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DR Ellington Broadcasts 47
Broadcast 47 took place on 25 June, 1991. As the previous broadcast on 28 May 1991, it was produced and presented by Fleming Sjølund-Jensen.
It is the the first “goodie” in March 2022 and is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.
This time, the program is a broadcast of a full concert – Ellington’s second concert in Uppsala in the late evening of 9 November 1971.
At the time of the DR broadcast, this concert had not been issued commercially but it had been broadcasted on Swedish Radio so many collectors had it on tape.
Since then, Storyville has issued the concert on CD. It did it in the summer of 2019 and the website published a long article about it on 11 August 2019. We also made the first concert available to DESS members in a follow up article on 20 November 2019.
However, even if the concert is widely available we have decided to publish an article also about broadcast 47 to have have covered all Danish Radio’s Ellington program when the series ends in some monnths.
The program starts with Love You Madly sung by Nell Brooksire. It is not from the Uppsala concert but from a stockpile recording session on 3 February, 1971.
DESS Ellington Meeting 2022
As announced last month, there will be a virtual DESS Ellington Meeting also this year.
It is organized by the editor of the website on behalf of DESS and with the support of a Program Committee.
The Meeting will take place on April 25, 26, 28 and 29 on Zoom. The language will be English as last year.
The program is ready and available in the Ellington Meeting section of the website.
12 speakers from different strata of the international Ellington community have agreed to make presentations. They will cover areas such as Duke Ellington and Leonard Bernstein, Ellington Medleys, Ellington’s Experimentation Techniques in New Orleans Suite, Boola, Dance to the Dukeand many more.
Registration will open on March 3.
Ellington At 50
Ellington turned 50 during his three weeks engagement at the Paramount Theater at Times Square in New York 20 April to 10 May 1949.
There are no traces of a big birthday party for him. It seems to have been just a normal working day with six performances to give.
However, in the breaks between the performances, Barry Ulanov interviewed him extensively for Metronome and the result was a three-page article published in the June issue of the magazine.
Judging from the article, Ulanov and Ellington talked about many things during the interviews.
One of them was the musical Ellington was working on with producer and lyricist/composer Sid Kuller to the theme of the route of the ‘A’ Train of the Independant Subway System in New York. “Oh, yes”, Ellington said according to Ulanov, “the band must play an important part in it. That’s our gimmick. To put a new sound into a Broadway theatre”.
The musical never materialized but perhaps there traces of it in the Ellington Archive at the Smithsonian?
Another topic was bebop. “Of course, bop’s in the air and naturally some people hear a little bit of it in our music”, Ellington says in the interview, “they thought there were some bop influences in The Tatooed Bride. Anyhow, I thought we offered a new departure in it.”
Ellington also commented on Charlie Parker. “He is just a great instrumentalist who’s been put in a category and just to oblige he may make a couple of bop statements here and there. But Charlie’s an individual. That’s not bop.”
Ulanov brought up atonality and counterpoint. “You know”, Ellington said about this, “the normal trends of jazz lead you lead so far from it that you can only indulge your interest in counterpoint for your own personal kicks ….. I like to do counterpoint, like it a lot.”
They also talked about the routining of musicals. “The secret of any dramatic art is routining” Ellington says in the article. “When the first show doesn’tgo over, you haven’t got a a week in New Haven and two in Philadelphia to straighten it out. You have got four or five more to do that day and six more tough days to go and you get it right by the second or third show or you are bust.”
The full article is available to DESS members in the section Articles in the Ellington Archive.
Ellington News-Nyheter 2022-1
I used to call this type of articles “Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces” but I think “Ellington News-Nyheter” is more relevant and I will call them this from now on.
DESS Bulletin 2022-1
The new issue offers – as usual – a lot of interesting reading both in Swedish and in English.
This time, the major article is about Lil Greenwood – “Duke’s Blues Belter” – who sung with the Ellington band for 30 months in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
This seven-page piece is written by DESS member Sven-Erik Baun Christensen and it gives the reader everything there is to know about Greenwood. He writes about her early career as gospel and R&B singer, her early records, her meeting and 30 months with the Ellington Orchestra and her years and appearances on the West Cost thereafter.
It is obvious that Sven-Erik has an affection for her and would like the Ellington community to learn more about her than what one finds in Ellington discographies.
In his view, her main contribution during the two and a half years with Ellington “was to bring to the band a new vocal earthiness, based in her gospel and blues background, that aroused the band and exited audiences”… “The studio recording of Walkin’ and Singin’ the Blues and the best of the concert performances released in later years are evidence that she was worthy of the distinction of being, if only for a short period, Duke Ellington’s female vocalist”.
The Bulletin has this time two more articles in English.
One is a reprint of an article in the souvenir program for Ellington’s 1958 European tour titled The Future of Jazz. It does not read like a true article written by Ellington but rather a text versioin of an interview. But who knows? Anyhow, it is interesting to read as are the comments by Bo Haufman.
The other is a contribution by Mike Zirpolo about Billy Strayhorn or more specifically about The Peaceful Side of Billy Strayhorn album. He tells how the album came about – Strayhorn was in Paris with Ellington for the Paris Blues film and one day a young American record producer approached him in a café about making a recording of his own compositions and Strayhorn said “Why not” and two days later the recording session took place – look closely into A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing.
The article originates from a blog post on Zirpolo’s blog Swing & Beyond.
In the issue, Bo Haufman himself has contributed two interesting articles in Swedish. One is about Ellington’s performances at Carnegie Hall and the other about the song Wanderlust which Hodges recorded with a small group on 20 December 1938.
It is most likely a Hodges composition but it is officially attributed to both Hodges and Ellington. It also appears on Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins and the Pablo album Up in Duke’s Workshop. There is also a stockpile recording of the piece from 23 May 1969.
Blue Light Winter 2021-22
Whether it is the third issue for 2021 or the first for 2022 one can discuss, but in any case it is – as Blue Light’s new editor Gareth Evans has said – “a bumper issue”. It is expanded from the usual 22 pages to 30 pages and Evans has managed to use the extra space very well.
The new issue is dominated by two major articles, which take up almost half of the 30 pages.
The first one is Roger Boyes’ A Month At The Capitol. It is another one in his very valuable and impressive series on Ellington in the 1940’s. This time, he “looks at the Ellington Orchestra’s 1943 activities in the weeks following the 30 September Philadelphia concert and it follows straight on from Stability and Change in BL 28/2.”
In the first part of the article, Boyes deals with Ellington’s month-long engagement at the Capitol Theatre on Broadway and 51st Street in October 1943.
It was apparently a very succesful engagement both artistically and financially, which is detailed in the article.
Since Shorty Baker, Nar Jones and Junior Raglin were not members of New York’s Local 802 of the Musicians’ Union, Ellington had to use temporary stand-ins during the engagement. As a result, Otto Hardwicke came back to the orchestra and Dizzy Gillespie had a brief tenure in it. There were several stand-ins for Junior Raglin but Wilson Meyers seems to have done “over half” of the subbings.
As regards Gillespie, Boyes does not only state that “Dizzy Gillespie substitued for Shorty Baker” but uses the statement as the starting point for a mini essay on the impact of Gillespie’s four weeks with Ellington on himself and on the orchestra. There are many other examples in article of this style of essay writing and they makes it even more enjoyable to read it.
The article’s second part is devoted to Ellington’s recordings of transcriptions for World Broadcasting System. They took place in two sessions in November and in December. Boyes goes through them in detail and expands particularly on new soloists and new compositions. There will be reasons to come back to this.
The second major article – The Race for Space – is written by Gareth Evans himself and is about Ellington recordings connected with the cosmic scene. The title is from an article Ellington presumably wrote in late 1957 but which was never published. It is a kind of springboard for Evans’ look at seven Ellington/Strayhorn pieces with titles associated to space or cosmos.
The first five are from Colmbia 1957-1959 albums – Ballet of the Flying Saucers (A Drum is a Woman) , Spacemen (The Cosmic Scene), Launching Pad and Duel Fuel (Festival Session) and Blues In Orbit (Blues In Orbit). The sixth one is Telstar – a stock pile recording in 1962 and the last one Moon Maiden – the result of a commission from ABC-TV.
Evans has interesting things to say about all of them and it is refreshing to get the perspectives of a younger generation of Ellington experts. I don’t think I have seen Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd and similar artists mentioned in articles about Ellington before. Or am I wrong?
The article is accompanied by a playlist on Spotify, which includes not only the Ellington recordings but also a recording of Peter Long’s reworking of Gustav Holst’s The Planet by the Echoes of Ellington Jazz Orchestra. A nice widening of perspectives!
Among other things in the new issue I particularly recommend Fred Glueckstein’s article about the relationship between Tony Bennett and the obituary on Charlie Watts. It was very good to learn that my image of the Rolling Stones’ drummer has been totally wrong all those years. Now I know better!
Ian Bradley published the second issue of Tone Parallel some weeks ago. It is available at https://toneparallel.substack.com/p/tone-parallel-5ad.
The issue is about singer, dancer, composer Ann Henry and her composition Pockets, the dedication of the new Alvar Aalto Library at Mount Angel Abbey, a Benedictine community, near Portland in Oregon in May 1970 and Duke Ellington’s appearance there with his orchestra.
Bradley wrote about this subject about two years on his blog Ellington Live http://ellingtonlive.blogspot.com/2020/05/ but since then he has done a lot of work to find out more about Ann Henry and to improve the sound of the Vimeo video and the reel-to-reel tape which have the music from the event.
It seems fair to presume that Pockets: It’s Amazing When Love Goes On Parade was composed with the dedication of Alvar Aalto Library in mind but Bradley does not go into this, he rather focus on the work itself.
It is written in three movements. The first one is a waltz, the second one a march and the last one “meditative. Based on musical notation by Henry, Ron Collier did the orchestration and conducted the Ellington orchestra in the performance of the work on 29 May 1970. Henry herself sings the lyrical parts.
The Vimeo video with the first hour of the concert is an integral part of Bradley’s video together with an 8 minutes excerpt from a professionally restored sound track of the video and a clip from the reel-to-reel tape with Don’t Get Down On Your Knees To Pray Until You Have Forgiven Everyone sung by Tony Watkins. It is not clear if Bradley intends to share the full Ellington part with other Ellington collectors.
DR Ellington Broadcasts (46)
Program 46 was broadcasted on May 28, 1991. It was produced and presented by Fleming Sjølund-Jensen.
It is the the first “goodie” this month and is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.
The program starts with Love You Madly sung by Milt Grayson. It is from the March 19, 1962 stockpile session when Grayson recorded four songs.
In addition to Love You Madly, they are Solitude, You Better Know and There’s No One But You. The last song was made popular by Mills Brothers in the mid-1940’s and was apparently composed by Austen Croom-Johnson and Red Evans. Nothing from the session has been issued on vinyl or CD.
Next Sjølund-Jensen turns to the recording session July 18, 1966 when Ellington together with John Lamb and Sam Woodyard recorded six songs, which was later included in the album The Pianist.
However, he does not let the listeners hear any of the songs but focuses on the second part of the session when Ellington recorded Tingling Is A Happiness and Dancers in Love and a congratulatory talk to be included in an exclusive record for the participants in the 50 anniversary conference of Field Enterprises Educational Corporation
Sjølund-Jensen continues the broadcast with six selections from August 27, 1972. They are all issued on the Storyville CD An Intimate Piano Session (1018445)
He starts with a short version of I’m Afraid Of Loving You Too Much followed by what Sjølund-Jensen says is an unnamed improvisation but in discographies said to be The Anticipation from UWIS Suite and after that Le Sucrier Velours from Queen’s Suite.
Next in the broadcast is Come Sunday sung by Tony Watkins – in English and in Hebrew – and two more piano numbers by Ellington – first A Mural From Two Perspectives and then the Strayhorn composition My Little Brown Book, which someone asks him to play. Finally he does it but very reluctantly. “I don’t know it! I don’t remember it!”
After this, Sjølund-Jensen moves to the September 5, 1972 stockpile session, which is for Anita Moore accompanied by a tentet from the full Ellington orchestra.
In the broadcast one hears her sing New York, New York, I Got It Bad, I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart and Misty. In the last one, Moore is accompanied only by Ellington, Joe Benjamin and Rufus Jones. None of the songs have been issued on vinyl or CD.
The broadcast ends with a version of Take The “A” Train (nc) played by Ellington, Jeff Castlemans and Rufus Jones at Ellington’s concert at Stanford University with California Youth Symphony Orchestra on March 9, 1969. This is also unissued.
New Year at Blue Note
Tonight a year comes to its end and a new year starts. Traditionally, it is a night of celebration and festivities and the website likes to offer something special this year as well.
To avoid all the covid-19 restrictions in place and ensure that you stay healthy, we will do it by transporting you back in time and place. We will go back to 31 December 1952/1 January 1953 and visit Frank Holzfiend’s Blue Note club in downtown Chicago.
At that time, it was still located at 56 W Madison Street. For many years, Duke Ellington (like Count Basie and Benny Goodman) had summer and winter engagements there.
In 1952/1953, Ellington had a two-week engagement, which started on 19 December 1952 and ended on 1 January 1953. He was regularly broadcasted over the NBC network and some of the broadcasts have been preserved.
This is the case of the broadcast of the early morning of 1 January 1953. Let’s imagine that we are sitting at the bar together, waiting for the band to come back after the break.
Everything is prepared for the broadcast. Duke strolls on stage, sits down at the piano and now it starts.
When the broadcast is over, you will have heard the Take The “A” Train theme followed by Fancy Dan, My Little Brown Book, Bensonality, The Hawk Talks, Creole Love Call, All of Me, Smada and How High The Moon (a few bars).
With this, we wish you A Happy Year and hope that you will support the website and the DESS Bulletin by joining Duke Ellington Society of Sweden (DESS).
Anders and Ulf
Smått & Gott/Bits & Pieces Dec 2021-2
Before the summer, DESUK distributed to its members the CD Who Knows with Brian Priestley and a small group playing “least studied and least ‘covered’ pieces” of Ellington music. It was originally issued in 2003 on the English 33 Jazz label (33jazz184).
The CD was recorded on 21 July and 8 October, 2003 when Brian gathered Bruce Adams trumpet, Frank Griffith saxophone and clarinet, Simon Woolf bass and Steve Brown drums in Clown’s Pocket, Bexley to record 16 Ellington songs in different constellations – solo, trio, quartet and quintet.
Fellow musician Derek Nash was responsible for recording, mixing, editing and mastering and he did an excellent job.
It seems that the solo, trio and quartet with Frank Griffith tracks were recorded on 21 July and the rest on 8 October when Bruce Adams was added to the group.
The music selected for the CD is a mix of fairly well-known Ellington compositions and songs played by Ellington and/or the band only once or a couple of times.
What Are You Gonna Do (1915), Who Knows (1953) and Blue Pepper (1966) belongs to this category. East, East By East could be added to it because it is of Ellington’s hand but never performed by him.
Among the more well-known Azure, Don’t You Know I Care, Johnny Come Lately and Lotus Blossom.
Common to all songs is that Brian with his arrangements has given them new life. Ellington’s (or Strayhorn’s) music has rarely been heard like this.
Three of the tracks are solos by Brian (Azure, After All, Lotus Blossom), 4 are trios (Who Knows, Johnny Come Lately, Searchin’, What Are You Gonna Do), three are quartets (Don’t You Know Are Care, Almost Cried, Perdido) and the rest quintets (Blue Pepper, Hand Me Down Love, My Love, East, East By East, That’s What He Says).
Here is my 25 minutes interview of Brian about the CD. In it, you can hear Who Knows and East, East By East with Brian’s comments on them.
To get the CD, one has to be a member of DESUK but it might have run out of CDs by now. Please contact Gareth Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org), the new Blue Light, and ask about this.
Steven Bowie’s Ellington Reflections (https://ellingtonreflections.com) is one of the indispensable websites for anyone interested in Duke Ellington. Steven himself says that it is a celebration of the World of Ellingtonia and all of its many facets.
The website with blogs about Ellington’s music, his orchestra and its band members was launched back in 2017 and has a large number of followers from all over the world.
So far, Steven has produced 65 blogs. The latest one is about Ellingtonian’s Playing Ellington.
Thanks to the work of DESS member Göran Axelsson, the website recently got an index with direct links to the blogs. Actually, there are two indexes, one chronological and one alphabetical by title.
In addition to the blogs, the website also has three lists of recommendations – Books, Recordings and Videos.
The format of the posts is more or less all the same. First comes the blog (i.e the audiofile), then a text about the topic with photos and scores, and finally a list of the albums played in the blog.
I recently interviewed Steven about his work with the website and what he wants to achieve with it.
In addition to Ellington Reflections, Steven is also working on a biography on Cootie Williams. “Williams was an giant of the trumpet; yet despite his stature in the jazz world, no one has previously written a full length biography.” So Steve has taken on the task to write one.
This is reflected in his presence on Facebook where he runs a Cootie Williams group. Steven also contributed to the Ellington Meeting 2021 with a presentation on Williams.
During his college years, he was teaching assistant for the legendary guitarist Kenny Burrell’s class on Duke Ellington
The Duke Book
Looking for some good “hi-res” DSD recordings of jazz for the holiday season, I came across The Duke Book recorded by the Dutch trumpeter/flugelhorn player Angelo Verploegen and drummer Jasper van Hulten.
The album was issued already in 2019 by Just Listen Records but it seems to be fairly unknown to the Ellington community.
It is a pity because listening to it is really worthwhile.. What Verploegen and van Hulten provide with the album is certainly not the most common interpretations of Ellington standards but very creative and interesting. Start by listening to Blues In Blueprint.
There is a lot of truth in what a writer wrote in a promotional text on the Just Listen Records’ website: “As a listener you are encouraged to play an active role: unnoticed you give your own musicality a place in between the game of the flugelhorn and the drums. Free as a bird you can spontaneously fantasize your own melodic lines.”
Once I had listened to the CD a couple of times and digested this way of playing Ellington, I come to think of the Calefax Reed Quintet, which I heard at the Ellington 2014 conference in Amsterdam. It also demonstrated how to interpret Ellington in a new way and widen the perspectives of the Maestro’s music?
Why is it only Dutch groups interpreting Ellington is this way?
Anyhow, let’s listen to what Verploegen and van Hulten have to say about the album.
The album exists in different versions The best is to go to the website of Native DSD (https://www.nativedsd.com), which sells it in different versions.. If one has a setup to play DSD files, one should really buy the DSD 256 version. The sound is magnificent!
However, the album is also available in traditional CD format from NativeDSD and on Spotify and other streaming sites.
A Present from Steven Lasker
24 December 2021 is the day in Sweden (and many other countries) when Santa Claus arrives with his presents. This year, Steven Lasker has joined him and given DESS and its members a present in the form of 25 minutes of Never-Issued Rarities from his collection.
It is a mixture of the rarities, which were presented at the DESS Ellington Meeting 2021 by Ken Steiner on behalf of Steven, and some new ones.
They are now available in Steven Lasker Gift in the Goodies section of the website
Track 1 is three fragments of Ebony Rhapsody, recorded in February 1934. They are never-issued alternates to the soundtrack version from Murder at the Vanities, and alternate to the alternates (PBS 79093-1, 79094-1, 79105-1 & 79106-1) first released in 2008 on Sony/BMG 88697302362 (“The Best of Duke Ellington, 1932-39”).
These fragments are sourced from 12-inch, 78 rpm exploitation discs (PCS 79193-1 & 79194) dubbed from optical soundtrack at RCA’s Hollywood studio with narration overdubbed; the first two tracks are from 79193, the last from 79194.
While Barbara Van Brunt sings Ebony Rhapsody on the film’s soundtrack, the vocalist on the second fragment here is Gertrude Michael. Fragments of other songs, performed by Paramount’s studio orchestra, have been omitted.
Track 2 is I’ve Got to Be a Rug Cutter from a spring 1937 Cotton Club broadcast.
Included among the gems from Steven is Never No Lament from a 1940 broadcast (exact date and venue of the broadcast is not known). As the Blanton specialist Matthias Heyman has observed, “Blanton is on fire!” here.
The version played at the Ellington Meeting was out of pitch and this has now been corrected. The new verion is track 3.
Track 4 is another Ellington composition, the earliest-known version of Barzallai Lew, a fact established by the presence of Barney Bigard, who isn’t heard on any other known version.
Track 5 have two songs from early June 1946. They were recorded by Duke in the chamber music hall at Carnegie Hall.
They were found together with much more on a set of 15 discs that Steven purchased at auction in 2019. The discs contain piano/vocal demos of songs Ellington wrote for “Street Music,” the working title for the show that would be renamed “Beggar’s Opera.”
Introductions to “Brown Penny” and “No One But You” are spoken by John Latouche, who wrote lyrics for the show, although for “Brown Penny,’ he borrowed words from a poem by William Butler Yeats. Kay Davis is the vocalist on both selections.
The songs found on the set of discs include an alternate take of “No One But You” as well as many other Ellington songs, some found nowhere else.
The last tracks are both sides of Gaye Records no. 365 (45 rpm), Perdido (mx. G3130) /Take the “A” Train (mx. G3131) by Paul Gonzalves with The Ivys [and] Billy Strayhorn Orchestra.
In his script, Steven asks, “Does this record include other members of Duke Ellington’s orchestra? I don’t hear a piano.”
Mercer Ellington owned Gaye Records, which was named after his daughter Gaye. Steven knows of only one other release on this label, no. 364 by Jimmy McPhail (mxs. G3127/28). New York Age (March 1, 1958, p. 27) reported it was recorded “this week,” thus the two Gonzalves tracks were likely recorded in March or April 1958, following the Ellington band’s return to New York City.
The rarities made available for the DESS’ website also includes two Ellington interviews, one by Nat Hentoff and another by Leonard Feather. They will be published on the website at a later date.
The text above builds on two scripts provided by Steven for the two sets of never-issued rarities from his collection.
The tracks in the Steven Lasker Room are meant for members of DESS and are password protected. Become a DESS member and enjoy Steven’s goodies and much more!
Broadcasts from The Hurricane Restaurant 1943 part 3
Full blast at the Hurricane!
We follow up our series with unissued Ellington broadcasts from the Hurricane Restaurant in 1943 with two more.
They are from the end of Ellington’s tenure there. Both are from September 1943. Ellington and the band were to leave the Hurricane that month, playing their last gig on September 23. However, they would come back on March 30, 1944 for a longer stay.
The first broadcast that we present is of unknown origin (DE4356) and with a rather low sound quality. It is however of interest for the fact that a compositition by Wallace Jones is used, Until It Happened To You (Me) and also for nice bass plying by Junior Raglin on Jack The Bear. We can also hear one of the first recordings of On The Sunny Side Of The Street with solos by Johnny Hodges and Lawrence Brown. (more…)
Smått & Gott/Bits & Pieces Dec 2021-1
Blue Light 2021-2
It reached the DESUK members quite some time. The issue is the last one put together by Patrick Olsen and he has made sure that he marks his departure with a fanfare.
It is dominated by two ambitious and very interesting research-oriented articles.
The first one is about Harold Ashby.
In his six pages article, Peter Gardiner gives the readers a good insight into Ashby’s career and struggles. The section “Recordings Before the Duke” is a valuable survey of his participation in small group recordings with Ellingtonians as is the two following two parts of the article – “With the Duke” and “After the Duke”. The last one is particularly interesting since it is a quite detailed account of a rather unknown part of Ashby’s musical life.
Another very substantial article in the new Blue Light issue is Roger Boyes’ “More from the Hurricane, Summer 1943”.
The longest part of it is a mapping of the changes in the Ellington band during the Hurricane period caused particularly by military drafts and the attractiveness of the West Coast to some key band members like Rex Stewart and foremost Juan Tizol. He also covers the arrival of Al Hibler and the sacking of Ben Webster in this part.
The final part of the article covers Ellington apperances on radio and in and around New York.
Other articles in the BL issue are one by Fred Glueckstein’s about Duke Ellington’s Yale University Connection and one by Ian Bradley on DESS’ Ellington 2021 meeting. They are good reading as well.
The next issue of Blue Light will appear in early January.
Former Blue Light editor, Ian Bradley, has started a newsletter – Tone Parallel – dedicated Ellington news. The first issue was published in October and covers aspects of Duke Ellington’s tour of England in 1971.
It takes it starting point in Ellington’s concerts at the Winter Gardens in Bournemouth on Wednesday, 20 October 1971. He has had access to the archive of the late Richard Davis, who attended the concert and took notes of what was played during the two concert and reprint Davis’ list of music selections.
Davis and his wife also attended Ellington’s concert in Birmingham on 24 October. Ian Bradley uses this to advance his article to the English Concert LP album issued on the United Artists label in United Kingdom in 1972. The same album was issued as the London Concert in France and other European countries. In USA, it was called Togo Brava Suite.
From there, he makes an excellent discour on Togo Brava Suite and makes good use of an 2001 article by Stefano Zenni on The Aesthetics of Duke Ellington Suites.
Ian has put together for us a very interesting and well written article that everybody in the Ellington community should read. It is also a very good example how one can knit together different threads into a shining costume.
For his newsletter, Ian uses Substack – an American online platform, which allows writers to send digital newsletters directly to subscribers. The link to the article is https://toneparallel.substack.com. There one can also subsribe to the newsletter.
The next issue of the newsletter will be published at the end of January.
Radio Jazz Copenhagen
We wrote about this Danish jazz radio station earlier this year and we continue to enjoy its ambitious programming every week.
The best way to find out about Radio Jazz is to go to http://www.radiojazz.dk and walk around. After the summer, it has a new interface and some new features.
Most importantly, the Radio Jazz team has made it easier for listeners to access old broadcasts by making them available as podcasts. At the moment, 433 podcasts are available and the number is constantly going up.
Among the podcasts are some of the latest The Wonderful Life of Duke Ellington programs with Henrik Wolsgaard-Iversen. By now, Radio Jazz have broadcasted 139 programs in the series and number 140 is scheduled for 10 pm on December 15.
Every second Saturday, Bjarne Busk presents a concert and often it is an Ellington one. Two programs with such concerts are available as podcasts.
In one, Busk presenterar snapshots from Johnny Hodges’ concert in Berlin 1961 together with The Ellington Giants and in the other he talks about and plays musik from Ellington’s concert in Milano Jan. 30, 1966. By that time Elvin Jones had been hired by Ellington as a second drummer and Busk particullarly spotlights this.
However, the Ellington programs are only a small part of what Radio Jazz ofers. It offers much more of great interest to friends of jazz. There are several program series running like Jazz in Swedish, Rudy van Gelder, ECM etc but also programs about individual jazz muscians.
Go to website, check out the programming and enjoy!
Desscafé opened the first time on October 29, 2020. It is a virtual Zoombased Duke’s place for DESS members to meet and play music for each other.
The format for the meetings inthe DESScafé is very simple. A theme is chosen a couple of weeks and DESS’ members and other interested propose the music that should be played and discussed. 12 or 14 pieces are chosen among the proposal and presenters identified.
Some of the themes this year has been Rex Stewart, Irving Mills, Joe Nanton and his followers, Clark Terry, Female vocalists singing Ellington, Essentially Ellington and Ellingtonians in small groups.
The presentations and discussions are in Swedish but on March 15 David Palmquist came to the café to talk about his work with The Duke – Where and When (tdwaw.ca). Possibly, next year there will be more frequent meetings in English in parallel to the one in Swedish.
Most of the meetings have been recorded and put on the DESS website. They are available under the tab DESScafé at the front page of the website. Just scroll down the list and click on meeting date and you will get directly video and playlist for the meeting. Unfortunately, a couple of meetings were not recorded due to technical problems.
Here are direct links to some of the most recent ones.
Oct 12 – Ellingtonians In Small Groups – 1930’s and 1940’s
Nov 15 – Essentially Ellington part 2
Dec 6 – Ellingtonians In Small Groups – 1950’s