived in Sweden on Nov. 4, 1969 it was nearly three years after the previous visit in January 1967. In the mean-time some important changes in the band’s personnell had taken place in that Ambrose Jackson and Rolf Ericson were now part of the  trumpet section (at least temporarily), Herbie Jones gone. Buster Cooper was gone as well, leaving the trombone section with Lawrence Brown and Chuck Connors. Jimmy Hamilton had left, replaced by Harold Ashby and Norris Turney had been added to the saxophone section, making it six pieces strong. Victor Gaskin was new on bass and Wild Bill Davis and Tony Watkins had been added. These new musicians partly changed the sound of the band in that Norris Turney apart from playing reeds also played flute, which had hitherto been rare in the Ellington band. Harold Ashby added a new and easily recognizable tenor sound, but Jimmy Hamilton’s role on clarinet was never possible to be filled again, but in the band’s remaining years, Russell Procope, with his altogether different style, seemed to get more solo space. (more…)

Kurt Dietrich on Lawrence Brown

One of the outstanding presentations at the Ellington ’89 conference was the one given by Kurt Dietrich from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin about Lawrence Brown. Dietrich was at that time working on his doctoral dissertation on three Ellington trombone players and Brown was one of them.

To make his research handable, he focused on the period up to 1951 for all the three players.

His presentation in Washington D.C. gave examples of Brown’s playing during the 1932 to 1947 period and he tried to illustrate the different styles of Brown from the lyrical one to swinging one.

In most examples he only played excerpts of the recording but in some cases also the full one.

Here is the list of what Dietrich let the audience hear:

Sheik of Araby (1932)-Slippery Horn (1933)-Sophisticated Lady (1933)-Isn’t Love The Strangest Thing? (1936)-Rose Of The Grande (1938)-Blue Light (1938)-Braggin’ In Brass (1938)-Linger Awhile (1940)-Main Stem (1942)-On A Turquoise Cloud (1947)-Golden Cress (1947).


Concerts in Sweden 1967 (2)

Stockholm 24 January 1967, 2nd concert

Rufus Speedy Jones - DRUMMERWORLD

Rufus Jones, Duke’s new drummer in 1967

The details of the 2nd concert in Stockholm on Jan. 24, 1967, did not come to the attention of the Italian New DESOR discographers until 2002. When we recieved a CD-copy of the concert from Sjef Hoefsmit he commented it as follows (quoted in full):

“There has been some discussion about the concerts on this date in Stockholm. There were on a certain moment three candidates, three different recorded broadcasts, all with the claim to be from Stockholm, 24Jan67. The discussion was published in DEMS Bulletin 02/2-8 and continues in Bulletin 02/3-10-1&2. The conclusion was that there were only two concerts in Stockholm, and that one recorded concert was not from Stockholm but from Manchester, 10Feb67.

Jan Bruér, who attended both concerts in Stockholmon 24Jan67, was clever enough to make notes of the titles (what Hoefsmit also should have done in Amsterdam 0n 2Nov58). He gave us these titles in DEMS Bulletin 02/2-8. Some of the titles from the second concert were “fresh” fur us and not mentioned in New DESOR’s correction sheet 1044.

Jan Bruér was so kind to send us a copy of this concert in a remarkable high quality. A copy has been sent to Giovanni Volonté and Luciano Massagli, to include the titles and the description in the New DESOR.

DEMS, October 2007″


Concerts in Sweden 1967

Stockholm 24 January 1967, 1st concert

Duke Ellington (1967) / photo by Philippe Halsman | Musique classique,  Musiciens de jazz, Musicien

Duke in 1967

Duke Ellington’s European tour in 1967 started in Paris on January 13 and ended in the same city on March 10. Nearly all the dates in between were dedicated to concerts in at least 11 different countries. In Sweden, there were performances in Stockholm on January 24 and in Malmö two days later, with a visit to Oslo on the way. It must have been a crazy schedule! There are two concerts surviving from Stockholm, but we have no recordings from the Malmö event.

We now invite you to listen to the 1st concert from Stocholm’s Concert Hall. You’ll find it in the Goodies Room. The orchestra was more or less the same as the one visiting Sweden the previous year, with the exception that Rufus Jones was now seated behind the drums instead of Sam Woodyard and that Money Johnson was added to the trumpet section.

Lawrence Brown in Rue Bleu (more…)

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…)

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