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Blue Light 2017-3

The summer issue of Blue Light arrived in my mailbox in early July. It is marked by the sad passing away of DESUK chairman Geoff Smith in March last year but also provides some good Ellington reading.

The key feature is a 10 pages long article on Ellington at the piano. It is written by Jack Chambers – a regular contributor to Blue Light.

He guides us through Ellington’s  stylistic development as a pianist from someone being firmly anchored in the stride piano tradition to a man open to venture into post bop styles.

Chambers singles out the two LP albums – The Duke Plays Ellington (aka Piano Reflections) on Capitol and Money Jungle on United Artists – as highlights in Ellington’s pianist career. His reason: they are major advances in his way of dealing with the piano.

However, his choice for the ONE piano performance is the spontaneously played Lotus Blossom at the end of one of the recording sessions for the ”…And His Mother Called Him Bill” album.

Chambers also considers that the recital at the Whitney Museum in New York in 1972 – eternalized in the ”Live at the Whitney” CD album – ”might be the most comprehensive view of Ellington as a piano player”.

The original article was apparently written some years ago and even if it has been revised and updated there are a couple of mistakes.

On page 7 Chambers writes about the Paramount recording of Jig Walk which for almost 2o years is considered as a non-Ellington recording. He also says (page 11 and 15) that the recital at the MOMA in 1962 is unissued but Maison de Duke made it available on CD almost 1o years ago.

In addition to Chamber’s article, Blue Light provides us with reviews of recently issued Ellington CDs and concerts with Ellington music.

 

 

Stockholm 2004 revisited (1)

The 19th Duke Ellington Study Group conference took place in Stockholm May 12-15, 2004. Sven Eriksson – DESS member, Ellington collector, hi-fi expert and much more – recorded the proceedings on his cassette player and the result was 13 cassette tapes of music and presentations.

The box with Sjef Hoefsmit’s video and sounds tapes from the Study Group conferences included copies of them and this week the website will give a couple of examples of what is on the tapes.

Jan Bruér – musicologist, jazz historian, music producer, Ellington expert etc. – started the first full day of the conference with a presentation – ”Ellington In Swedish” – about Ellington music played by Swedish musicians. As you can here, he covered a lot of ground from the early 1940s to the 1970s. Many of the conference participants must have heard the music in the presentation for the first time.

Conover interviews Ellington 1973

Willis Conover and Duke Ellington were good friends and they got to know each other already when Conover arrived in Washington D.C. in the late 1940’s.

Source: Digital Library, North Texas University, Willis Conover Collection

Over the years, Conover interviewed Ellington many times and when one listens to the interviews, it is obvious that the two men respected each other highly.  This comes through very clearly in this last interview that Conover made with Ellington in April 1973.

Source: Digital Library, North Texas University, Willis Conover Collection

 

Föredrag av Gert Palmcrantz

Göran Axelsson spelade in Gert Palmcrantz’ föredrag på DESS-mötet den 27 april så att DESS-medlemmar som inte var närvarande nu kan lyssna på det i Ellington-arkivet.

Göran har gett webbplatsen följande kommentar till inspelningen.

”I DESS Bulletin 2017-02 såg jag inbjudan till medlemsmötet 28 april. Jag förstod att Gerts presentation skulle bli både något unikt för DESS och förmodligen även något alldeles enastående.

Eftersom Sällskapet har många medlemmar som inte har möjlighet att komma på medlemsmöten fick jag idén att försöka spela in Gerts presentation så att den kunde bli tillgänglig för alla DESS medlemmar.

Jag har ingen speciell inspelningsutrustning, men den nyinköpta smartphonen har ganska bra inbyggd mikrofon och ett stort minne – jag ville prova.

Gert Palmcrantz gav sitt medgivande till att inspelningen görs tillgänglig för alla DESS medlemmar via DESS’ webbplats i Ellington-arkivet.

Ett stort tack till Gert för detta!

Efter presentationen fick jag tillgång till Gerts manus med en spellista som innehåller värdefulla detaljer om musiken. Det framgår att Gert spelade 16 unika inspelningar av Duke Ellingtons musik. Ellingtons orkester spelade det första stycket.

Gert talade utan mikrofon och spelade upp musiken med två stora högtalare. Det blev ett ”nybörjarfel” av mig att talet har en lägre volym än musiken, men jag tror att du ska kunna ta del av vad han sade. Vrid gärna upp volymen!

Jag ha lyssnat 2 gånger på inspelningen – och vill intyga att Gerts presentation är enastående.”

 

Birdland, May 3, 1951

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Thelma Carpenter sings

Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me

We have one last recording from Birdland in May 1951 to offer our members in The Goodies Room, namely music from an ABC telecast titled ”The Kreisler Bandstand”, sponsored by a watchband manufacturer, named Jacques Kreisler and supposed to have taken place on May 3, 1951. (some sources say May 2). We here the same band as in all previous broadcasts in May and June 1951, but with two new singers, Thelma Carpenter and Avon Long, who were only to appear with Duke Ellington and his orchestra on this specific occasion. Both singers were well-known personalities in the entertainment world, Thelma Carpenter had replaced Helen Humes in the Basie orchestra, and Avon Long had been performing in the role of Sportin’ Life in Gershwin’s Porgy And Bess on Broadway. (mer…)

Duke Ellington at Birdland, June 30, 1951, part 2

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How High The Moon

The second part of the WMCA broadcast with Duke Ellington & his Orchestra continues. This part of the programme consists of:

*How High The Moon*Mood Indigo*Love You Madly#*Fancy Dan*Diminuendo In Blue/Wailing Interval/Crescendo In Blue¤*Take The A Train#/Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid into bc close*

# previously issued on Stardust 202

DESS members are welcome to the Goodies Room to listen or download.   (mer…)

Duke Ellington at Birdland, June 30, 1951, part 1

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Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid & broadcast intro

Ellington had a rather busy schedule in June 1951, with Meadowbrook and Birdland  being the most important engagements, the latter lasting from June 21 to June 30. We have an existing WMCA broadcast from June 30, with the same orchestra members as earlier in June. The first half of this broadcast can be found in the Goodies Room. The sound quality is not the best but some of the music was issued on record, long time ago (Stardust 202, 1975), and can probably be heard to better advantage with this record available. In this first part of the broadcast, the following numbers are included:

Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid*Take The Train*Midriff*Warm Valley#*Eighth Veil*The Hawk Talks*Flamingo*Boy Meets Horn#                                                                               # Stardust 202 (mer…)

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