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Ellington’s SESAC engagement in conjunction with the annual meeting of National Association of Broadcasters in 1964 continued on April 7.
The trio was the same as in the first set the night before – Ellington at the piano, Major Holley at bass and Sam Woodyard at the drums but Cootie Williams, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves and Harry Carney replaced Johnny Hodges and Lawrence Brown.
Only the second set seems to have been preserved.
It starts with the trio playing Take The A Train, Single Petal Of A Rose and Satin Doll (as it does in the second set on April 6).
Then Duke invites Harry Carney to join and he plays Sophicasted Lady and I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart.
Next, Jimmy Hamilton replaces Carney and his assigment is Tenderly and Honeysuckle Rose.
For the next tunes, Cootie Williams, Paul Gonsalves and Harry Carney are added and together with the trio the four let the audience hear Mood Indigo/Solitude, Fat Mouth, Caravan and Tootie For Cootie.
After this, Paul Gonsalves has a solospot and he plays Body and Soul leading into the Wailing Interval.
The set ends with Ellington playing and fingersnapping Dancers In Love and the full septet swinging in Jones.
The two SECAM nights might not provide new and original music but give a glimpse into the everyday life of Ellington and his orchestra.
Later in the week, the full band played concerts at Grandinetti’s Supper Club in Gulfport, Illnois and Civic Opera House in Chicago.
Ellington ended the week with an afternoon solo concerts in Milton Junction in Wisconsin on April 11 and attending a concert with New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall the day after (source: TDWAW – tdwaw.ca) .
Quite a schedule but not unusual!
In conjunction with 1964 annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters in Chicago, Duke Ellington was engaged by the copyright organisation SESAC – Society of European Stage Authors and Composers – to provide music with “musicians in the orchestra under the leadership of Duke Ellington” for “five (5) consecutive hours” on April 6 and 7
He did this in the SESAC Hospitality Suite in the Conrad Hilton Hotel, where the convention was held.
Given the room, it seems fair to presume that he was engaged to play at a social reception where the focus was not only on the music but also on talks and drinks.
Fortunately, the hospitality suite had recording facilities and Ellington’s performances were recorded to the benefit of Ellington fans.
However, it has taken some time to sort out the discographical aspects of the recordings.
It was finally done by Klaus Götting in a correction of NDESOR in the DEMS Bulletin 2007-1. In the article he says that:
“6429q-v are from first set on first night
6430a-k are from second set on first night
6429a-p are from second set on second night”
We use his correction for our article.
Both nights Ellington played in a trio format with bass and drums
The basist was Major Holley throughout the two days but on June 6, the trio started with Sam Woodyard on drums but Johnny Hodges’ son Johnny Hodges Jr played the second set. Apparently, Woodyard had been taken to hospital in the intermission.
The first night, the trio was joined by Johnny Hodges and Lawrence Brown.
The first set on April 6 starts with Johnny Hodges playing It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dream, Jeep Is Jumpin‘ and I Got It Bad with the trio. Then Lawrence Brown takes over and plays Things Ain’t What They Used To Be.
Ellington ends the set with Dancers In Love and Mood Indigo.
The second set opens with Ellington playing a variation of the usual Medley followed by Take The “A” Train, Single Petal Of A Rose and Satin Doll.
Then Lawrence Brown steps in and plays Rose Of The Rio Grande and Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me.
After this, Johnny Hodges replaces Brown and plays I Got It Bad, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Passion Flower and Things Ain’t What They Used To Be.
He ends the set playing duet with his son in the Sam Woodyard composition The Drum And The Blues.
A main source for the article is TDWAW (tdwaw.ca). Thank you for all your work on it, David!
Program 45 was broadcasted on April 29, 1991 and was produced and presented by Bjarne Busk.
The program starts with three takes that were not included in the film and LP issues of Goodyear Jazz Concert . They are Goodyear Theme (- 1 and – 2 ) and Good Years Of Jazz (-1). The latter is based on Once More Once.
Then follows two tunes recorded in Cologne during Ellington’s 1970 European tour.
First comes two takes of Wild Bill Davis’ composition Alerado (-1 and -4) and after that one take of a new Ellington composition Afrique (-2), which has a long solo by Paul Gonsalves. Six months later, a version without Gonsalves’ solo was recorded for The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse.
The broadcast continues with three selections from another recording session during the 1970 European tour. This one was done in Milan on July 23 and among the five tunes recorded on that day were Maiera, Thanks For The Beautiful Land and Bourbon Street Jingling Jollies.
Maiera is a composition by the Canadian trumpeter Fred Stone, who joined the Ellington orchestra for the European tour. It was played at least four times during the tour and later issued on the MusicMasters CD Ellington – Never Before Released Recording.
Thanks For The Beautiful Land and Bourbon Street Jingling Jollies are from New Orleans Suite and had already been recorded in several takes before the European tour. Both were frequently performed during this tour.
The program then turns to the Oct 5, 1972 stockpile session and the UWIS (University of Wisconsin) Suite. Busk gives his listeners three of takes of UWIS (-4 fs, -5 rehl, -6 fs) and one of each KLOP -11 and Loco Mardi (-1)
Togo Brava Suite is next on Busks agenda and he provides two takes from the June 29, 1971 stockpile session – Too Kee (Amour Amour) -12 and BUSS (Right On Togo) -17. Both are issued on Storyville’s CD with the same name.
The program ends with My Mother, My Father from My People. It is sung by Jimmy McPhail and is recorded on Aug. 21, 1963. This take is not issued on LP or CD.
In a comment to the article, Brian Koller says “the singer is Jimmy Grissom” contrary to what is said by Bjarne Busk in the program. “It would make the New Desor wrong … but it sure sounds like Grissom, who was on hand for the prior day’s session (August 20, 1963)”.
Readers are welcome to comment on this and other things in the article.
DESS Bulletin 2021-1
The first issue of the DESS Bulletin for 2021 was sent to the DESS members yesterday. Its editor, Bo Haufman has produced another ambitious issue.
This time, the featured artist is trumpeter Louis Metcalf, who participated in recording sessions with the Ellington band in 1926 and 1927 and finally become a regular member of the orchestra for about a year in late 1927.
In a four-page article, Bo Haufman goes through Metcalf’s life and career with emphasis on his time with Ellington. It is supplemented by a reprint of an “Oral History” interview with Metcalf.
Another theme in the new issue of the DESS Bulletin is Harlem. It has two articles by Bo Haufman himself on the theme – one about the Ellington recordings of s music with Harlem in its name and another about Ellington’s composition The Sidewalks of New York.
A third theme is Ellington’s composition Sepia Panorama. There are two articles on this topic – one is by Mike Zirpolo and another quoted from Walter van de Leur’s presentation at the Ellington ’94 conference in Stockholm on the Ellington-Strayhorn collaboration.
In addition to these six articles, there are some more good reads in the new Bulletin. Just pick it up and find out about them yourself.
Blue Light Autumn 2020
The last issue of DESUK’s Blue Light for 2020 arrived a couple of weeks ago. It is quite research focused. The key article in this section is another impressive piece by Roger Boyes’ series on Ellington in the years of the Petrillo recording ban.
It is titled Live At The Hurricane but it covers much more than the title indicate.
It starts with the aftermath to the Carnegie Hall concert on Jan. 23, 1943 and the ensuing road tour, continues with different aspects of the engagement from April 1, 1943 at the Hurricane Restaurant on the second floor of the Brill Building on 1619 Broadway at 49th Street and ends with discussing the famous Mutual Broadcasts from Hurricane in a wider context.
Another solid and interesting research-oriented article is Pedro Cravinho’s Jazz, Revue and a Thriller. The Response of the Birminham Press to Duke Ellington’s 1933 Tour.
It is developed from a presentation he gave at the 2018 Ellington conference in Birmingham. Because of the organisation of the conference in workshops, many participants were not able to listen to it so it is most welcome that a further developed version is published by Blue Light.
The last articles in the research part deals with the Lockdown Lowdown initiative, which provides weekly broadcasts with all sorts of people with knowledge and views on Ellington.
Finally, the new Blue Light has also an enjoyable article by Brian Priestly full of insights about Clark Terry on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.
The tireless YouTube observer Brian Koller has drawn the attention of the community of Ellington fans to this new Ellington sound-only video on YouTube. Thank you, Brian.
New Ellington CD from Maison du Duke
The 13th CD in La Maison du Duke’s series of rare Ellington music and performances is available to MDD members since some weeks.
It is titled is Special Occasions with Cab Calloway, Menuhin & Kenton 1955-1963 but Paul Whiteman’s should also have appeared in it because the first part of the CD is from Whiteman’s telecast with Ellington in the CBS’ series America’s Greatest Bands.
This series ran in the summer of 1955 with Whiteman as host and featured in addition to Ellington guests like Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Xavier Cugat, Ralph Flanagan and Eddie Sauter, Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnet, Percy Faith and others.
Ellington appeared on July 9 following Armstrong the week before.
Two weeks later – July 26 – Ellington was featured on another CBS’ telecast called Music ’55. It was hosted by Stan Kenton and was a weekly show, which ran every Tuesday night from July 12 to September 13 1955.
The CD has Ellington playing a couple of bars of Artistry In Rhythm and then sharing Take The A Train with Stan Kenton at a separate piano. This is followed by Yehudi Menuhin performing Come Sunday together with Ellington.
Missing from the CD is Ellington narrating Pretty And The Wolf (aka Monologue) with the Kenton “television band” doing the music part.
However, it is included in full filmclip of the July 26 Music telecast. The clip also demonstrates that the principal guest of the show was Yehudi Menuhin and not Ellington.
Kenton’s new singer Ann Richards, who had joined the band 6 months before, also appear in the clip and sings two songs.
The show ends with an “exotic” dance number to Peanut Vendor.
The final part of the CD – and the most enjoyable one – is the concert in Lambertville, New Jersey on August 12, 1963 when Cab Calloway stepped in to conduct the Ellington orchestra and Billy Strayhorn took over the piano chair.
Ellington was at the time in Chicago for the final preparations of the premiere of My People, which opened four days later.
The concert had two parts – a first one with the typical repertoire of the Ellington orchestra at the time and a second with Calloway singing some of his popular songs. Only one of them – St. James Infirmary – is on the CD.
The first part of the concert has previously been issued on the Azure CA 19 cassette.
Like previous MDD CDsones, the new one is only available for members of La Maison du Duke. The membership fee is 20 euros and in addition one has to pay 5 euros for the postage.
In the early 1990’s Kenny Burrell participated in some Ellington conferences.
The first one was Ellington ’90 in Ottawa, where he was was an important part of the music program. Together with Harold Ashby, Wild Bill Davis, John Lamb and Butch Ballard, Burrell formed the Ellingtonians group and also appeared as soloist with the Andrew Homzy Jazz Orchestra.
The concert with the Ellingtonians has been published on the website.
Kenny Burrell was back at the Ellington ’93 conference in New York, where he once again was part of the music program but also made a presentation on Teaching Ellingtonia the second day.
Burrell first became involved in jazz education in 1978, when he started to teach a 10-week overview of Duke Ellington for UCLA’s Center for African American Studies.
By that time his two first LP album dedicated to Duke Ellington’s music – Ellington Is Forever (Fantasy F 79005) and Ellington Is Forever vol 2 (Fantasy 79008) had been issued.
Burrell’s love for Duke was not obvious in his early career. He belonged to the part of the hardbop generation that came out of Detroit and joined those coming from New York or Philadelphia in recording the new style of jazz for labels like Blue Note and Prestige.
They occasionally included an Ellington song like Cotton Tail, Caravan, The The A Train, Perdido etc in what they recorded but if it was thanks to Kenny Burrell is hard to say.
An interest in Ellington could possibly be spotted in the 1961 Taft Jordan Plays Ellington album (Moodsville MVLP 21). It is not known to which extent Burrell participated in the selection of songs but he certainly played a lot of Ellington music when the album was recorded.
In an interview on the WBUR jazz program in Boston in 1985, Kenny Burrell told the interviewer Tony Cennamo that it was the publicist Al Morgan who had introduced him to Ellington’s music. Unfortunately no date for this is given.
In an interview for National Public Radio in 2014, Burrell said: When I was at Wayne State University in the ’50s, it was a problem studying jazz, even talking about it in some cases, so I decided if I had a chance, I would teach jazz.” And this he did for many years.
In his presentation at Ellington ’93, he explains his approach to this as regards Ellingtonia.
At Ellington ’93 in New York, Kurt Dietrich did another presentation on Ellington’s trombone players. On this occasion, he talked about Juan Tizol, Ellington’s valve trombone player 1929-1944 and 1951-1953 and occasionally in the early 1960’s.
In the presentation, Dietrich gives a short biography of Tizol but the focus is on Tizol – the trombone player.
He talks about Tizol’s stylistic features and illustrate them with excerpts of Twelve Street Rag (Jan. 14, 1931), Caravan (May 14, 1937), Battle Of The Swing (Dec. 19, 1938) and Come Sunday (Jan. 23, 1943). I
It is a pity that his presentation was restricted to 30 minutes because it is obvious that he had much more to share.
For those, who would like to know more about Tizol, Nanton, Lawrence Brown and other Ellington trombonists, Dietrich’s book Duke’s Bones: Ellington’s Great Trombonists is highly recommended.
Anyone, who would like to go deeper into Tizol’s life and career, should read Basilio Serrano’s biography Juan Tizol – His Caravan Through American Life and Culture
A three page overview of Tizol’s life, career and achivements written by Bo Haufman is available in DESS Bulletin 2011-2.
There exists also an interview in which Tizol talks about his time with Ellington.
Another interesting video is a short lecture in the Jazz Academy series in which the lead trombone player in the Jazz At LIncoln Center Orchestra, Vincent Gardner, demonstrates the Tizol way to play the trombone melody in Ko-Ko.
Kurt Dietrich continued his presentations on Ellington’s trombone players with one at Ottawa ’90 about Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton. Since the one on Lawrence Brown at Washington ’89, he had finished his dissertion and Nanton was the second trombonist, which Dietrich had researched for it.
In his presentation, Dietrich plays excerpts of Jubilee Stomp (March 3, 1927), Black And Tan Fantasy (Nov. 3, 1927), It Don’t Mean A Thing (Feb. 2, 1932), Under The Old Apple Tree (Aug. 15, 1933), Harlem Speaks (July 13, 1933), Work Song (Jan. 23, 1943) and Blue Serge (Feb. 15, 1941).
Summer issue of Blue Light
The summer issue of Blue Light is available to DESUK members since a couple of weeks ago.
As usual it provides some good reading. This time, Patrick Olsen presents a couple of new contributors.
Gareth Evans, who is of the new generation on the DESUK Committee, writes about the LP album Duke Ellington, Masterpieces: 1926-68 with 70 Ellington recordings, that Martin Williams together with Gunther Schuller was working on for the Smithsonian at the end of the 1980’s but which never saw the light of the day.
Williams talked about the the project at the Ellington ’89 conference in Washington D.C. and the DESS website published his presentation on 10th April 2018 together with some other presentations on the first day of the conference. Link: https://ellington.se/2018/04/10/ellington-89-in-washington-d-c-3/
Evans lists the recordings that Willams and Schuller had chosen, makes some critical comments to the selection and provides his own Ellington masterpieces list. He has also put up a playlist on Spotify with a selection from his list ( https://open.spotify.com/playlist/78G0522OsSohS7B7ZCwzkO).
Another first-time contributor is the American researcher Dr. Katherine Leo, who specializes in “the intersection of American music and legal histories”. Her five-page article deals with the 1993 court case Tempo Music, Incorporated v. Famous Music Corporation (i.e. the Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn estates) regarding copyrights to Satin Doll.
She gives the background to the case, the legal framework, the court’s dealing with the case and the impact of its conclusion. The key issue in the case was if a harmonic progression could be copyrighted and the court decided that “the Satin Doll progression met the legal threshold for originality and thus copyrightability”.
Dr. Leo will publish an article in the upcoming issue of Jazz Perspectives on copyright aspects of ODJB’s Livery Stable Blues.
Besides these two articles, the new issue has contributions by Ian Bradley (Uptown Lockdown), Brian Priestly (review of the new BB&B record), Frank Griffith and others. The feature Reminiscing introduced a couple of issues ago also has interesting contributions to read.
Jimmie Blanton Blog
Matthias Heyman – the Jimmie Blanton specialist and much more – has set up a page on his website “with tidbits, little-known facts, and deep dives on jazz bassist Jimmie Blanton (1918– 1942). The url is https://www.mattheyman.com/pitter-panter-chatter.
The page has also a link to articles that he has published in academic journals on Blanton, Ellington, and jazz bass playing. They are very interesting and stimulating. Good reading while one waits for Heyman’s book on Jimmie Blanton.
Wynton Marsalis on Ellington
In the June 1991 issue, Down Beat published an article by Wynton Marsalis on Duke Ellington
It was an adaptation of a speech he gave at the 1991 International Association of Jazz Educators conference in Washington D.C. The article is not an analysis of Ellington’s music but rather an expression of love and respect.
Marsalis admits that he never listened to Ellington’s music when growing up and when he heard it, he didn’t really like it. “It sounded like like the type of music that old people dance to in ballrooms, thinking they were doing something hip.”
But when he had moved to New York, things started to change. Thanks to Stanley Crouch, Marsalis one days started to listen to Ellington records and his view changed. “I could see a broad vision of what our country was about, a broad vision of what we should be dealing with.”
The full article is available to DESS members in the Ellington Archive.
Ellington på YouTube m.m.
Ellington- och filmspecialisten Brian Koller håller kretsen av Ellingtonvänner underrättad när det dyker upp nya Ellington videos på YouTube. Tack för det, Brian! Nedan är ett urval av de som har lagts upp de senaste månaderna.
Nyligen lade någon upp konserten av Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra för att fira 100 årsdagen av Billy Strayhorns födelse. Den gavs i juni 2016.
En lång video med The Royal Variety Performance 1973 lades upp så sent som igår och i den framträder också Ellington och hans orkester. Den delen börjar 56 minuter 35 sekunder in i videon och varar ungefär 15 minuter.
Den 23 mars 1965 spelade Ellington på Tyrone Guthrie Theatre i Minneapolis och under en av pauserna intervjuade jazzradiomannen Leigh Kamman honom. Två utdrag ur intervjun lades upp på YouTube under sommaren.
Det är också fallet med en kort reklamfilm för ett känt cigarettmärke.
Koller har också uppmärksammat oss Ellingtonvänner på en artikel i jazztidningen The Syncopated Times om Ellingtons tidiga trumpetare.
Bo Haufman, the Bulletin editor and President of DESS, has delighted the DESS members by sending out the autumn issue of the DESS Bulletin quite early this year. This allow them to digest and enjoy another Bulletin with a lot of good reading during the last weeks of the summer holiday.
This time the cover story is about Wellman Braud – Ellington’s first main bass player
In the well-researched four page lead article, Bo Haufman gives the full career of Braud.
He starts with his early years in Chicago (1917-1923), his two month visit to England in early 1923 as member of the Charles A. Elgar’s Orchestra to play in the show “Plantation Days” and his settlement in New York upon the return from England.
In New York, Braud got engaged by Wilbur Sweatman and also played in pit bands for musical comedies. He also also participated in his first recording sessions – two Victor sessions with Thomas Morris and his Seven Hot Babies on November 12 and 14, 1926.
In June 1927, Duke Ellington hired him as bass and tuba player and he became very quickly an important element in the Ellington orchestra. Braud stayed for almost eight years and left in March 1935.
In the article, Bo gives a detailed account of Braud’s period with the band. He talks about Braud’s style and role in the Ellington Orchestra, goes through Braud’s main recordings with the band and tells about the circumstances that led the Braudman’s departure.
The final part of the article gives snapshots of what Braud did after having left Ellington. He was not engaged by any other major orchestra but seems to have stayed in the environment of blues and music anchored in the New Orleans tradition.
At one point, he moved to California In 1955, he started to play with Kid Ory there and went with the Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band to Europe in 1956. In 1959, he started “a long lasting musical relationship” with the blues and folksinger Barbara Dane. Braudman accompanied her with a trio and did this also for blues artists performing at her club “Sugar Hill – Home of the Blues.
Braud passed away in Los Angeles in 1966.
But there is not only the article about Wellman Braud to read in the new issue of the DESS Bulletin but several others.. (more…)