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Etikettarkiv: Duke Ellington Society of Sweden
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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)
Man with Four Sides is one of Ellington’s theatrical projects.
In Music Is My Mistress, Ellington says that he wrote it in 1955 when the band played for several weeks at the 1955 version of Billy Rose’s Aquacades – a famous music, dance and swimming show – in New York.
”I had very little to do so I could go and get some work done at home”. That was when I wrote my play, Man with Four Sides”.
It was obviously meant for Broadway but like many other of his projects of this kind, it never made it there.
Man with Four Sides is a musical in three acts with a white couple Mr. and Mrs. Lane as the main characters together with ”Streamline” Smith” and Moiselle.
Martha Washington Penoctbottom Lane is a prudish lady who keeps her husband Otho Lane in tight reins while Otho is fascinated by a woman in his dreams.
Smith, whose wife has left him, is a neighbor to the Lane couple and he sings the blues all day, while Moiselle is a real-life incarnation of the woman Mr. Lane sees and hears in his dreams.
John Franceschina’s book Duke Ellington’s Music for the Theatre has a detailed description of the story (pages 87-92 paper back version)
Ellington wrote the book, the music and the lyrics for the musical.
He composed six original songs:
She (aka Sensuous), Come On Home, Weatherman (aka How Does It Look For Tomorrow), She Didn’t Have Much To Say, It’s Rumour, Twilightime
and put text to the second blues theme of Happy-Go-Lucky-Local and called it Train Blues (aka Like A Train). The Blues from Black, Brown and Beige is also scripted to be sung in the musical.
In addition, lyrics for 8 songs, for which no music exists, have been found.
The play seems to have been in the making for a long time. John Franceschina says in his book that ”the germ of the work began in the 1940s in the notes for a script entitled Mr. and Mrs. Lane”.
However, the Danish jazz researcher and jazz critic Erik Wiedeman, who spent two months in 1989 researching documents on the musical in the Ellington Archive at the Smithsonian and who also located recordings of music for it, considers that the real work work on the musical started in the early 1950s.
One of the key songs in the musical – She – was recorded by The Coronets for Mercer Records in April 1951 but it also exists in an earlier piano solo version. She was recorded together with three other songs for the musical in a kind of rehearsal session by Ellington, Jimmy Grissom and Wendell Marshall in July 1952.
A month earlier the full Ellington orchestra had recorded Come On Home in a session for Columbia.
Erik Wiedemann presented his research on Man with Four Sides to the Ellington ’90 conference in Ottawa. He was given only some 40 minutes to do it so he chose to focus on the music.
He let the audience listen to some of the recorded songs mentioned above but also to a NBC radio broadcast from 28 august 1955 in which Ellington gives a a synopsis of the show and Jimmy Grissom and Marion Cox accompanied by Luther Henderson (p) and Jimmy Woode (b) sing four of its songs – Like A Train, She, It’s Rumour and Twilight Time .
Wiedemann also provided a handout to accompany his presentation. It details the songs of the musical and is available here. ”Thank you” to Roger Boyes for having provided it to the website.
After the conference, Wiedemann expanded his presentation into an article, which was published in the Danish journal ”Musik & forskning” no. 16 1990-1991. It has an annex with detailed information about the music for Man with Four Arms.
It is is available here.
Sources for the web article:
Erik Wiedemann: Presentation at Ellington ’90
Erik Wiedemann: På sporet af Man with Four Side
John Franceschina: Duke Ellington’s Music for the Theatre
In 1966, Duke Ellington and his orchestra did apparently not have a long-term engagement in New York (NYC) until late in the year. They did three major international tours in the Spring (Europe, Africa and Japan) and performed at the Antibes Jazz Festival in July. For the rest, the band basically played concerts and did gigs on the West Coast and in Northwestern and Midwestern states. (source: The Duke – Where and When)
There were also two recording sessions – one for the soundtrack of Assault on A Queen and two for the RCA album Popular Ellington.
At the end of October, Ellington was briefly back in New York but mostly for engagements in Upstate New York and New Jersey. The visit back East ended with a Concert of Sacred Music at Mount St. Mary’s College, Newburgh, N.Y. on November 6.
Then the band went West again for a mixture of concerts, dances and seminars in Arizona and California. On November 15th, Ellington performed for the first time his Concert of Sacred Music in a synagogue – Temple Emmanuel Of Beverly Hills.
Circa November 20th, Ellington was back again in New York, this time for a longer club engagement. He was contracted to play for two weeks at the Mark Twain’s Riverboat Restaurant. The band started there on November 21.
The restaurant/club was located in the Empire State Building on 350, 5th Avenue at 34th Street in New York.
It had opened on April 16, 1964 in a space that originally housed a restaurant in the famous Longchamps chain of New York restaurants.
In 1959, the restaurant entrepreneur Jan Mitchell had acquired the chain with the purpose to put it back on good footing.
He originally tried a German concept for the restaurant in Empire State Building but it did not work out well so he decided to try something else.
The new concept was to make it a place for jazz – a place for Big Band Names – and over the next three years most of the big bands that existed at the time played there. They were not only jazz orchestra but Count Basie appeared there and both Charlie Barnet and Artie Shaw put together orchestras to play in the club.
In 1967, Jan Mitchell sold the Longchamps chain and with it Mark Twain’s Riverboat Restaurant. It continued to be a place for music but more of the pop style of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
The original restaurant opened in 1938 and occupied the entire northeast section of the first floor, basement and sub-basement of Empire State Building. It had a seating capacity of 1.000 persons. Mark Twain’s Riverboat Restaurant was half the size, was located on two floors below ground level and had a seating capacity of 500 persons.
But back to Ellington’s two-week engagement at Mark Twain’s Riverboat in November-December 1966.
DESS member and passionate photographer Olle Lindholm lived in New York at the time. ” I went to Mark Twain Riverboat Restaurant as often as I had time and could afford it. I enjoyed listening to the big bands that played there. It had fantastic acoustics and hearing for instance Xavier Cugat with eight bongos in his band there was an incredible experience.”
”I went to the club during the first week of Ellington’s engagement and I brought with me my Leica. Since it had no flashlight. I did not bother to ask anyone for permissions to take photos and I when had Ellington to pose for my camera he did not mind.”
Olle took two rolls of film and the photos catchs the atmosphere of the evening from the opening to the end. Together, they form a unique document of how an Ellington performance at a night club unfolded. We will come back to this later in the article.
Ellington’s stay at Mark Twain Riverboat Restaurant was well covered by radio and television. The independent radio station WNEW broadcasted from the opening night and WNEW’s legendary disc jockey William B. Williams was the announcer. On November 25, CBS did a U.S. Treasury Departement broadcast from the restaurant and another one in the week thereafter. On November 29, NBC did a Tonight Show telecast.
Here is the next to complete WNEW broadcast with the different numbers presented by Duke. Here and there in the broadcast there is an interesting and funny dialogue between Duke William B. It is well worth listening to it
The broadcast starts with Take The ”A” Train. Then follows The Old Circus Train with Jimmy Hamilton as the main soloist, this time he is playing tenor saxophone.
Harry Carney is next with Sophisticated Lady. At the end he demonstrates circular breathing when holding a long tone at the end of the song.
The broadcast continues with Satin Doll. It has an unusual piano intro by Duke and Cootie Williams and Paul Gonsalves are the other main soloists.
Then follows Tutti For Cootie (aka Fade Up), an unusual version of Mood Indigo and a somewhat wild version of The Opener, with solos by Paul Gonsalves, Buster Cooper and Cat Anderson.
Passion Flower and Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, which are next in the broadcast, are omitted here due to the fairly poor sound quality on our original tape but we have kept the interesting dialogue between Duke and William B.
The program then continues with Wings And Things before most of the band members are heard in Jam With Sam. Duke signs off the broadcast with Satin Doll.
So back to Olle Lindholm’s photos.
As said before, they really tell the story of how an evening could unroll during Ellington’s engagement at Mark Twain’s Riverboat