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The file with the Copenhagen Sep. 30, 1959 concert made available to DESS members on Jan. 26 turns out to be something totally different. It brings together selections from Ellington’s concert in Paris on Sep.20, 1959 (both first and second concerts) and the second concert in Stockholm on Sep. 26, 1959.
We apologize for having put it on the website and thank Bjarne Busk for bringing the issue to our attention.
However, when the file was published, it was believed to be a genuine recording of the Copenhagen concert.
It was found by the DESS group charged with cataloguing Benny Åslund’s tape collection, which had been donated to DESS.
In the fall of 2011, the group sent the file together with a number of files of Ellington concerts in Sweden to Sjef Hoefsmit, who wrote about them in the 2012-1 issue of the DEMS Bulletin.
Under the headline A lot of Swedish NEW FINDS, he reported what the group had found. Amongst other things Hoefsmit said ”A totally unknown (to us) concert is from Copenhagen, 30Sep59, K.B. Hallen”.
He followed this up by publishing a correction sheet (1107) to NDESOR with the ”new” information.
So, not surprisingly, the DESS group thought that they had found an unknown recording of the Copenhagen concert.
However, what Hoefsmit forgot when he said ”a totally unknown concert to him was that 20 years earlier at the Ellington conference in Los Angeles in 1991, he had said and written that the concert was ”a fake” in a review of the 3rd edition of the Willie Timner’s Ellingtonia”. He repeated this in comments on Timner’s 4th edition in the DEMS Newsletter 2001-3.
Hoefsmit built his view on a presentation Erik Wiedemann made at the Ellington conference in Washington D.C. in 1989. Wiedemann had by then published a very detailed paper on Ellington’s visits to Denmark and recordings made of the concerts there. As regards the 1959 concert, he says: ”There seems to be no recordings of the concerts.”
The source of the ”fake” file is not known to us but it was apparently rather widely circulated among Ellington collectors. Benny Åslund had it, Willie Timner had it and it is also listed in the catalogue for the auction of more than 100 reel-to-reel tapes belonging tho the French Ellington collector André Mahus, which Sjef Hoefsmit (!) organised for his widow.
The Jan. 26 article on the website has been deleted. However, the file in the Goodies Room will stay there for the time being and a list of its contents is here.
One of the surprises on the last day of Ellington ’94 was a presentation by Luciano Massagli and Giovanni Volonté of what was to become NDESOR – the totally indispensable tool for any serious Ellington collector.
They were not in the original program but asked for a slot only a couple of weeks before the conference and – of course -the organizers was happy to give them one.
So the last day of the conference started started a little bit earlier than originally scheduled to accomodate their half an hour presentation.
As can be seen and heard in the video below, Massagli talked about what NDESOR would be like and Volonté presented the just published book ”Duke Ellington : un genio, un mito”, which he had written together with Antonio Berini.
A 12 page handout about the 740 page book was provided to the conference participants. It gives an overview of the chapters of the book plus the foreword by Leonard Feather and the introduction by the authors. It is available in the Ellington Archive.