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Praktiska tips om webbplatsen (1)


Det är lätt att säga om man gillar en artikel, att lämna en kommentar (eller kommentera en kommentar) till en artikel eller få ett epostmeddelande när en ny artikel publiceras.

Under varje artikel finns en ”Gilla”-knapp. Den är ett bra sätt att tala om för andra besökare (och redaktionen) att man tycker om artikeln.  En tryckning på knappen resulterar i att det dyker upp en liten fyrkant som talar om vem som har ”gillat”. Om fyrkanten inte har ett foto kan man se vem som har ”gillat” artikeln genom att föra musknappen över fyrkanten.

Under rubriken för varje artikel finns en liten rad med bl.a. datum för publicering av artikeln. Där står också ordet ”Kommentar”. När man klickar på det, öppnas en ruta där man kan ge sin kommentar.


Trianon Ballroom, Seattle, May 1, 1954


Are Ellington and Strayhorn studying the UMMG Score?

Upper Manhattan Medical Group

In April and May 1954 Ellington and his orchestra were touring in western USA. This has been documented in a concert from Embassy Auditorium in Los Angeles on April 13, and from a dance date at McElroy’s Ballroom in Portland on April 29. In addition, songs from a Capitol Recording session on April 26 have been issued on the Capitol label.

On May 1, Duke and the orchestra were performing at a dance date at Trianon Ballroom in Seattle and the first part of this is rather interesting due to the the fact that the tunes played are not so common in the band’s repertoire. DESS members can enjoy this by logging into the Goodies Room.

A new season starts


Today is September 1 and as promised the DESS website is back after its summer break. As before, we will continue to do our best to provide members of DESS and others interested in Ellington with music, photos, videos, articles etc related to Il Maestro. Possibly we will do this less frequently than before but at the same time the website has now at its disposal a lot of quite unique material of interest to Ellington connoisseurs. This includes radio programs about Ellington, photos never published and the video and radio taped proceedings of the 24 Ellington Study Group Conferences.

The conference tapes in the Sjef Hoefsmit Collection, which have been made available to the website, are currently being digitized and excerpts of the result will be published on the website during the year.

It seems appropriate to start the season by doing this. Here is the Swedish pianist Berndt Egerbladh and Alice Babs improvising at the opening session of the 1994 Study Group Conference in Stockholm.

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 16

The 16th program in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s based on the Mercer Ellington donation is the second ”Goodie” for May.

As usual, it is available in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the DESS Lobby (DESS-rummet).

The program was broadcasted on March 15, 1985.

The broadcast is  comprised of excerpts from Ellington’s 1964 Carnegie Hall concert. It took place on March 29, 1964 just after he had returned from his five week-long tour of Europe. The program of the concert was more or less the same as the one of the European concerts.

It starts with four selections from ”Impressions from the Far East” (later to be known as ”Far East Suite”) – Amad, Agra, Bluebird of Delhi and Isfahan. Johnny Hodges, who is the featured soloist in Isfahan, continues in this role in Things Ain’t What They Used To and The Banquet Scene  from ”Timons of Athen”. Next in the broadcast comes another part of the suite  –Skillipoop – in which Jimmy Hamilton and Sam Woodyard are at the forefront.

The broadcast ends with three well-known concert numbers – Monologue (Pretty and the Wolf), Jam With Sam and Jones. They were also the final numbers in the Carnegie Hall Concert.

The full Carnegie Hall concert has been issued on CD by the Italian labels Jazz Up and Moon.

Ellington in Stockholm 1965 (3)

In a post on April 20, the website published some photos from Ellington’s concert in Stockholm on February 2, 1965 taken by the film photographer (and much more) Roland Sterner.

Here are some more of his photos.

A short bio of Sterner is available on the website here.



Stockholm Concert Hall April 1939

Tomorrow, it is 78 years ago since Duke Ellington and his orchestra ended the 1939 tour of Sweden with a concert at the Stockholm Concert Hall. The concert was also part of the celebration of Ellington’s 40th birthday – a celebration that started in the early morning.

During the tour, Ellington made three appearances in Stockholm – on April 16 and 29 at the Stockholm Concert Hall and on April 24 at the Royal Academy of Music.

Someone took a photo during one of the concerts at the Concert Hall – possibly the one on April 16 – and the website is happy to be able to publish it thanks to Jan Bruér.

Another photo giving a full overview of the main hall of the Concert Hall was published in the May 1939 issue of Orkesterjournalen.

The review in Orkesterjournalen of the April 16 concert is available here and in the Ellington Archive/Articles.

Rolf Dahlgren – then a young and aspiring journalist – reviewed the concert for the socialist daily Folkets Dagblad and it was reprinted in the DESS Bulletin in 2012. Also this review is available here  and in the Ellington Archive/Articles.

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 15

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.


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