Concerts in Sweden 1963

Gröna Lund in June 1963

Ellington at Gröna Lund June 1963 (1) | DUKE ELLINGTON SOCIETY OF ...

Duke directing the band in one of the outdoors sessions

After the February visit to Sweden, Cat Anderson left the band temporarily, to turn up again with the band at Newport in July. He was replaced by Eddie Preston, another change in the trumpet section was that Rolf Ericson replaced Roy Burrowes, but the rest of the band was the same as in February. The band played concerts and provided dance music at Gröna Lund from June 4 to 9. Seven outdoor concert from the main scene (see picture above) and one indoor dance date from Dans In have survived. The outdoor concerts were more or less identical, consisting of

*Intro*Take The A Train*Afro-Bossa*Perdido*Medley*Take The A Train*

In one case it ends with the Medley (Take The A Train omitted) and in another case it ends with Satin Doll instead of Take The A Train.  An example from June 4 can be enjoyed below:

Perdido from June 4 with Rolf Ericson


Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

New DESS Bulletin

The second 2020 issue of the DESS Bulletin was sent to the DESS members last week. It is an impressive piece of work by Bulletin’s editor Bo Haufman, who also is the new President of Duke Ellington Society of Sweden

The cover story is about Fred Guy – The Obscure Fred Guy as Bo Haufman headline his three page article about him. A highly recommended reading!

Another of Bo’s articles in the new issue is an encyclopedic one about Ellington songs with a reference to a dance style or similar. It is in Swedish but it might be worthwhile to have it translated into English to give DESS’ English-speaking members a chance to comment.

In another four-page article (also this in Swedish), Bo writes about the record companies with which Ellington was associated. Also this article is in Swedish.

The Royal Swedish Ballet performed Ellington’s and Alvin Allley’s ballet The River at the Royal Opera in Stockholm in 1993. Erik Wiedemann wrote the text for the program and it is reprinted in the new Bulletin issue. It is accompanied by what Ellington said about the River at the Grace Cathedral concert in San Francisco on April 16, 1970.

Another reprint is what George Avakian said to an interviewer in 1978 about his first meeting with Ellington when Avakian was 18 years old.

The article by Mike Zirpolo emanating from his website Swing & Beyond in this issue is titled Something To Live For. It deals principally with the start of Billy Strayhorn’s career with Ellington and Ellington’s recording of Something To Live For March 21, 1939. The article is supplemented by one of Bo Haufman about recordings of Strayhorn and others of the song. The two articles are in English.

Ellington 2020

Det nya numret av Bulletinen (se ovan) innehåller en heltäckande rapport om Ellington 2020 – konferensen som aldrig blev av. Här följer några korta tillägg och foton.

Allt tydde på att det skulle bli en bra konferens. Den var väl förberedd av musikprofessorn Anna Celenza som vi alla är skyldiga ett stort tack för hennes sätt att organisera konferensen och hantera krisen som ledde till att den ställdes in.

Den hade också ett tema som pekade framåt. Det tilltänkta programmet och en kortare sammanfattning av de planerade presentationerna finns på webbplatsen för konferensen – https://www.ellington2020.org/.

Men av allt som planerats blev det alltså nästan intet. När vi satte oss ner på den anrika jazzklubben Blues Alley i Georgetown på onsdagskvällen var konferensen reducerad till ett symposium med maximalt 35 tillresta deltagare och färre presentation än planerat. Ett par timmar senare var också detta inställt och för oss européer gällde det att snabbt boka om flygbiljetterna så att vi inte fastnade i USA på obestämd tid.

Konserten “A Tribute To Billy Strayhorn på Blues Alley med Washingtongruppen Marshall Keys and Soulful Path var således det enda av det ursprungliga programmet som genomfördes.

Det var intressant och stimulerande att höra Billy Strayhornlåtar i beboptolkningar men det utlöste många diskussioner mellan de tillresta Ellingtonexperterna. Stämningen var dock överlag god.


Besvikelsen över att konferensen inte blev av ens i ett miniformat var naturligtvis stor särskilt bland de som arbetat hårt med att förbereda presentationer. På torsdagsmorgonen när konferensen skulle ha invigts tog några av dem upp initiativet att samla oss andra runt ett bord och en bärbar dator i ett hörn av konferenslokalen för att visa upp vad de förberett. Bl. a. visade filmmannen och Ellingtonkännaren Joe Medjuk filmen The Duke som CBC TV producerade 1965 för sin serie Festival. En mycket intressant film. Senast den visades på en Ellingtonkonferens var den i Toronto 1986.

Kanske det kan bli möjligt att visa den på ett kommande DESS-möte?

Frågan är naturligtvis nu om det kommer att bli fler Ellingtonkonferenser. Det är tveksamt. Det krävs mycket arbete för att organisera en konferens och tillflödet av en ny generation av Ellingtonexperter är svagt. Kanske behövs det andra former och mindre krävande former än en stor konferens för att driva arbetet på att “Mapping Duke Ellington’s World” vidare.

New recording of Black, Brown and Beige

Some five years ago, Jazz At Lincoln Center launched its own record label Blue Engine Records.

On March 6, the label released  Wynton Marsalis’ first recording of the Black, Brown and Beige (https://wyntonmarsalis.org/discography/title/black-brown-and-beige)

The website boosts that it is “a definitive, present-day recording of the suite.” This is true. It is not an effort to recreate what BB&B might have sounded at Carnegie Hall in 1943 but give Ellington’s composition a fresh face.

It will be interesting to hear the reactions of the Ellington community to this.

The work was recorded during a live performance of the work by the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at Time Warner Center’s  Rose Theater at the end of April 2018. The conductor was Chris Crenshow – trombonist and saxophonist in JALCO.

Some excerpts of the recording is available on YouTube like this one with Work Song.

The recording is available on most digital streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer. A mp3 version costs around 10 euros on Amazon. It is also available in a high resolution format (24 bits/96 kHz). For those living in the E.U. the easiest is to buy this version at http://www.highresaudio.com. It costs 15 euros.


Concerts in Sweden 1963

Kalmar Sporthall Feb. 9 1963


The Kalmar Castle

Duke Ellington’s Nordic tour in February 1963 ended with two concerts in Kalmar in the southeast of Sweden on February 9, The band had arrived in England on January 11 to return to USA on March 15 from Paris. During this time more than 30 concert venues had been visited and also some visits to recording studios. Kalmar was one of the lesser towns on this tour, but there was obviously great local interest in this event. Following is part of an article in the local newspaper Barometern on February 11, 1963.

Kalmar 2

There  were two concerts that evening in Kalmar, and a fair part of the the first has survived and also the opening of the second. Below you’ll find a sound example from the first concert

Jimmy Hamilton in Caliné (Silk Lace)

All the recorded material can be found in the Goodies Room.


Concerts in Sweden 1963

Telecast from Cirkus, Stockholm, Feb. 7 , “INDIGO”

As was previously pointed out, this telecast was presented on the website on Nov. 24, 2016, but it has not been available for viewing for quite some time. We however want it to come in chronological context with the other Swedish Ellington concerts  we are currently presenting, so here it is again. Just click on start and you will be able to see the full telecast.

In November 2106, we wrote:


This very word makes you think about Duke Ellington’s music.

It has been used in some of his song-titles but in 1963, Swedish Television used this word as a title of a telecast from the famous concert venue in Stockholm, Cirkus. It was to be Alice Babs’ first appearance and collaboration with Duke Ellington and his orchestra.

The telecast was the brain-child of program producer Arne Arnbom, one of the creative and innovative producers at Swedish Television at that time.

He had a strong interest in ballet and jazz and had already produced some program merging them together like “Sax Appeal” from 1960 with music by the pianist/composet Nils Lindberg. Arnbom had also produced TV programs for Swedish Television with the Swe-Danes. Arne Arnbom was also a child-hood friend of Alice Babs.

Towards the end of 1962, Arnbom went to New York to present the project to Duke’s organization. He told them that he wanted to have a Swedish singer included in the program and that this singer should be Alice Babs.

To give a sense of her singing to his Ellington counterparts, he presented them with the LP album “Alice & Wonderband”, which Babs had recorded with Arne Domnérus’ orchestra in mid-1959 and which included three Ellington songs – “Prelude To A Kiss” among them.

The project and Babs were accepted and the program was recorded on February 7, 1963 following Ellington’s concert at the Stockholm Concert Hall the night before. It was broadcasted on April 6, 1963.

“Indigo” is undoubtedly one of the best telecasts with Ellington and his band. Bringing in Alice Babs to sing and adding ballet performances choreograph by the famous Swedish choreographer Birgit Cullberg makes it very special. Arne Arnbom’s direct and almost ascetic pictorial language contributes also a lot to this.

It is a great pleasure to be able to offer our members to share it by viewing it in its totality.


The opening, as well as the concluding theme is Mood Indigo, hence the name of the telecast, Indigo.

Alice Babs takes part in three numbers, Take The “A” Train, Take Love Easy and Come Sunday and it is obvious that Duke is quite impressed by her performance, a fact that would lead to the famous recording sessions with Duke three weeks later in Paris.

In Take The “A” Train which is partly dedicated to Babs, we also hear a nice solo by Paul Gonsalves. It is reported that Georg Riedel is responsible for arranging vocal part.

The songs played in the program are mostly from Ellington’s concert repertoire at the time and the list of them gives a strong hint of who the solosists are:

Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (Lawrence Brown), The Blues (Milt Grayson), The Eighth Veil (Cat Anderson), Star-Crossed Lovers (Johnny Hodges), Sophisticated Lady (Harry Carney), Honeysuckle Rose (Jimmy Hamilton), Take Love Easy (Alice Babs), Dancers In Love (Duke), I Got It Bad (Johnny Hodges), Guitar Amour (Ray Nance), Tootie For Cootie (guess who), Come Sunday (Alice Babs), Boola (Sam Woodyard).

The Royal Opera ballet dancers Marianne Orlando and Conny Borg perform the Birgit Cullberg choreography to the music of Star-Crossed Lovers (Romeo and Juliette) and Willy Sandberg and members of the Royal Opera Ballett the one to Boola.

There are quite some familiar and prominent jazz and Ellington fans in the audience, e.g. Leif Anderson, Olle Helander, Putte Wickman and others.

Be sure to enjoy this video!


Smått och gott / Bits and Pieces

New issue of  Blue Light

The 2019-2020 Winter issue of Blue Light was published recently. This time, the journal particularly recognises the passing of clarinetist, saxophonist and orchestra leader Bob Wilber. He died August 4 at his home in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England at the age of 91.

Elaine Marsh (nee Norsworthy), who was very much involved in the organisation of the Ellington ’85 and ’88 conferences, shares her memories of Wilber from those conferences.

Wilber was the musical director of both conferences and in the ’88 one, he also did a presentation on Johnny Hodges. It was originally published by the DESS’ website on 24 June 2018 but we republished it now in a better resolution.

The new Blue Light has a six and a half page transcription of the presentation and the BL team has also created a Spotify playlist with the music Wilber played in his presentation.

Quite appropriately, the two Bob Wilber articles are  followed by a (rather lukewarm) review of Con Chapman’s biography of Johnny Hodges.

The Winter issue also has the second installment of Roger Boyes’ article Cabin In The Sky, which deals with Ellington’s activities in California ibetween mid-September and mid-October 1942. The first part was published in the Autum 2019 issue of Blue Light. A related article by Roger – Sherman Shuffle – was published in the Summer 2019 issue of Blue Light. It covers Ellington’s stay in Chicago and the Midwest in the summer of 1942.

Radiojazz Køpenhavn

Detta är radiostationen att lyssna på alla dagar i veckan för den verkligt jazzintresserade. Den drivs av en stor skara entusiaster och har ett imponerande programutbud. Den erbjuder djuplodande program om enskilda jazzmusiker eller jazzstilar, jazzkonserter framplockade ur privata arkiv eller inspelade på dagens klubbar och festivaler, nyheter om nyutgivna skivor och mycket annat.

Vid lunchtid varannan lördag låter Bjarne Busk lyssnarna ta del av konserter från 50, 60 och 70-talen – ofta med Ellington). Nästa lördagskonsert sänds den 28 mars.

Sedan en tid tillbaka har Ole Matthiessen en serie om Rudy van Gelder Den 18:e delen av den kan höras den 19 mars kl 22:00. Tom Buhman har precis en serie om Coleman Hawkins – (Self) Portrait of the Bean – och det andra programmet sänds den 23 mars kl. 23:00.

För vänner av Duke Ellington är programserien The Wonderful World of Duke Ellington av Henrik Wolsgaard-Iversen ett måste. Program 116 i serien sänds den 18 mars.

Äldre program i serien finns i bloggdelen av Radiojazz tillsammans med många andra tidigare sända program.

Internetadressen till Radiojazz är http://www.radiojazz.dk

Till sist: Varför finns det inte tillräckligt många jazzentusiaster i Sverige intresserade av att erbjuda något liknande i Sverige?







A mix from Ellington ’90

We will finish our series of articles from Ellington ’90 in Ottawa with another three selections from the rich program of the conference.

Our first selection is the presentation of Kurt Dietrich on Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton. He did a presention on Ellington’s trombonists at the Ellington ’89 in Washington D.C. and his presentation in Ottawa was in a sense a follow-up to it.

His two books Ellington’s Trombonists and Jazz Trombonists are highly recommended.

By the time of the Ottawa conference, John E. Haase had been Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for six years. In this capacity, he was leading the work to turn the big collection of Duke Ellington documents and papers, which were transferred to the Smithsonian in 1988, into the Ellington Archive.

On the first day of the conference he chaired a panel of key members of his team, who presented different aspects of the Ellington Archive. On the last day of the conference, Haase put on his research cloths and gave a presentation titled Ellington Storms Europe, 1939 on Ellington’s second visit to Europe.

As in some earlier Ellington Study Group conferences, there was also a panel with mostly Ellington alumni. Harold Ashby, Butch Ballard, Bobby Boyd, Kenny Burrell, Wild Bill Davis and John Lamb was part of it and Patricia Willard was the moderator.



Ellington interview 1968

In the beginning of February 1968, Duke Ellington made a short visit to French-speaking Canada with his orchestra. They performed at the Capitol Theatre in Ottawa on February 2 and in Montreal the day after.

Mildred MacDonald, a broadcasting pioneer and role model for women in the field of broadcasting, who worked for CBC for almost 50 years, decided that she should get an interview with Ellington. Without an appointment, she went to the dressing area behind the stage and managed to get the attention of the Duke, who agreed to an short interview before he had to get dressed for the concert.

In the final end, MacDonald managed  to get a 25 minutes interview and she focused it  on his recent tour in Asia.

22 years later. she talked about the interview at the Ellington ’90 conference in Ottawa and let the conference participants listen to it. Sjef Hoefsmit filmed it and this is why the DESS website another 20 years later can share it with its readers.

Unfortunately, the picture quality of the video is so and so but the sound quality is fairly acceptable.

Using sound editing tools, it has been possible to make the sound of the presentation a little bit better and the result is available to DESS members in the Goodies area.







DESS-mötet 17 februari 2020

Den här gången bestod mötet av tre delar. Först var det årsmötet med val och annat. Sedan höll John “Jonte” Högman ett föredrag om sin relation till Ellington och hans musik och därefter spelade Joakim Falk Blue Devils lite Ellington och annat.

Håkan Skytt och Lars Björkman skötte årsmötet med sedvanlig bravur.

Styrelsen fick ansvarsfrihet för sin skötsel av föreningen under 2019. Valet av styrelseledamöter fick sin karaktär av att Leif Jönsson avsagt sig uppdraget som ordförande och Anders Asplund lämnar som DESS’ kassör efter 15 år på posten.

Bo Ahnegård hade lett valberedningen.

På dess förslag valde årsmötet Bo Haufman till ny ordförande. Han har ett år kvar på sitt styrelsemandat. Lars Björkman, Thomas Harne och Owe Persson utsågs till styrelseledamöter på två år. Claes Brodda, Leif Jönsson och Peter Lee sitter kvar i styrelsen ytterligare ett år.

Bo tackade för förtroendet

och avtackade sedan Leif Jönsson och Anders Asplund för deras stora arbete för DESS och främjandet av intresset för Duke Ellington.

Efter årsmötet var det dags för kvällens föredragshållare saxofonisten m.m. John “Jonte” Högman att ta över scenen.

Han höll ett föredrag präglat av kunskap och hans kärlek till Ellingtons musik.

Det var mycket uppskattat och publiken önskade Högman välkommen tillbaka.

Efter den sedvanliga pausen med mingel och förtäring tog Joakim Falk Blue Devils över.

Gruppen, som bestod av Joakim Falk, kornett, Adam Falk, klarinett och tenorsax, Gunnar Åkerhielm, piano och Nicklas Wennström, bas, ingår i normala falll i den lite större gruppen Spicy Advice Ragtime Band.

Spelstilar och melodival hämtar man från förra seklets tidigare decennium, dvs 10-, 20- och 30-talen. Vi fick, säger Thomas Harne i sin rapport till webbplatsen, lyssna till en hel del Ellingtonmusik, men också till låtar  förknippade med andra ledande jazz-personligheter under denna tid.

Snibor och The Mooche i två ganska bokstavstrogna versioner inledde programmet. I det senare numret presenterade sig alla musikerna i tur och ordning, en growlande klarinett, sordinerad kornett, raka baslinjer i en klassisk ”walking bass” med mjuk stor ton, tenorsolo i den äldre skolan samt välvalda pianotoner.

Ensemblespelet var i början något ruffigt, men ju längre tiden led, desto bättre lät samspelet och soloinslagen. ”Jonte” Högman hoppade in i Dinah och smälte väl in i bandet. Samtliga levererade smakfulla solon.

Mood Indigo bjöd på ett längre, läckert pianosolo samt ett kornett-solo i den högre skolan. Oriental Man, med en hänvisning till Johnny Dodds, lät  oss höra ett tidstypiskt pianospel.

I Singin´ the Blues, som bl a ingick i Bix Beiderbeckes repertoar, briljerade Nicklas Wennström i långa melodilinjer med sin stråkbas. You Always Hurt the One You Love, var en trevlig bekantskap med refrängsång av Joakim på klassiskt manér. Black and Tan Fantasy följde därefter.

In the Gloaming, med rötter så långt tillbaka som 1877, blev en ny bekantskap för de flesta, medan slagdängan I´m Confessing that I Love You fick flera att gnola i refrängen. The Chant med referens till Jelly Roll Morton kom sedan och spelades med inspirerande hastighet och fantasi. Konserten avslutades med Creole Love Call.

De flesta välkända ansikten var på plats men mer publik är alltid att önska.


Ellington DR Broadcasts (37)

The fourth ”goodie” in February is program 37 in the Duke Ellington series of broadcast by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the “Goodies” section of the website.

The program was broadcasted on 24 November 1985 and provide materials from three stockpile sessions in 1962 and from one in 1967.

It starts with four selections from the 25 May, 1962 session – Black And Tan Fantasy (take -3), Boo-Dah (take -2), One More Twist (listed as Once More Once in NDESOR) and The Feeling Of Jazz (take -3) sung by Milt Grayson with Ellington at the piano. Black And Tan was issued in the Famous 5 LP box (M.F.D. G4RS-2536) while the other three are unissued.

Then the broadcast picks songs from the 3 July 1962 session – again The Feeling Of Jazz but this time in a small band version  and the rather odd Drinking Again (nc) sung by the specialist in romantic ballads Jimmy Vale. The full version of The Feeling Of Jazz is take -4, which has been issued on Bob Thiele‘s Doctor Jazz label.

The next three selections are from 24 May 1962 – Flirtibird (take -4), Smada (take -1) and What am I Here For? (take -2). They are all in the “Famous 5 LP” box.

The broadcast ends with The Shepherd Who Watches Over The Night Flock (take -2) and Salome (take -1) both recorded at a stockpile session on 23 June 1967 in Los Angels, not New York as the presenter says. Both of them are included in Storyville’s The Jaywalker CD.





Ellington DR Broadcasts (36)

The third ”goodie” in February is program 36 in the Duke Ellington series of broadcast by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the “Goodies” section of the website.

The program was broadcasted on 10 November 1985 and presented by Jørgen Frigård.

The broadcast starts with a short excerpt of Eggo (take 7) from the film The Jaywalker. It was heard in its entirety in program 35.

Frigård then continues the program with a section of another song from “The JayWalker” – Traffic Extension – followed by an excerpt of an interview from 1985 in which Thad Jones tells about his experience playing in the Ellington band for a week in August 1963.

Frigård follows up the interview with a portion of Asphalt Jungle as Ellington played it at Olympia in Paris on 1 March 1963. He heard Thad Jones use it in one of his jazz lectures at Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen.

Then the focus turns to Billy Strayhorn. In an interview from March 1962, Ellington talks about the pleasure to sit down in a studio with a new Strayhorn arrangement and start to work on it. It leads into an early version of Amad from Far East Suite recorded at a stockpile session 17 March 1965.

The broadcast ends with eight selections from the stockpile session 25 August 1972 with Ellington at the piano and Anita Moore and Tony Watkins doing the vocals. Azix Lateef is on drums on Loca Madi. The selections are:

Melancholia, Loco Madi, Le Sucrier Velours, The Blues Ain’t, I’m Afraid, I Don’t Know About You (take 3 and 4), New World A-Comin’ (complete) and Lotus Blossom (nc)




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