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Wolfram Knauer on BB&B

Wolfram Knauer, Director of the Jazzinstutut Darmstadt, did his first appearance at an Ellington Study Group Conference in Copenhagen in 1992.

He had chosen to talk about Simulated Improvisation in Black, Brown and Beige. The presentation built on an article Dr. Knauer had published in the journal The Black Perspective in Music in 1990.

In a 1986 article, André Hodier used the term ”simulated improvisation” to described an element in his compositions from the 1950s and Knauer considers that Ellington’s Black Brown and Beige is an early example of a comparable technique.

He gives several examples of this from the first part of the suite but starts his talk with some background on BB&B.

To help the audience to follow the presentation, Dr. Knauer had prepared a two-page handout, which is available here.

It is very good to have it at hand when listening to the talk.

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Strayhorn-serie på Sveriges Radio (2)

Det andra programmet i Jan Bruérs serie om Billy Strayhorn har fokus på 50-och 60-talen. Det slutar med Strayhorns sista komposition Blood Count.

Dessförinnan låter Jan lyssnarna höra bl.a. Drawing Room Blues, Watch Your Cue, Strange Feeling, Star-Crossed Lovers, Grace Valse och Blue Bird of Delhi

Under sommaren planerar vi att låta DESS’ medlemmar lyssna till en annan Ellingtonserie av Jan Bruér medan de kopplar av i hängmattan. Serien heter Hertigens spelmän och som namnet säger handlar den om olika medlemmar av Ellingtons orkester.

Strayhorn-serie på Sveriges Radio (1)

Förra året publicerade webbplatsen Jan Bruérs och Lars Westins programserie på Sveriges Radio om Duke Ellington och hans musik. Alla tio programmen finns tillgängliga för DESS’ medlemmar här.

Idag presenterar vi det första av två program om Billy Strayhorn, som Jan Bruér ställt samman. Tyvärr saknas f.n. information om när programmet sändes men efterforskningarna fortsätter.

Det första programmet har naturligtvis fokus på Strayhorns tidiga samarbete med Ellington men ger också exempel när de sitter ner vid pianot tillsammans.

Musiken i program är bl.a. Something To Live For, Blues A-Poppin’, Flamingo, Chelsea Bridge, Passion Flower, Midriff och Lotus Blossom. Tyvärr är bandet med radioinspelningen skadat mot slutet av Midriff.

Ellington DR Broadcasts (34)

The second ”goodie” in February is program 34 in the Duke Ellington series broadcast by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

This program was broadcasted on October 13, 1985 and presented by Bjarne Busk.

It starts with a snapshot from Ted O’Reilly’s interview of Ellington in Toronto on March 17, 1970 in which Ellington talks about his stockpile of unreleased recording.

Next comes New Concerto For Cootie recorded on September 13, 1962. The day before Cootie Williams had rejoined the Ellington orchestra and recorded Ellington’s welcoming piece for him – Tutti For Cootie.

The broadcast then moves on to the February 1957 stockpile recording session, from which Busk let the listeners hear C-Jam Blues and In A Sentimental Mood with Paul Gonsalves soloing. He shares this role with Clark Terry in ”C Jam Blues”.

After this, Busk features in the program an Ellington’s medley of French songs recorded on February 27, 1962 – My Heart Sings, My Man and No Regrets.

The last two are Edit Piaf songs –  Mon Homme and No Je Ne Regret Rien – and the first one an early 1940’s song Ma Mie written by the team Henri Herpin and Jamblan and first recorded by Jean Sablon.

However, ”My Heart Sings” and ”No Regrets” included in the Midnight In Paris album are from the recording session June 26, 1962. (mer…)

Ellington DR Broadcasts (33)

The first ”goodie” in February is program 33 in the Duke Ellington series broadcast by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the ”Goodies” section of the website.

This program was broadcasted on September 29, 1985 and was presented by Bjarne Busk.

It is totally dedicated to the stock pile recording session December 28-29, 1966. The session took place in the RCA Studios in New York.

Busk starts with what transpired on the second day, which was Tony Watkin’s day.

He recorded three Ellington songs – I’m Just A Lucky So And So, Blues At Sundown and The Lonely Ones. The first one was originally a number for Al Hibler and the second one sung by Jimmy Grissom on a couple of occasions in 1952 and in My People.

Before Watkins, ”The Lonely Ones” had been recorded by Johnny Ray and the Ellington band for Columbia on September 26, 1958.  and by Milt Grayson in a stockpile session on September 13, 1962.

None of the songs recorded by Watkins and played in the broadcast have been issued on K7, LP or CD so far.

Next in the broadcast , Ellington sits down at the piano for some meditation. On the tape box, the number is simply called Piano Track 1. Later it became Meditation.

Busk says that Ellington sat down at the end of the second day. However, according to Ellington discographies he actually did this at the start of the first day when he played a total of four songs for himself. (mer…)

The Mercer Ellington donation

The program of the Ellington ’92 conference also included a presentation on the Mercer Ellington donation to Danish Radio. It was delivered by Erik Wiedemann, Bjarne Busk and Flemming Sjølund Jensen.

Photo: Bjarne Busk

First Erik Wiedemann spoke about Mercer Ellington’s donation of 781 Ellington tapes to Danish Radio on the condition that it would properly mixed onto new tapes.

Then Bjarne Busk and Flemming Sjølund Jensen followed up by letting the audience listen to examples from the archive.

Busk talked among other things about his excitement when he listened to the first tape, which started with what turned out to be Pastel from the Degas Suite. He also gave some figures on the donation. 443 tapes were studio recordings from 128 dates. There was also 69 tapes with live recordings from 35 occasions and 53 tapes with interviews of Ellington.

Photo: Bjarne Busk

Busk finished his presentation by playing a recording from the Aug. 18, 1966 session ”which will never be issued” but also other examples from the tapes were included in it.

Sjølund Jensen focused his presentation on an untitled blues recorded on Nov. 23, 1968 and used it to demonstrate ”how Ellington and the band developed their material”. He very much featured Lawrence Brown in his clips.

Brian Priestly on Duke – The Pianist

Brian Priestly was also one of the speakers at the Ellington ’92 conference in Copenhagen.

Photo Bjarne Busk

He talked about ”Ellington The Pianist”.

During the 45 minutes presentation, Priestly played eight Ellington recordings with the piano at the centre and used them to highlight different aspects of Ellington’s piano playing. From time to time, he also sat down at the piano to give emphasis to his comments.

The music played in the program was Rockin’ in Rhythm (1937), Melancholia (1953), See See Rider (1972), (I’m Riding On the Moon and) Dancing on the Stars (1938), Band Call (1954), The Clothed Woman(1947), Bang Up Blues(1950) and Body and Soul (1961)

 

 

 

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