George Avakian 98 år
George Avakian – skivproducenten för bl.a. Columbia och mycket mera – fyllde 98 år den 29 mars. Hans insatser för Ellington under åren på Columbia är väl kända.
George hyllades på jazztemplet Birdland i New York, som är ett av hans favoritställen. Via ett telefonsamtal gratulerade Göran Wallén på DESS vägnar Avaikan där.
Han är en sann vän till Sverige och han har varit i Stockholm vid flera tillfällen. Bl.a. deltog han i Ellington-konferensen 2004 och i utdelningen av Polarpriset till Keith Jarrett 2005. Avakian var Jarretts manager under flera år.
Göran Wallén och George Avakian 2005
DESS-medlemmen m.m.Boris Enquist var bland dem på plats på Birdland för att gratulera. Han har fortsett webbplatsen med bl.a. det här fotot av en pigg 98-åring.
Foton med Ellington i Sverige efterlyses
DESS-medlemmen Lars-Erik Nygren har skickat oss ett trevligt foto på Ellington i Stockholm 1959. Känner någon igen de andra på bilden?
Det borde finnas många bilder av Ellington och hans musiker i olika lådor och fack. Ta en titt och dela med er av till andra DESS-are via webbplatsen. Vi åtar oss gärna att skanna både foton och negativ.
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
Webbplatsen har tidigare rapporterat om det trevliga initiativet av Frimurarlogen Gyllene Snittet i Karlstad att ägna ett av sina medlemsmöten åt Ellington och hans musik. Arrangemanget har nu också uppmärksammats i tidningen Frimuraren – organ för Svenska Frimurarorden – i en lång artikel.
Också i Dalarna rör det på sig. DESS’ nye medlem Leif Borgert har rapporterat om två evenemang där med Ellingtonmusik. Det ena var två konserter i Orsa resp. Djura kyrka med ”Sacred Music”
och det andra en konsert anordnad av Ludvika Jazzklubb.
Tack för initiativen!
Storyville has just released volume 23 in its Treasury Shows series. Now only two more issues remain until the series is complete.
It picks up where volume 22 ended, i.e. with a broadcast from Meadowbrook Garden Café but this time it is from August 24, 1946. Actually, Ellington did two broadcasts from Meadowbrook Garden Café on this date – the one for ABC on CD 1 of the album and another for MBS later in the day.
After his long engagement at Meadowbrook Garden Café August 9-25, 1946 had ended, Ellington moved on to Los Angeles. The second broadcast in volume 23 (on CD 2) is one from Lincoln Theatre in Los Angeles on August 31, 1946.
A month later, Duke was back in New York for a month-long engagement at the Aquarium Restaurant. It is from here that the third ”Your Saturday Date With The Duke” broadcast in volume 23 emanates. The date is October 5, 1946.
The bonus broadcast in volume 23 is another one from the Hurricane Restaurant – this time from August 26, 1943.
The details of the broadcast can be found at the Storyville website and of course in NDESOR.
Storyville has also issued a CD called ”An Intimate Piano Session” with music from the ”stockpile” recording in New York on August 25, 1972.
On this occasion, Ellington sat down with only his two singers at the time – Anita Moore and Tony Watkins – to record a number of songs not featured very often. At least one version of all the songs recorded except one is included in the CD. In additon, the CD has four tracks recorded at the end of the Rotterdam concert in 1969 when Duke sat down with Wild Bill Davis, Victor Gaskin and Ruus Jones to give the audience some extras.
Details are available at the Storyville website.