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The 15th program in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the third ”Goodie” for April.
As usual, it is available in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).
The program was broadcasted on March 8, 1985.
It is a set of stockpile recordings from April 1963 and November 1968 done by a subset of the Ellington orchestra. It was composed of the sax and rhythm sections plus one or two horns. The songs played are some well-known ones in new interpretations and some rarely heard or never recorded before.
The broadcast starts with two numbers from April 17, 1963 – ”Jeep’s Blues” and the Johnny Hodges composition ”Got Nobody Now”. Both are solo numbers for Ray Nance. It is the only appearance of ”Got Nobody Now” in the Ellington discography.
Next comes three songs recorded the day after. Two of them – ”Butter And Oleo” and ”Blousons Noirs” – were only recorded on this occasion and as regards the third one – Blue Rose – it was the last time it was put on tape. Ray Nance is once again featured prominently but also Johnny Hodges gets some good solo space and in ”Butter and Oleo” every member of the sax section except Harry Carney has a solo.
The second part of the broadcast gives us some of the songs recorded on November 29, 1968. It starts with ”KNUF” which of course can be read as ”FUNK”. Johnny Hodges with good support from Buster Cooper and Willie Cook is at the forefront of this Ellington tune never heard before or after the session. Then the broadcast continues with three well-known Ellington songs – Just Squeeze Me, Mood Indigo and In A Sentimental Mood – but played as never heard before.
”Just Squeeze Me” belongs to Harold Ashby, ”Mood Indigo” to in particular Harry Carney and ”In A Sentimental Mood” to
The broadcast ends with a swinging blues credited to Ellington, ”Waiting For You”. Like KNUF, the session is its only appearance in the Ellington discographies.
All the music in the program has been issued on CD, originally in the ”Private Collection” series.
Issue 2015-2 of the DESS Bulletin is now available in pdf format to anyone interested in Duke Ellington and his music – DESS member or not. It can be downloaded from the Bulletin section of the website. Just follow this link.
This time, the cover story of the Bulletin is about Clark Terry, who had died on February 21, 2015.
Bo Haufman honors Terry by painting his portrait in a four-page article and Bo Scherman reports on the new (2014) Clark Terry documentary Keep On, Keepin’ On.
Other articles in the 2015-2 issue of the Bulletin is an extensive one by Erling Torkelsson on My People and one by Björn Englund on Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. Both articles are highly recommended.
This time, Claes Englund’s interesting series ”Other Duke’s Places” deals with Ellington at The Apollo.
In addition to all this, there are of course record reviews and also a short article by Bo Haufman about Ellington on stamps.
In May-June 1951, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra could be heard at Birdland during two periods: May 3 to May 9 and June 21 to June 30. We have earlier presented music from two broadcasts, those of June 23 and June 30, but two more remain in existance, namely one originally thought to be from late June and one from early May. DESS members will now have the opportunity to listen to music from the undated June broadcast (NDESOR 5121) which has now been established to have taken place at Birdland on May 5. Just go to the Goodies Room and listen/download. The following tunes are played (mixed origin): (mer…)
The first issue for 2017 has started to arrive in the mailboxes of DESUK members.
The postman delivered it to my box a couple of days after I learned about the passing-away of DESUK’s Chairman, Geoff Smith and it is moving to read his ”From The Chairman” editorial. As always, he talks about the next thing to do to serve DESUK members and the world-wide Ellington community. Geoff was a man full of energy and kindness and he will be deeply missed by our community! The website sends its condolences to his family.
Otherwise, the key feature in the new issue is an eight pages long article by DESUK member Stuart Emerson about ”Such Sweet Thunder”. It is fascinating to follow his steps to solve some of the mysteries linked to the suite and doing so widen our perspective on the work.
Also the Blue Light editor, Ian Bradley, tries to solve a mystery. In his article he tells us about ”The Jaywalker” play – its background and the music. Another good reading!
In the ”News” part, we are told about the venture of Birmingham Conservatoire to form a new Ellington orchestra. From September 2017, it will play every two weeks at the Conservatoire’s jazz club.
Something To Live For
The first set of 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. Fortunately, copies of the soundtrack of the second set exist and we are happy to give DESS’ members the opportunity to listen to this. The origin is unknown and the audio material seems to come from two different sources, judging from the sound quality, which is somewhat different for the Ellington and Fitzgerald parts. Any additional information from the members about this would be appreciated.
The following songs are played:
Take The A Train & intro*Black And Tan Fantasy#* Soul Call* Wings And Things* Jam With Sam are all played by Ellington and the orchestra (mer…)
Imagine My Frustration
The performance at Cirkus in Stockholm on February 8, 1966 was carried out as one concert with an intermission. Both sets are believed to have been broadcasted by Swedish Television, but video copies of the second part still remain missing – or was it ever broadcast? We however have audio copies and DESS members can now find a copy of the first part in the ”Goodies Room”. As mentioned earlier, the format of the concerts during Ellington’s 1966 tour to Europe was that Duke and the orchestra played the first part of the program with Ella Fitzgerald and her trio playing the second. This routine was repeated after the intermission.
The concert starts with Take The A Train after which Ellington announces West Indian Pancake which is a new number where Paul Gonsalves shows what he is able to do . Neaxt the ”Piano player” sits down at the piano to tinkle at tune known to everybody as Kinda Dukish which continues into one of the Ellington oldies, Rockin’ In Rhythm. La Plus Belle Africaine, one of Ellington’s more ambitious works, is also new for this season, and is often played in the years to come. To conclude the first part of the concert, Ellington announces The Opener as the closing number. (mer…)
On September 15, 2016, we published an article by Jan Bruér with his recollections of the rehearsal for Ellington’s telecast from Cirkus in Stockholm on February 8, 1966. In his article, Jan says that during the rehearsal, the director of the telecast, Lars Egler, announced that Ellington was going to record a piano solo and asked for silence. He remembers that Duke played ”a wonderful solo version of Serenade To Sweden and also did a retake of it.”
Actually, Ellington recorded three songs in front of the TV cameras – in addition to Serenade To Sweden also Looking Glass and The Queen’s Gard. Together with footage from the beginning of the rehearsal, they were included in a 23 minutes telecast that was aired on Swedish Television on March 19, 1966 – the day before the broadcast of the concert itself. The TV-program is not availabe to DESS but it is archived at the Swedish National Library in Stockholm.
However, DESS members can listen to and download the full soundtrack in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the website. Here is a sample:
Serenade to Sweden