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…)
The third of the three programs with Ellington material from the Mercer Ellington donation, which Danish Radio put on the air in July 1960, was broadcasted on July 23, 1990 with Fleming Sjølund-Jensen as presenter.
The program starts with a segment of another Ellington interview, this one made by Guiana Broadcast Service. “If you had to do it all over again, would you?”, the interviewer asks Ellington. “Yes”, he replies, “but I don’t know if I would be as lucky” and then dwells on this issue.
Sjølund-Jensen dates the interview to October 1969 but it is actually from June 9, 1969. It was most likely done in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, which was included in Ellington’s West Indian June 6-18, 1969.
Ellington and the band spent the first two weeks of October 1969 in Las Vegas. Possibly the interview was done during this engagement?
The broadcast continues with stockpile recordings from the early 1970’s. First comes The Checkered Hat from Feb. 23, 1971 with Norris Turney soloing in his own composition. It has been issued by Storyville on its Togo Brava CD.
Next are two selections from the May 13, 1971 stockpile session – Perdido (-11) and Charpoy (-12). Perdido is a feature for Money Johnson while Wild Bill Davis has the solo role in the Strayhorn composition Charpoy. It is issued on the Musicmaster label (CD) while Perdido can be found on the Togo Brava CD.
I Got It Bad, which follows, is an interesting version in an arrangement of Wild Bill Davis. Harry Carney and particularly Cootie Williams have the solo roles. It was recorded in the stockpile session Dec. 11, 1970 and has been issued by Storyville on the New York, New York CD.
After this, the program continues with Mood Indigo and Don’t You Know I Care from the stockpile session June 12, 1972.
Sjølund-Jensen then gives the listeners the pleasure to hear two full takes of Mood Indigo with a brk take in between them. This is no doubt the highlight of the broadcast. The first one is more than 9 minutes long and has not been issues on LP or CD so far. The second full take is almost 6 minutes long and is also included in Storyville’s New York, New York CD.
Ellington played similar versions of Mood Indigo at dance dates in Pennsylvania on April 14 and 19 but in June 12 Tyree Glenn was back in the band for a short time and that makes a lot of difference!
Don’t You Know I Care is a particular feature for Harold Minerve, who had joined the Ellington band in April 1971 to take over after Johnny Hodges.The take (-1) played in the broadcast has not been issued on LP or CD.
The broadcast ends with two contrasting songs.
First comes the solemn Christman Surprise sung by Lena Horne at the first performance of Concert of Sacred Music in Fifth Avenue Presbytarian Church in NYC on Dec. 26, 1965. The lyrics are by Rev. C. Julian Barlett and the music by Billy Strayhorn.
It is followed by Ray Charles’ I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You, which Ellington recorded on May 19, 1964 for Reprise. The version played in the program (-2) has not been issued so far.
As Sjølund-Jensen says is his sign-off “We Can’t Stop Lovin’ You, Duke!”
Concerts in Stockholm 1966 (2)
Action att Cirkus in Stockholm 1966
Ella sings Duke’s “favorite” tune
In contrast to the first concert from Stockholm’s Concert Hall on February 7, 1966, the second concert was broadcast by Swedish Radio. There was one broadcast on February 21 and one on March 11. Ella Fitzgerald and her trio were also part of this concert, but we strictly follow the New Desor on in our programming, meaning that Ella Fitzgerald is omitted, except for the two tunes att the end of the concert. The two concerts are not identical in contents, but differences are slight. (more…)
The second of the three programs with Ellington material from the Mercer Ellington donation, which Danish Radio put on the air in July 1960, was broadcasted on July 16, 1960 with Fleming Sjølund-Jensen as presenter.
It is the second DESS “goodie” this month and is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.
The program starts with another three selections from the stockpile session March 16, 1962. The Blues Ain’t sung by Milt Grayson ended broadcast 41. This time Sjølund-Jensen plays three more numbers with Grayson – Do Nothin Till You Hear From Me (-7) which also has a long solo by Lawrence Brown, Where In The World (-11, -12-13- 15) and One More Twist aka One More Once (-15, -16), in which Paul Gonsalves also solo.
None of the selection have been issued on records so far.
Next comes two selections from the stockpile session Aug. 30, 1965 – Trombone Buster (-7) with Buster Cooper and Louie Bellson in leading roles and When I Am Feeling Kinda Blue aka Imagine My Frustration (-6) featuring Johnny Hodges. Trombone Buster is issued in the Private Collection series (vol 8) while the take of When I Am Feeling Kinda Blue is not issued so far.
The two following numbers are not easily found in discographies.
They are from a small group recording session with Cat Anderson as leader. Nothing from the session has been issued so far and Ellington participate only as a coach from the control room.This is why it is absent from the most common discographies.
In the broadcast, the session is said to be from August 18, 1962 but this is rather unlikely since Ellington recorded with Coleman Hawkins for Impulse that day.
In a article in the DEMS Bulletin 1990-3, Benny Åslund claims that the correct date is Sep. 18, 1962. It is a possible date. Ellington was in New York at the time and busy in recording studios. On Sep 17 he recorded the Money Jungle album.
Sjølund-Jensen lets the listeners first hear what he says Cat Anderson calls De De Dada Dum but also gives the title as Organ Grinder’s Swing. Anderson takes the opportuni to demonstrate his growl style.
The second tune is called On Flight and Anderson is certainly flying high in it. Paul Gonsalves also has a solo spot.
Next in the broadcast come two selections from the Jan 7, 1967 stockpile session. Ellington sits once again in the control room and this time it is Melba Liston, who has taken over the piano chair. She is also responsible for all the arrangements.
The selections are Jump For Joy (-7, -9 brk, -10) and I Like The Sunrise (-2, -3, -4, -5 and -9). Both are sung by Tony Watkins.
The broadcast ends with Together and Jeep’s Blues (nc) from a concert in November 1958. It is most likely the second concert at Theatre De L’Alhambra in Paris on Oct. 29, 1958.
Concerts in Stockholm 1966
In our endeavor to publish Duke Ellington’s concerts in Sweden in chronological order, you will have noticed that the only surviving concert from 1965 was extensively covered in three different articles in April-May 2017. We will therefore continue with events in Stockholm 1966. That year there were two concerts at the Stockholm Concert Hall (Konserthuset) on February 7 and a televised concert from Cirkus on February 8, which we previously have presented in videoformat. The two concerts in the Concert Hall have never been issued on record, nor have have we presented them in these pages, but some numbers have found their way on LP records.
The 1966 tour was organized by Norman Granz and in the concerts the time was divided more or less equally by Duke and his orchestra and Ella Fitzgerald and her trio.
Cotton Tail with Ella Fitzgerald
We here present parts of the first concert (we have left out the parts where Ellington is not present in order to avoid a too large music file) in the Goodies Room. We have no evidence of this part ever being broadcast, in contrast to the second concert which was indeed broadcast by SR. (more…)
Spring issue of Blue Light
This issue was delayed because of the Covid 19 pandemic and reached the DESUK members in early May.
It is dominated by a 12 page article by Roger Boyes titled Black, Brown and Beige – New York City Winter 1943. It is a very impressive piece of work which in a sense is series of mini essays with BB&B as the common theme. Some of the titles are A Theme for a Lifetime, Very Public Preparations, Rye High and Carnegie Hall, The Reviews and Boston – A Modified Programme.
The article follows similar articles published in earlier issues of Blue Light and hopefully there will be more. Will there in the end be a book about Ellington in the 1940s?
Boyes also contributes to the new issue with an interesting and detailed comment on the article Duke Stride Piano in the previous issue of Blue Light.
A lengthy comment by Brian Priestly on Con Chapman’s Hodges book belongs to the same category. It expresses quite a critical view on the book.
Finally Mike Westbrook writes about his composition On Duke’s Birthday which was supposed to have been performed at Ronnie Scott’s in London on Ellington’s birthday this year.
Upbeat CD with rare Ellington
The English Upbeat Mail Order company, which specialises in New Orleans revival and Dixieland music, took over the Canadian Jazz Oracle label last year. This label with John R.T. Davies as President produced a total of 71 CD titles of comprehensive and rare recordings from the 1920s and ‘30s. “The sound quality and remastering were state-of-the-art, the liner notes were lengthy and authoritative, and the packaging was top-notch.” (Scott Yannow)
Jazz Oracle rewarded good customers with a Gift from the President CD with very rare takes. One of them was take B of Ellington’s recording of Tishomingo Blues on June 28, 1928 and another take 2 of Without You Emaline recorded by Bubber Miley and His Mileage Makers on May 16, 1930.
Upbeat has recently reissued the CD as Vintage Jazz Rarities.
The CD has the same excellent sound as the original CD. However, a track with Mound City Blue Blowers has been left out for us who would like to have it all. But is is good that the tracks are in chronological order.
Essentially Ellington 2020
Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition organiserad av Jazz at Lincoln Center börjar fira sitt 25-årsjubileum i morgon. P.g.a. av Covid 19 pandemin är det ett rent virtuellt evenemang som kommer att vara tillgängligt genom strömmande medier som Facebook Live och Livestream.
Hela programmet finns tillgängligt här. Skrolla bara ner en liten bit på sidan. Själva tävlingen äger rum på fredag med början kl 20.00 svensk tid. Den föregås av av en stor virtuell jamsession på torsdagen och ett evenemang kallat 25 solon – 25 år. Men det bjuds naturligtvis mycket annat intressant. Det är bara att titta i programmet.
The Seven Tones Project
Detta är ett fantastiskt projekt på Facebook..
Enkelt uttryckt handlar det om ett kortfilmsprojektprojekt i vilket filmmakare och musiker kombinerar mycket vackra filmbilder med Ellington och Strayhorn musik. “Inspired by Ellington” är projektets huvudslogan.
Facebookadressen är https://www.facebook.com/theseventonesproject/. Där finns alla filmer att se och höra.
Projektet finns också på YouTube.
Här är några exempel på filmer.
Covid19 stoppade Ellingtonkonferensen i Washingto D.C men den utlöste också att nya tolkningar av Ellington- och Strayhornmusik strömmade ut över världen!
After a break of almost four and a half years, Danish Radio resumed its broadcasting of Ellington material from the Mercer Ellington donation by putting on the air three programs in July, 1990. They had been put together by Fleming Sjølund-Jensen, who was also the presenter in the programs.
The program broadcasted on July 9, 1990 is the third DESS “goodie” this month. It is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.
The program starts with two selections from an stockpile session, Love You Madly and Satin Doll . Both of them are mainly showcases for Paul Gonsalves.
Sjølund-Jensen gives the date for this session as January 29, 1957 and in the first volume of the Private Collection (LMR 83000), where they are included, it is Dec 16, 1956.
However, in NDESOR the reciording date for the two songs is revised to February 1957.
Between the two songs, there is an excerpt of an interview of Ellington in March 1962, in which he talks about from where he got the name Duke and the origin of the “Love You Madly” phrase.
Next, the broadcast turns to the April 14, 1965 stockpile session April 14, 1965 and Sjølund-Jensen lets the listerners hear Blues take 2 and Limbo take 1 and 2.
The session produced six songs, which were later included in the Concert in the Virgin Islands album but the two in the broadcast – Blues (aka Big Fat Alice’s Blues) take 2 and Limbo take 1 and 2 are not among them.
The broadcast continues with three songs from a concert broadcast by the King-FM radio station from the DJ’s at 2214 4th Avenue in Seattle –The Shepherd, Drag and Take The A Train (theme) The first is of course a feature for Cootie Williams and the second for Johnny Hodges. The first documented performance of Drag is actually the first concert in Stockholm on January 24, 1967.
After this, we hear part of a recording session in Chicago on March 16, 1962 with Milt Grayson in the central role. On this occasion he recorded five Ellington songs with a small Ellington group . One of them being The Blues Ain’t and the six takes of it ends the broadcast. Ellington is coaching in this part of the stock pile session and Strayhorn is at the piano.
Duke Ellington’s monthlong tour of Europe between April 1 and May 1, 1939 took him and the orchestra to France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
They spent most of the time in Sweden, where Ellington gave 22 concerts in 14 cities. He played three times in both Stockholm and Göteborg.
In addition, Ellington and the orchestra performed in Oslo, Norway and in Copenhagen, Denmark, (two concerts in each city).
The tour meant that thousands of Swedes, most of them young, experienced Ellington and his music directly. Many of them also made contact with Ellington and band members to shake hands and get their concert programs autographed.
The website has published two articles about the tour in Sweden with some quite unique photos. One is about Ellington’s concerts in Stockholm on April 16, April 24 and April 29 and the other about the concert in Storvik on April 23, 1939
Ellington’s European tour is well documented in The Duke – Where and When with links to what has been witten about the tour and lists of the music played at the concerts in The Netherlands.
Preparing for the Ellington ’90 conference, John E. Hasse researched the Ellington Archive for material about the 1939 tour and on the last day of the conference he made an hourlong presentation on it.
As a true pedagog, Hasse had prepared an eight pages handout with essential information from his presentation. Roger Boyes of DESUK has very kindly shared his copy of the handout with the website to allow us to share it with our readers.
Gothenburg March 11, 1964
Konserthuset in Gothenburg
Harry Carney in Agra
On the above date, there were two concerts at Konserthuset in Gothenburg. In our previous comments on the concerts in Stockholm, which took place two days earlier, we gave part of the story associated with these concerts. A more detailed account of this may be found in DEMS 12/1-6 which can be found in the DESS archive section. There is no to us available recording of the complete concert, but we have recordings from the 2nd concert from two main sources:
1. SR broadcast of edited parts of the concert ( in bold below)
2. Pablo CD 2308-245 “HARLEM”
The complete concert contents were suggested by Sjef Hoefsmit to be as follows:
*Take The A Train*Black And Tan Fantasy/Creole Love Call/The Mooche*Perdido*Amad*Agra*Blue Bird Of Delhi*Depk*The Opener*Happy Reunion*Wailing Interval (AKA Blow By Blow)*HARLEM*Caravan*Tootie For Cootie*Isfahan*Things Ain’t What They Used To Be*All Of Me*The Prowling Cat*Kinda Dukish & Rockin’ In Rhythm*Satin Doll*Jones & bc close* (more…)
Duke Ellington in 1964
If there is an abundance of surviving recordings from Duke Ellington’s tours in Sweden 1963, the resulting recordings from the 1964 tour is rather meagre with only three cities visited: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö with two concerts each. We have at hand a copy of parts of the first concert in Stockholm, and the complete program from 2nd concert from Gothenburg (from various sources). No copies have survived from the Malmö visit.
Paul Gonsalves plays Happy Reunion
The circumstances surrounding these concerts were for a long time unclear, where parts of the Gothenburg concert were thought to be from the 2nd concert in Stockholm. DESS was able to support the late Sjef Hoefsmit to sort this problem out. We can therefor present parts of the first concert in Stockholm on March 9, 1964 to our members. You’ll find it in the Goodies Room. (more…)