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Pentape on The Duke Ellington Hour

The radio program ”The Duke Ellington Hour” is featured in the ”Ellington on radio & video” section this week and the next.

This program was broadcasted by public radio station WAMU in Washington D.C. every Sunday night in the beginning of the 1980’s. It was put together and presented by Rob Bamberger, who still entertain and enrich us with his program ”Hot Jazz Saturday Night”

It was always a special moment for an Ellington enthusiast to listen to ”The Duke Ellington Hour” particularly since often music, which was not available on records, was played. This was possible thanks to the extraordinary circle of Ellington collectors in and around Washington D.C. In particular, Jack Towers shared a lot with the program.

In the program excerpt (about 15 minutes long), Bamberger presents and plays the reel tape album Duke Ellington Originals.

Pentape cover 2


Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 2

The second program was broadcasted on 25 November, 1984 and it was presented by Bent Schjarff.

The eight selections in the program are from four different occasions ranging from February 1957 to June/ July 1964. A document with the discographical information for the program (and others in the series) are available in the Ellington Archive. Corrections are most welcome.

Most of the recordings played in the program are available on LPs or – in one case – on CD. However, there are two which has not been issued so far. It is the second take of Take The “A” Train from July 3, 1962 and the interview with Ellington in Tokyo sometimes in June-July 1964 (mer…)

Danish Radio Ellington Broadcasts – Program 1

As said in an earlier post (12 March 2016), the first two broadcasts by the Danish Radio of music from the Mercer Ellington donation are available to the members of DESS in the Members Lobby during the month of May

The first program was broadcasted on 25 November, 1984 and it was presented by Bjarne Busk. It is a little bit of an introduction to both the program series and the stockpile recordings. Quite a few of the songs in the program were to reappear in a wider context in later programs.

The 13 songs played in the program are from 8 different recording sessions ranging from 3 January 1956 to 25 August 1972. A document with the discographical information is available in the Ellington Archive. Corrections are most welcome.

Even if most of the recordings played in the program have been issued on CD (particularly in the Private Sessions series),  some have not been issued so far, like the first take of Feetbone from 17 March 1956, the Paris recording of the second movement of Night Creature from 31 January 1963,  a version of Race with Paul Gonsalves from 6 November 1968 and The Giggling Rapids from 10 March 1970.

And, of course, only the radio program is illuminated by the presentational comments of Bjarne Busk.

Celebrating the return of Cootie Williams


After almost 22 years of absence, on 12 September 1962, Cootie Williams returned to the Ellington band.  Ellington was then back to New York after some touring along the east coast. Cootie’s return seems to have already been arranged by that time because a new piece was ready for him on his first day with the band.

He replaced Bill Berry, who had been in the trumpet section since December 1961. Possibly Berry left to make room for Williams.

The new piece was ”Tutti for Cootie”, which was to become a concert feature for Cootie Williams, often performed together with ”Concerto for Cootie”. The song was composed by Ellington and Jimmy Hamilton.

Cootie’s first reappearance with the Ellington band was a two-day ”stockpile” recording session on 12-13 September, 1962. ”Tutti for Cootie” was the first piece to be recorded and there seems to have been only one take.


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