DUKE ELLINGTON SOCIETY OF SWEDEN

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DESS-mötet 6 maj 2019

Som vanligt hade programgruppen med Leif Jönsson i spetsen satt ihop ett intressant och bra program. Kärngruppen av DESS-medlemmar var på plats för att ha ännu en trevlig Ellington- och swingkväll men fler borde ha utnyttjat förmånen.

Ett fokus för kvällen var Ellingtons hundratjugonde födelsedag och Håkan Skytt hade rekryterats för att ge en snabbtur genom Ellingtons liv och musik. Hans föredrag – framfört med humor och fyllt med musik – uppskattades mycket.

Tack vare Göran Axelsson kan frånvarande DESS-medlemmar ta del av föredraget i efterhand. Det finns i avdelningen DESS-möten på webbplatsen. De som bara vill lyssna till musiken som Håkan valt för sitt föredrag kan också göra det. Den finns här.

Swinggruppen JazzMaTazz stod för kvällens musik. Imponerade att DESS kan erbjuda sina medlemmar ett framträdande av en grupp av den här klassen.

Gruppen spelade hela 16 låtar och av Ellingtons musik bl.a.

It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing

Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

All Too Soon och

I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart

”Uppskattat, svängit ochg lätt att ta sig till”, sammanfattade en i publiken.

Thomas Harne rapporterar mer utförligt om kvällen och JazzMaTazz framträdande i nästa nummer av Bulletinen.

 

Alexandre Rado on Ellingtonians in Paris

Alexandre Rado was a key component of the international community of Ellington experts until his too early death in 1997. He was a friend of many members of the Ellington band, a frequent presenter at Ellington conferences and a record producer of immense importance.

His first appearance at an Ellington conference was the Copenhagen ’92 one. The topic for his presentation was Ellingtonians in Paris.

Under this heading Rado gave the conference participants examples of records made by Ellingtonians when the Ellington orchestra visited Paris or during stays of their own in the city after 1974.

Particularly featured in the presentation are – as can be heard below – excerpts from recordings by Cat Anderson, Alice Babs, Buster Cooper, Paul Gonsalves and Sam Woodyard.

Cat Anderson was a special friend of Rado’s and his presentation at the Ellington ’94 conference was focussed on ”The Cat”. It can be heard and seen here.

 

Kuriosum – eller?

Harald Grut var en välkänd dansk jazzjournalist. Han skrev om jazz i danska tidningar och medverkade i dansk radio med jazzprogram.

Grut, som ursprunligen hette Hansen, föddes 1916 och skrev om jazz framför allt under 40- och 50-talen.  I mitten av 40-talet började han bidra med jazzartiklar också till Orkesterjournalen och Melody Maker. Grut avled 1982.

Tack vare en anställning på den amerikanska handelsdelegationn (senare ambassad) i Köpenhamn efter andra världskriget kunde han tidigt skaffa jazzskivor och jazztidskrifter från USA och blev en av de mest jazzkunniga i Danmark.

Tack till Bjarne Busk för informationen om Grut.

1957 publicerade OJ en artikelserie av Grut om Ellingtons musiker. Serien var något av det första mer ”djuplodande” om Ellington som webbredaktören läste.

Så här i efterhand framstår den som ganska tidstypisk. Det tidiga 40-talsbandet med Blanton och Webster ses som höjdpunkten i Ellingtons karriär och därefter gick det utför. Grut var inte ensam om den uppfattningen och den lever starkt hos många också idag.

Artikelserien publicerades som sagt i OJ 1957, närmare bestämt i maj-oktober utgåvorna av tidningen. Men en förnyad läsning av den pekar på att den måste ha skrivits långt tidigare. Sannolikt skrevs den 1954 eller i början av 1955. Kanske publicerades den ursprungligen i en dansk tidning och fann sina vägar till OJ långt senare.

Hela artikelserien finns tillgänglig för intresserade DESS-medlemmar i Ellington-arkivet men det första avsnittet kan läsas också här.

Artikel 1

 

 

Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

Nästa möte

Nästa DESS-möte äger rum nästa måndag den 6 maj. Lokalen är som vanligt Franska Skolans aula.

DESS-medlemmen m.m. Håkan Skytt står för kvällens föredrag. Ämnet är ”120 år med Duke Ellington – en sammanfattning”.

Gruppen JazzMaTazz står för kvällens musik. Den har mottot ”Lite swing får man räkna med”. En presentation av gruppen finns här.

More about Towne Casino

After the article published on March 21 with a radio broadcast from Towne Casino in Cleveland, DESS member Sonja Svensson has told us more about the club. She studied for a year at Western Reserve University in 1961 and spent many nights at the club.

This link to the blog Jazzed In Cleveland tells that Duke Ellington played some 40 times in and around Cleveland.

http://www.cleveland.oh.us/wmv_news/jazz29.htm

A complete index to the blog is available here.

New issue of Blue Light

The Spring 2019 issue of Blue Light reached its subscribers a couple of weeks ago. It has been put together by an interim editorial group waiting for Patrick Olsen to take over as editor with the next issue.

The main feature is a very interesting ten-page article titled The Protean Imagination of Duke Ellington – The Early Years. It is written by a certain A.J. Bishop of whom not much is known. In addition to the article reprinted from Jazz Journal in the new Blue Light issue, only two other articles from Bishop’s pen are known. They can be found in Mark Tucker’s Duke Ellington Reader.

Monsignor John Sanders is remembered in two articles by Roger Boyes, who also reviews the Heading for Newport CD issued by Doctor Jazz.

New radio program from Bill Saxonis

Last week Bill Saxonis was featured on station WCDB and its Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz for 19th consecutive year with his Ellington birthday bash. This four hour long program with program host Bill McCann had – as always – a lot to offer. The DESS website is very happy to have been able to serve Bill with some material for the broadcast.

Two one-hour installments is available in the website’s Ellington Archive and two more will be added later this month.

 

Happy Birthday Duke – 120 years

Today the website celebrates Duke Ellington’s birth 120 years ago.

The number of visitors to this and other Ellington websites and blogs attest that his music is still alive and hopefully it will continue to be for many years to come.

When Ellington was born, William McKinley was the President of the United States. Two and a half years later he was assinated and succeed by the Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, who was to establish USA on the global scene.

One wonders if this was discussed in the Ellington family and had any impact on Duke’s first 10 years.

However, the election of a president with a strong segrationist agenda – Woodrow Wilson – in 1913 most likely had it since the implementation of Wilson’s segrationist policies halted the growth of the black middle class in Washington D.C.

When Ellington turned 30 on April 29, 1929, he was in residency at the Cotton Club and had been so for quite some time. Nothing is known about how he celebrated this birthday but it seems likely that there were some celebrations at the Cotton Club.

10 years later he was in Stockholm as part of his Swedish tour and there he was celebrated a lot. As we wrote in the first article on the new DESS website three years ago, Duke ”was celebrated from the early morning into the late night”.

The article is available here.

In the article we included a photo in Orkesterjournalen of the morning celebration. Since then Jan Bruér has provided the website with the photo that was reproduced in OJ and we are happy to share it with DESS’ members and other Ellington aficionados. The French photo and video specialist Gérard Bouyssee has kindly helped fix some issues with the photo.

In 1949, Duke Ellington spent his 50th birthday in New York. He started an engagement at the Paramount Theatre on April 22 and it lasted until May 10th.  He and the band did six shows a day between showings of the new Glenn Ford movie. Billy Eckstine was also featured in the program but did not perform with Ellington.

In between the shows on his birthday, Ellington was interviewed by Barry Ulanov. The result was published in the June issue of Metronome. Unfortunately, we have not yet managed to locate this issue of the jazz magazine but small excerpts from the interview can be found at the TDWAW website.

In the evening of his birthday, Ellington did his first TV appearance. It was in a CBS TV show ”Adventures In Jazz” hosted by the disc jokey Fred Robbins. DESS members can enjoy the soundtrack of the show in the ”Goodies Room”.

Phil Schaap on 6 Ellington Sidemen

Phil Schaap was a frequent contributor to the Ellington conferences.

We have already published his presentations at the Stockholm ’94 conference and here is the one he gave in Copenhagen in 1992.

The topic for Schaap’s presentation was ”After Duke: Six Ellington Sidement in Their Years After Leaving The Band”.

The six sidemen selected for the presentation had left the Ellington orchestra in different decades and covers together the full lifespan of the band.

The sidement are Louis Metcalfe (1920’s), Freddie Jenkins (1930’s), Al Sears (1940’s), Francis Williams (1950’s), Sam Woodyard (1960’s) and Russell Procope (1970’s).

Schaap had interviewed them at one point or the other and use selections from the interviews in his presentation.

 

Carnegie Hall 1947, 1st concert, part 4

Bildresultat för carnegie Hall

Inside Carnegie Hall

Al Hibbler sings It Don’t Mean A Thing

This is the fourth and last part from DESS with music from the Carnegie Hall concert in NYC on December 26, 1947. The last we heard in our previous posting was the Theme Medley which was played right after the Liberian Suite . This was followed by a speech by a representative of the Liberian government, which we have chosen to omit. Hence we start with Stomp, Look And Listen, a number quite frequently played between the years 1943 and 1956, thereafter to disappear from the repertoire.
(mer…)

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