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Ellington’s 1965 European tour lasted from January 25 to February 28. It started in France where Duke and the orchestra performed in Paris, and Lyon. They then went north, first to Copenhagen (Denmark) and then to Sweden for concerts in Lund, Malmö and Stockholm. After stops in Germany and Switzerland, the tour ended with two weeks of concerts (and a telecast) in England from February 13 to February 28
Ellington’s concerts in Stockholm took place on February 2 and the venue was Konserthuset (Stockholm Concert Hall).
Photo and copyright: Roland Sterner
The two concerts – one at 7 pm and one at 9pm – were well attended but the critics were rather negativ.
Orkesterjounalen’s Bertil Sundin seems to have had his opinion formed already before the concerts started. ”One can not expect that this group of older gentlemen will sound particularly inspired and in Stockholm on February 2 they didn’t ” he wrote. Sundin only had positiv comments on Johnny Hodge’s performance of ”Come Sunday” and Paul Gonsalves’ of Chelsea Bridge. However, Leif Andersson reviewing the Ellington concerts in Copenhagen, Lund and Malmö also in Orkesterjournalen was much more positiv.
The two reviews are available in the Ellington Archive
One of the concerts were broadcasted by Swedish Radio, most likely the second one, and DESS members can listen to it and download it in the Goodies Room. Here is a short excerpt from the broadcast.
Willie Smith and Harold Baker are soloing in Sophisticated Lady
To complete our series of broadcasts from the Meadowbrook in New Jersey, we can now present to the DESS members, in the Goodies Room, the final recording from this venue. For this event, discographies do not specify the exact date, only June 1951. According to the New DESOR, it was once issued on VOA POD-41/POD-42, but the exact circumstances are not known. VOA stands for Voice Of America, so this music was probably sent over its own network.
Like all previous recordings from Meadowbrook in June 1951, this one also comes from an MBS broadcast. The following numbers were played:
All Day Long*Sophisticated Lady*The Hawk Talks*Midriff*Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’*Caravan (mer…)
This article covers the MBS “Coast To Coast” broadcast with Ellington and his orchestra from Meadowbrook on June 11, 1951. The full broadcast is available to DESS members in the Goodies Room.
Announcing the broadcast, the presenter says that it comes “to you from Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook here on Route 23, the newest Pompton Turnpike in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, just a short fifteen miles from New York City”.
The Newark-Pompton Turnpike was a roadway in northern New Jersey that was originally a tolled turnpike. The roadway was first laid out in the mid-18th century and given its name in 1806. As originally designed, it connected Newark with the area north and west of the Pompton River in what is now Riverdale.
The songwriters (and bandleaders) Will Osborne and Dick Rogers wrote a song – Pompton Turnpike – in 1940. It is a strong plug for Meadowbrook. The lyrics says “Pompton Turnpike leads you / To a place not far from Broadway / Still it’s on a farm. / You dine with lights subdued / The music interlude puts you right in the mood.”
Charlie Barnet recorded the song in an instrumental version on July 19, 1940 and Louis Jordan followed suite with a vocal version on September 30.
In the broadcast, Ellington features the following songs: Take The A Train & intro*VIP’s Boogie*Jam With Sam*Don’t Get Around Much Anymore*Sultry Serenade*Duet*Love You Madly*The Hawk Talks*The Happening*Gotta Go (mer…)
I DESS-rummet finns det en tillfällig avdelning som heter ”Julklapp / Christmas Gift”. Där hittar man alla ”godbitar”, som gjorts tillgängliga till DESS’ medlemmar sedan starten av webbplatsen plus en ny med speciell anknytning till Sverige. Avdelningen finns på plats fram tills nyår!
In the DESS Lobby , there is a new temporary section called ”Julklapp / Christmas Gift”. There you will find all the ”goodies”, which have been made available to the members of DESS since the launch of the website. In case you have missed one of them, this is the opportunity for you to download it. The section is there only for one week, It also contains one new ”goodie” with a Swedish flavour.
We wish you all God Jul & Merry Christmas!!
Ulf & Anders
Frank Dailey & Duke Ellington
The Eighth Veil
Back in Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook Ballroom it is now June 10 in 1951. The programme offered to our members this time is the sixth in our series and comes from an MBS broadcast. Three of the seven numbers that we present have been issued on records, but on difficult-to-get labels like VOA and Swing Treasury.
The broadcast starts with a very nice rendition of Warm Valley, by Paul Gonslaves. This tune had hitherto mainly been connected with Johnny Hodges fine alto sax playing, but in his absence it was taken over by Paul, who plays it beautifully. Next Al Hibbler faces a similar challenge singing Flamingo, which was one of Herb Jeffries’ hits back in December 1941. Hibbler is not doing so badly either, and the arrangement seems to be the same as the original, which was written by Billy Strayhorn. Tea For Two became a solo-piece for Willie Smith during his reletively short stay with the band, and here he shows what an outstandig alto sax player he was.
Eighth Veil, with a trumpet solo by Cat Anderson is next. Not so much ”pyro-technics” by Cat this time, he could also play very well in the lower and medium registers, which he proves here, and one feels that due to his role in the orchestra, he might have been somewhat under-rated in comparison with other trumpet players. Eight Veil, jointly credited ro Ellington and Strayhorn, has an interesting background in that it is derived from another tune called Out Of This World by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.
Listen to Ray Nance in the next number! He plays a very unusual trumpet solo in Blue Lou, a Chick Webb hit, composed by Edgar Sampson. The broadcast ends with Creole Love Call, which Duke himself tells us he remembers from when he was 5 yers old!
When Duke Ellington and his orchestra embarked on his 1969 tour of Europe, the Second Sacred Concert was set to be performed as well. The first possibility to do so occurred in Stockholm on 6 November 1969, where Alice Babs would be a vital ingredient who was also available to to take part. This memorable occasion took part in one of the churches in central Stockholm, the Gustav Vasa church. Of the band’s ordinary members at the time, Herbie Jones and Buster Cooper stayed behind in the USA, and for this concert they were replaced by the Swedish musicians Rolf Ericson and Gunnar Medberg. British trumpeter Ambrose Jackson was also added to the trumpet section. There were also dancers taking part and last but not the least the show was supported by the Swedish Radio Choir, under the direction Eric Ericson. The scene was thus set for a memorable performance. DESS members will be able to look at or download the first part of the concert in the Goodies Room, as it was televised by Swedish Radio. Above you can enjoy Almighty Good, a duet with Alice Babs and Russell Procope. (mer…)
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 and downloading it its totality in the Goodies Room. A clip from the show can be seen below: