DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
01/3 December 2001-March 2002
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
See DEMS 00/3-13/2 and 00/4-13/4
I am late on this but after listening to the various recordings of Blue Serge, I don't think I can agree that the opening solo (15Feb41) is by Ray Nance. I feel it is by Rex Stewart.
My reasons for thinking it is Rex are as follows:
1. According to various discographies, Rex was using a cornet, which has a naturally darker sound when compared to the trumpet. Ray Nance of course played trumpet or violin during the same period.
2. On a number of recordings made by Rex during this period he would on occasion, use this darker more subdued sound. See start and end ensemble of Without a Song and My Sunday Gal (both 2Nov40). The melody statement in Linger Awhile (2Nov40), Some Saturday (3Jul41) and Swamp Mist (5Jul44) with his own groups. A further example could be his work with the Duke and Herb Jeffries on The Girl in My Dreams Tries To Look Like You (28Dec40 or 17Sep41).
3. Ray's first recordings, with Barney on 11Nov40, with the orchestra on 28Dec40 and of course the 15Feb41 session, simply do not show that side of his playing yet.
4. The whole concept of the solo is more in line with what Duke would know of Rex's playing than Ray's. The solo seems to be a set piece in that it remains very close to what was recorded for RCA.
5. With one exception, it appears that Rex took the solo on subsequent occasions. See the 3Dec41 transcription identified as Rex by Benny Aasland (WaxWorks 6Mar40 - 30Jul42), Desor (1st edition) 1941, page 110 and Jerry Valburn in VJC notes (CD 1003-2) track 22. See also 16Jun45, DETS 10 and 22Sep45, DETS 24.
6. The only exception is the recording of 11Jul43 from the Hurricane Club on LP HC 6002. Rex was out of the band. The LP attributes the solo to Ray but Benny Aasland in his Jul42 - Nov44 Waxworks and the New DESOR list Harold Baker as the soloist, who was filling in for Rex at the time.
As an interesting note, on the Smithsonian "Duke Ellington 1941", the annotation says it is Rex as the soloist. The notes were written by Gary Giddins but the recordings were selected by Martin Williams, who in his book "The Jazz Tradition" page 110 attributes the solo to Ray!! [In DEMS' copy of the book it is on page 102.]
All delightfully fascinating. There will be others who feel the opposite of what I think. They will give their reasons and we will listen to the music all over again.
The following statement by Mark Tucker was recorded in Washington, at the Carmichael Auditorium of the Smithsonian Institution on 27April89:
"Here a work by Mercer Ellington, Blue Serge. This is copied by Tom Whaley, so we get an idea of how Tom Whaley copied out parts compared to Juan Tizol. And you notice this is the beginning of the piece, which has puzzled a lot of people. How is this effect produced, the Ellington effect? Well here's a clarinet and two trumpets marked there. You will also see that there is a solo "Ray" for Ray Nance "in hat", muting his horn with a hat. Whaley has also written out chord symbols presumably for guitar or for bass possibly. So we get an insight into how these effects may have been conceived, not to say that they were the last word, because that is also part of Ellington's art, that in rehearsal or in performance adjustments could be made. So of course we do not have the last words in these scores but we have a big starting point." Mark Tucker
After Mark died I listened again to his brilliant presentations at our Duke Ellington Conferences. I was surprised to find this remark, which was recorded on the first day of our 7th Annual Conference. I asked Ted Hudson to look in the Ellington collection at the Smithsonian to find me the sheet that Mark projected on the screen during his presentation, but Ted Hudson has sent me the three trumpet parts of Blue Serge. These parts are different and show that it was Ray who did the solo at the beginning of the piece and not Rex, although the remark "in hat" does not appear on Ray's part. The parts for Ray and Rex are printed on pages 7 and 9 of this Bulletin. These trumpet-parts are copied from the originals in the Duke Ellington Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
The description of the structure of the recordings in the New DESOR has helped me a lot to understand these parts. (I am totally ignorant as far as reading music is concerned). For those of you who suffer from the same shortcoming I print here the DESOR description of the recording of 3Dec41, the Standard Radio Transcription, issued in 1990 on Vintage Jazz Classics VJC 1003 (DEMS 90/3-5).
If you have never tried to use these very helpful
descriptions, do it now. It is a brilliant system to make
it possible to discuss these matters in print.
Play the recording while you follow the structure.
The structure is based on a chorus-length of 8 bars.
As you see there are 9 choruses. This is also the case for the 16Feb41 recording, issued on Moon Records MCD 084 (DEMS 97/2-16), but this recording is slightly mutilated. The first recording, made for RCA Victor on 15Feb41, has only 8 choruses. Instead of 2 full choruses by Ben Webster, we have only one. It seems that chorus 7° was cut, to trim the score for a ten-inch 78 rpm record. (See for more about the truncation of Blue Serge by cutting one of Ben's choruses, note 1 and 2 at the end of this article.)
There are 6 bars preceding letter A in which Wallace and Rex take only the first 4 bars. Rex plays "in hat". Ray has to wait 5 bars to start his solo in the last bar before letter A. Letter A stands at the beginning of chorus 2° in DESOR in which Ray plays his written solo while Rex and Wallace do not play. Letter B stands at the start of chorus 3° in which Wallace and Ray play with the band. They both also play the 2 bars passage before letter C. The trumpet section is silent after letter C, while Joe Nanton takes his solo in chorus 4°. Ray and Wallace take a plunger when they start playing at the last bar before letter D and Rex takes a "cock-mute". Letter D is at the start of chorus 5°. Chorus 6°, which starts at letter E, is the solo by Ellington. Letter F is at the start of a 4 bar passage by the trombones and Ben Webster without trumpets. In the 3Dec41 recording Ben does his solo during choruses 7° and 8°. Wallace and Rex play their parts with organ-hat and Ray starts at the last bar. The piece ends with the 8 bars after letter I, the 9° chorus in the DESOR description. I suspect that the 7° chorus was either omitted during the recording of 15Feb41 or deleted later (were they so technically advanced in 1941?). It also seems to me that the 7° chorus was not played on 3Dec41, while the 8° chorus was repeated. There are more questions to be asked about this composition and the recordings of it. Nobody can have any doubt however that Ray played the opening solo and Rex did not.
Both DESOR (page 764) and Eddie Lambert (page 101) should be corrected. I do not print the part of the first trumpet-player, Wallace Jones. It is amazing to see how these three parts are indeed different in almost every detail.
Another great help to understand these trumpet-parts is the analysis made long ago by Roger Boyes. He combined for me his description with the one by DESOR and with the three trumpet-parts in one table. He distinguishes 7 choruses with an intro, an interlude and two tags. (Tacet/tacent means is/are silent.) His table is on page 11 [of the printed Bulletin and at the end of this article of the online Bulletin - pm].
Trying to find my way through this unknown territory was thrilling. Thank you Ted and Roger! Sjef Hoefsmit
Note 1. The fact that the RCA recording has only one Ben Webster chorus and the Standard transcription has two choruses by Ben, touches on Duke's problem in trimming his longer scores for issue on a 3:00-3:30 78 rpm. Cutting a two-chorus solo to a single chorus as here, is one of Duke's less painful ways of achieving this. Another is cutting successive one-chorus solos for two of his soloists to a single half-chorus for each; this creates in the listener a vague sense of dissatisfaction that nothing gets going before something else takes over. There are also examples of deeper cuts. Compare the studio originals of, say Pussy Willow and Tootin' Through the Roof with live performances preserved from Fargo or venues like the Boston Southland. (For Pussy Willow see my account in "Blue Light", vol. 5, no. 4.) With this note on the constraints imposed by the 10-inch 78 rpm, I hope to have made the point once and for all, that they were an irritation which posed problems for Duke, and not an asset. Roger Boyes
Note 2. I wholeheartedly agree with your conclusion, Roger. I must however make clear that in this particular case Duke's problem was caused by the fact that the band was not yet well acquainted with this piece and therefore played it slower at the RCA recording session of 15Feb41 and in the broadcast of 16Feb41 than at the recording session for the Standard Radio Transcriptions of 3Dec41. In Feb one chorus took approximately 23:30 seconds and in Dec only 21:10. This resulted in exactly the same total time for the 8 chorus RCA recording and the 9 chorus Standard Transcription and would have resulted in a longer time for the 9 chorus broadcast version of 16Feb, if this recording hadn't been mutilated and is consequently missing several parts. Sjef Hoefsmit
Note 3. We have printed the parts and the table deliberately on three consecutive odd pages to make it possible to read the text of this article while observing the illustrations at the same time. DEMS**
See DEMS 01/2-17/5
There was some discussion in DEMS 91/1-3 about the length of Carnegie Blues. It is definitely longer on the CBS LP CSP 16769 (3:13 min.) than on DETS #4 (2:45 min.) I note that on the CBS LP at the 2:28 point there is a station identification and then back to the music. Bill Morton
The "Date With The Duke" broadcasts through the Armed Forces Radio Service for the troops were edited from the original Treasury broadcasts. One reason was the fact that it seemed not very appropriate to ask the soldiers for money. The bond promotions had to be taken out. At the end of this CBS LP Emancipation Celebration occurs twice. It is the same recording. Also Carnegie Blues is edited.
The description of the original recording (12 bar blues)
was as follows (see the New DESOR p.791 item 4527q):
2°2AS,2LB,2AS,2LB,2AS,2LB;pas8BAND;3°BAND. A connection was made after the 8th bar of chorus 3 . The announcement was on top of the bars 5, 6, 7 and 8 of 3 . After the connection came a repeat of what I have underlined. Sjef Hoefsmit
See DEMS 01/2-30 under Page 1102.
I found some interesting stuff in Swedish Jazz Times No. 9 (December 1958).
Lennart Östberg had met Harry Carney, who told him that on the famous Saddest Tale recording he was playing alto clarinet (in F), not bass clarinet!
Harry also mentioned the 1928 recording of Stack O'Lee Blues. Bubber Miley was asked to play the melody straight but started to improvise instead. Irving Mills didn't like it, and on another take Miley played the melody as badly as he could, hoping for a new and better take, which never happened, according to this information. The only issued take seems to be 145489-3. Jan Bruér
Let us hope that take -1 or take -2 will one day pop up, to let us hear Bubber's improvisations. DEMS
It's quite clear from the Hot Corner broadcast interview [probably Feb47, DESOR 4703] that Duke is saying that the instrument Harry uses for his solo was not a bass clarinet, but a 'mezzo'. It's less clear what he meant by a 'mezzo'. Around ten years ago Elaine Norsworthy and I tried to find out, but our efforts, sadly, were inconclusive. The obvious answer was always going to be that Duke meant an alto clarinet, which is normally pitched in E flat, less commonly in F. Sometimes it's known as the 'tenor' clarinet, but these terms are not to be thought of as indicating two decidedly different instruments, as the alto and tenor saxophones are. The E flat and F versions are two of a kind, in the same way that the orchestral player's 'pair' of regular soprano clarinets pitched in B flat and A are.
The instrument's position in the family of clarinets corresponds exactly with the meaning of the word 'mezzo' and with Duke's statement about the instrument Harry plays. It comes between the familiar soprano (Barney Bigard) clarinet and the bass clarinet, and it is still widely played in concert wind bands. It was much commoner in the 1920s before the alto saxophone superseded it than it is now, and it's no surprise that Duke was familiar with it. Indeed, there is photographic evidence that he was. Look at the 1923 photograph of Duke playing piano at the Lafayette with the Wilbur Sweatman band which is reproduced on page 82 of Mark Tucker's Ellington - The Early Years. Sweatman performs on an alto/tenor clarinet as Duke flashes a winning smile from the keyboard behind him.
Elaine and I only unearthed one anecdotal reference to 'mezzo' as a term used to describe the alto clarinet. And that came from Europe, not the USA. Jan Brur's reference to the piece in the Swedish Jazz Times in which Harry Carney told Lennart stberg that he played the famous solo on an alto clarinet in F is good news, since it supports our earlier reference. It's also consistent with what Harry told Stanley Dance in 1961 'I didn't take up bass clarinet until many years later, around 1944' (The World of Duke Ellington, page 72). Other questions Elaine and I raised concerning Duke's remarks in the Hot Corner interview about Saddest Tale remains puzzling. But it is now clear that the piece cannot be used as evidence of the presence of a bass clarinet in the Ellington instrumentation during the 1930s. It's worth pointing out also that alto clarinet parts are usually written out in E flat and not in F, since the E flat is the commoner version of the instrument transcribers, please take a note! Roger Boyes
Are you sure that Duke was familiar with the instrument used by Harry Carney for Saddest Tale? It must have been something special and not common as the alto/tenor clarinet of Wilbur Sweatman in 1923. This is what Duke said in the interview: "No that was a mezzo. It was a man who was a professor up in Connecticut there somewhere, who invented some in the between instruments and he came down and loaned us his clarinets which was quite a thing. He called it a mezzo. It was between the regular B flat clarinet and the bass." Sjef Hoefsmit**
See DEMS 01/2-24/2
Hoefsmit claims that only the unnumbered Franklin Mint 4 LP set and the Charly double CD have The Mooche from 1oct28 ending with two cymbal sounds. I have Masters of Jazz MJCD30, vol.#4 1928. At track 14 it has this take and I hear both cymbal sounds. Bill Morton
You are right. There may be even more releases like this. DEMS
According to what Sonny Greer told me, Duke did not compose Sophisticated Lady. Otto Hardwick wrote the A section and Lawrence Brown the bridge. I know of dozens of tunes whose authorship is erroneous including: Things Ain't What They Used to Be Johnny Hodges; Blue Serge, Moon Mist, John Hardy's Wife Duke is at least a collaborator if not the sole composer and arranger; In a Sentimental Mood Hardwick. David Berger
E-mail to Rob Bamberger: Lance Travis, living in South Africa, has been working closely with me on CD issues for the forthcoming book revision. It turns out that he purchased a 2-CD set on the Folkways label last September 2000. His contact at Smithsonian was a guy named John Passmore, e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. I had, wrongly, supposed that Smithsonian was out of the CD and music business. This particular CD issue is the same as the 2-LP box set, "Duke Ellington First Annual Tour of the Pacific Northwest, Spring 1952" (see DEMS 84/2-3&4; 84/3-10; 85/1-10).
Have you heard of or seen this CD? Is it still possible to acquire a copy of it? Jerry Valburn
E-mail to Jerry Valburn: Moe Asch stipulated that the Smithsonian would have to keep his entire catalogue in print. So, Smithsonian/ Folkways will, "on demand," dub to cassette or burn to CD any of the LP releases in the catalogue, and enclose a photostat of the album notes with shipment. My guess is that Lance ordered such a custom copy. I checked on-line, and found that this specific double LP (F-2968) can be dubbed on a 2-cassette set for $21.90 and on a 2-CD set for $39.90.
So, it's not a commercial issue, per se, and will probably require a footnote of explanation in your book. You might ask Lance to send you a photocopy to see how they're labelling the CD. I doubt that it's very fancy. Rob Bamberger
E-mail to Jerry Valburn: On 13Mar00, I sent a fax to the Smithsonian, directed towards no specific department or person, requesting cost of the following, shipped to South Africa: "First Annual Tour"; "Beyond Category" and "Duke Ellington Collection #301".
There were no replies to a few e-mails, that's why I decided to send a fax. The novelty of receiving a fax this day and age (to them) worked. I got a same day reply from John Passmore: "Unfortunately the only Ellington title we carry is 'First Annual Tour' ". When I asked why at least "Beyond Category" was not in the catalogue, he referred me to "Smithsonian Books and Records". My further enquiry was answered by V. Sustar of "Customer Service", who wrote: "we no longer carry 'The Smithsonian Collection of Recordings'. We currently carry the CD version of 'Beyond Category' ". She then shocked me by saying: "CD is $24.99, airmail $18.00," being unaffordable. Lance Travis
See DEMS 00/2-3/1
Last year both Klaus Götting and Sjef Hoefsmit received from Jerry Valburn a copy of the three MALB, AFRS broadcasts #1, #68 and #77. He included (in MALB #1) Gertrude Niesen's version of Do Nothin' till You Hear from Me from AFRS Yank Swing Session #110. This recording was also used for the Yank Swing Session broadcast #86. (See DESOR Correction-sheet 3008)
We have only a few remarks to make.
Jerry's report in DEMS 00/2-3/1 is not complete. It does not include the MALB broadcast #47 of 29Apr45. (See DEMS 00/3-10/3; 01/1-13/2 and 01/2-20/2)
We assume that the original broadcasts were recorded and that later records were made to be used by the American Forces Radio Service. What Jerry has sent us are copies made from these records. The original broadcasts may have had more selections. This could explain why the 17Dec44 session, DESOR 4437, has two more titles than the record: the above mentioned Do Nothin' till You Hear from Me and Somebody Loves Me. We have two tapes on which the end of what is on the record (Main Stem/C-Jam Blues) is connected to Do Nothin' till You Hear from Me. We have no tape on which Somebody Loves Me is connected to Do Nothin' till You Hear from Me. In WaxWorks 44-43 is mentioned: "From same broadcast (?): Somebody Loves Me." Sjef has a letter from Benny Aasland from 2Aug81 in which Benny confirms that this title is from 17Dec44. It was also in Joe Igo's collection on the same date but not in the same session. The voice of the announcer and the sound of the orchestra make us accept that Somebody Loves Me belongs to the 17Dec44 session.
C-Jam Blues is not missing from DESOR. The 9 chorus of the description of Main Stem is the same as C-Jam Blues, the 10 chorus is again an arrangement of Main Stem and the last (11 ) chorus is a combination of both themes. Our Italian friends decided not to include C-Jam Blues as an independent title.
Jay Blackton's Orchestra is credited with this broadcast. This is not confirmed in the recording. Jerry says: unidentified studio orchestra and chorus.
It is difficult to believe that Duke played on 17Dec44 in the NBC Studios in NYC from 4:30 until 5:00 PM EWT and on the same day at the Auditorium in Worcester MA. [FN-1]
MALB broadcast #68 (23Sep45) does not contain a confirmation of the participation of Johnny Desmond. Lou Bring's Orchestra is confirmed and Tommy Dorsey is heard.
In DEMS 80/3-6, Hans lrich Hill gave a complete rundown of this 27:39 broadcast in which the vocalist Jan Pierce also took part.
MALB broadcast #77 (25Nov45) does not contain piano chords on It Don't Mean a Thing at the start of side two as claimed by Jerry Valburn. The Medley that follows (Sophisticated Lady; Solitude; Caravan; Mood Indigo and It Don't Mean a Thing) has the same selections and even the same arrangements as the Medley of MALB #1, but it is different as pointed out by Jerry Valburn. It is also played by a different orchestra. This time it is Jay Blackton's Orchestra and not Lou Bring. Johnny Desmond is mentioned but not heard unlike Tommy Dorsey who is not only mentioned but also heard. At the end of the recording there are several repeats of Dancers in Love. This proves that this was a pre-recorded broadcast. What we do not know is whether the dates as mentioned are from the recordings or from the MALB broadcasts. We wonder how Jerry Valburn has two sided records when DESOR on page 1305 claims that the records were one-sided. Klaus Götting and Sjef Hoefsmit
Note 1. I think the December 17, 1944 date is a dub.
Masters Of Jazz, Volume 1 1924-26, (MJCD 8) has the following tunes which don't appear in DESOR, is there a reason? Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now, 8Jun25 and Jig Walk Jun26. Lance Travis
Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now is not accepted by Luciano Massagli and Giovanni Volonté as a genuine Ellington recording. Steven Lasker believes that Jimmy McHugh, Mills's partner in the musical team called "Hotsy Totsy Boys", plays the piano.
Jig Walk is generally not considered a genuine Ellington recording anymore. See Mark Tucker's "The Early Years" where it is only documented as sheet music. DEMS
See DEMS 01/2-17/2
We compared Loco Madi on the Japanese release, Pablo VICJ-5143, with the version as broadcast by the Danish Radio and we found that there are still some bars missing at the end. In fact the last 8 bars of chorus 16 and the 4 bar coda are deleted.
We have mentioned this on page 1390 of the New DESOR. We suspect that the recently re-released version on Pablo 2310-762-2 (as reported by Richard Ehrenzeller in DEMS) has the same edited version as on the Japanese release. Can anybody check this for us?
See DEMS 01/2-21/1
You guys obviously put a lot of effort into "Nailing down the Duke". This could be a song title.
My friend Alfred Reinhartz has provided the following information.
1. The first concerts in Hamburg were on 29May50. One at 18:00, the other at 20:30. We attended both.
2. NWDR (North West German Radio) broadcast 50 minutes. BFN (British Forces Network) also broadcast a programme, perhaps the same. I've heard a tape of one of those broadcasts, and it is definitely a concert recording. [FN-1]
3. The second visit to Hamburg was on 10 and 11Jun, and the concerts were in the Alu-Palast at 18:00 and 20:30 on both days.
4. Enclosed are copies of newspaper ads confirming the dates and times. Freddy also included his list of titles played at one of the concerts. [FN-2] This was probably Duke's standard programme for this trip. I remember our disappointment when we saw that the 20:30 programme was just about the same as the 18:00 one.
5. One point remains unclear. Did he have only Lawrence Brown and Quentin Jackson? I don't remember a third trombonist. [FN-3] Neither does Freddy. Maybe Ted Kelly was "indisposed" as a result of all the North European "hospitality".
Note 1. Since the broadcasts were definitely announced as being made at the Musikhalle, there is no doubt about the date of the recording being 29May50. See DEMS 01/1-11.
Note 2. Titles: Suddenly It Jumped; The Mooche; Air Conditioned Jungle; Creole Love Call; On a Turquoise Cloud; Paradise; Mood Indigo; Y'Oughta; How High the Moon; Cotton Tail; Ring Dem Bells; Rockin' in Rhythm; St. Louis Blues; Violet Blue; Don't Get Around Much Anymore; Brown Betty; Frankie and Johnny; Hello, Little Boy; Juke Bop Boogie. Encores: Caravan; Take the "A" Train; Trumpets No End. (Cotton Tail and Brown Betty are not in the recording.)
Note 3. I checked an overhead photo of the 1950 band in the Konserthuset (Stockholm) and there are only 2 trombones to be seen but 3 were mentioned in the pre-publicity. The second drummer (Butch Ballard) is omitted in Nielsen, he is referred to in one of the clippings of the German reviews sent to DEMS by Olaf Syman in Canada !
I found an alternate take of Nameless Hour (24Jul67). It is released on volume VII of a set of 13 LPs which contain each a one hour radio broadcast featuring composers and performers from Canada.
Norman Symonds is interviewed by Norma Beecroft, the producer of this series, titled Music Canada, for Radio Canada International. The LP contains the Ron Collier composition Silent Night, Lonely Night with Duke at the piano, recorded 25Jul67. This recording is identical with what we have on the Decca LP 65069 and the Attic CD 1425 (DEMS 96/1-9).
This is followed by a Concerto grosso in two movements composed by Norman Symonds, who also composed the last selection, Nameless Hour, the hour between sunset and darkness. This recording is different from what we have. If you listen to Nameless Hour, it seems that Duke is improvising his part but as soon as you compare both recordings it becomes clear that every note was written for him. The alternate take is hardly any different. It is however a "fresh" Ellington recording and should be included in his discographies. Georges Debroe
I have listened attentively to Nameless Hour on your cassette, but I have not found aurally any difference between this recording and the Attic CD. Can you please tell me at which point they differ? Luciano Massagli**
I cannot tell you where I hear a difference. I have tried many times to play both my CD and the cassette in synch, but it is impossible. Sometimes you have the orchestra in synch but then Ellington starts a very little bit earlier or later. The speed of both recordings is not constantly the same. There is no difference as far as the music is concerned. Nobody should care to obtain the alternate take. It is impossible to prefer one to the other. As far as music is concerned they are identical but in my humble opinion they are not from the same recording. The only possibility which I can imagine is that Duke's piano playing was recorded on a separate tape and that it was later mixed with the orchestra recording and that during the mixing process the speed of the tapes had to be corrected in order to keep them together. And that we have two different mixing results here. I do not care if you do not accept it as an alternate. As I said it is impossible to distinguish any difference unless you try to play both recordings synchronously, and that has no sense. It does not add any pleasure to the music. Sjef Hoefsmit**
See DEMS 01/2-22/1
Technically speaking, the very last releases of any of the Duke's 78 rpm studio session recordings must have been the Swaggie vinyl pressings, from original masters, released in the mid 70s: Swaggie 7 with Immigration Blues and The Creeper (E-4323) both from 29Dec26 and Swaggie 8 with New Orleans Low Down and Song of the Cotton Field both from 3Feb27.
Hmm, don't like the headline, may I suggest "The last Studio Session "78" rpm standard groove releases" ?
We prefer to use the same headline as we did for the article to which your contribution is a reaction. The original question by Peter MacHare was obviously to find out which was the last studio recording that was "freshly" released on 78 rpm. Jerry Valburn included in his answer re-releases on 78 rpm, which must have prompted you to make your interesting remark.
Annie Kuebler expressed her appreciation for the Fargo Dance date in one of the e-mail messages on the Duke-Lym list. She continued as follows: "I stand in good company. Ben Webster loved it. He would borrow one disc at a time from Jack. Jack was visiting Webster once and he had him come to his room and see that he had the Fargo disc with him on the road kept it wrapped in his trunk." Annie Kuebler
This reaction came from Keith Richardson: "This is an interesting anecdote. Fargo was Nov40. Webster played with Ellington from Feb40 to Aug43. Was it during this period that Jack Towers lent Ben one disc at a time? As far as I know material from the Fargo recordings was not issued on 78s, so am I right in concluding that Towers lent him one of the original acetates? If so how did Ben play a 16" acetate while he was travelling? Just curious." Keith Richardson
We asked Jack Towers and this is Jack's answer: "A couple of weeks after Fargo, I sent Ben a 12" 78 r.p.m. acetate copy of the Fargo Star Dust plus other numbers he appeared on. He asked me to send it to him at the Casa Maana in Culver City, California. This was before the band arrived there, but Ben got it! When I next saw the band, it was Feb42 at the Howard Theater in Washington. Ben took me down to the house he was staying in a block down the alley from the theater. He opened one suitcase and pulled out the acetate disc. After the War, I made a couple of acetate dubs of Star Dust, and in the late 40s and the 50s, I sent him some tape copies along with dubs of his modulation following the waltz number in B,B&B. He was thrilled with what he had done there. My dub was from the Boston B,B&B performance, and the modulation is better than on the NYC performance. The acetate discs played on a regular disc player. In those early days, the pickups were heavy and the acetates didn't last long but they played OK." Jack Towers
See DEMS 01/2-20/2
President Franklin Roosevelt's birthday parties were always held on January 30th. All the networks had a hodge-podge of dance music from all parts of the country, each orchestra played one or a few tunes, with some "official talks" between the different band remotes.
There is no way that "The President's Ball" in 1939 should have been held on May 28th! Are you sure that the source of Pussy Willow is from such a broadcast? [FN-1] Does an announcer give the occasion to be the "the President's Birthday"? [FN-2] Did the tune first surface on a Kaydee LP? [FN-3] The same sloppy company which gave "1947" as year of recording of the Ivie Anderson song from Jubilee #60 on Kaydee LP-2.
The Million Dollar Band broadcast held at the Library of Congress with the "wrong date" (18Jun43) is probably the REHEARSAL for the broadcast on 19Jun43 (DESOR 4326 and WaxWorks 43-71). They were usually held one day before the actual broadcasts and without "the Guest" being present.
Note 1. No.
Note 2. No.
Note 3. I only know that it came out on LP Bandstand Records BS-7128 (See DEMS 81/3-3). I know that BS-7129 and BS-7130 both also appeared as Kaydee LPs (KD-7 and KD-8 respectively) but I do not know any Kaydee release which is the same as Bandstand 7128.
When I answered question 15 of Willie Timner (see page 21 of this Bulletin) I noticed that there were some differences between the listings in the old Desor and the New DESOR for the second concert of 20Sep59. (Old Desor 745, New DESOR 5930). Not only the sequence was slightly different, there was also one "fresh" title in the 2nd concert, Things Ain't What They Used To Be, issued on Sarpe Top Jazz 1013 and apparently different from the same (unissued) title in the 1st concert. I have only one recording of that selection on my tapes and I felt the need for a copy of Sarpe, to check this "fresh" title. A dear Spanish friend was so generous to send me the Sarpe CD. I noticed several differences with the New DESOR and after having compared the releases on BYG and on Sarpe with my tapes, I came to the following conclusions:
There is no Jam with Sam on Sarpe.
V.I.P.'s Boogie on Sarpe and on BYG are different.
Newport Up on Sarpe and on BYG are different.
Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue (with the Wailing Interval) on my tape is different from Sarpe.
I found a note in my files, telling me that I have a letter from François Moulé from 12Jan92, which questions the correct sequence of both Parisian concerts.
This is what François wrote to me: "Now something else. It concerns the Paris concerts of 20Sep59. I would very much like to know what was played at each of the two concerts, as I don't quite agree now with your own listing, with DEMS position on C-Jam Blues and with Navas Ferrer's comment on Top Jazz/Sarpe SJ-1013 (DEMS 91/1-6). This, of course, concerning my work on 'Duke in France'.
My doubts are based on a newspaper article I found some time ago (from "LES LETTRES FRANCAISES", 24-30/9/59, by Agnès Navarre) which reads: Il en fallait d'ailleurs (de l'humor), car il (DE) joua de malheur à son premier concert: éclairages en retard sur les solistes, chanteuse annoncée et ... absente, et, enfin, pendant l'entracte, deux musiciens coincs dans l'ascenseur....
Which means that, at the first concert, Duke introduced the singer (Lil Greenwood) who didn't turn up, and that a couple of musicians were stuck in the lift after the intermission .
When you listen to the Sarpe CD mentioned above, you can hear Duke introducing (with a fanfare) Lil Greenwood, who doesn't show up, and Duke telling about the cats- caught-in-the-elevator episode before C-Jam Blues, which was played just after intermission. That means that these portions of the recording must come from the 1st concert, not the 2nd. So, André Mahus and Joe Igo seem to be right when they attribute the 745 recordings to the 1st concert, and the 744 to the 2nd." François Moulé**
I tried to establish the correct sequence of all the selections in both concerts and I came up with this result:
1st concert Take the "A" Train unissued Black and Tan Fantasy BYG 2035 Creole Love Call BYG 2035 The Mooche BYG 2035 Newport Up BYG 2035 Such Sweet Thunder BYG 2035 Kinda Dukish & Rockin' in Rhythm unissued El Gato unissued Jeep's Blues unissued Fanfare Sarpe 1013 Things Ain't What They Used To Be Sarpe 1013 All of Me BYG 2035 Juniflip Sarpe 1013 I Got It Bad Sarpe 1013 Skin Deep unissued C-Jam Blues Sarpe 1013 V.I.P.'s Boogie Sarpe 1013 Long Medley BYG 2036 Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue unissued 2nd concert Black and Tan Fantasy unissued Creole Love Call unissued The Mooche unissued Newport Up Sarpe 1013 Such Sweet Thunder unissued Kinda Dukish & Rockin' in Rhythm BYG 2035 El Gato BYG 2035 Jeep's Blues unissued Things Ain't What They Used To Be unissued All of Me unissued Skin Deep BYG 2036 Bill Bailey BYG 2035 Walkin' and Singin' the Blues BYG 2035 V.I.P.'s Boogie BYG 2036 Jam with Sam BYG 2036 Short Medley Sarpe 1013 Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue Sarpe 1013
I cannot give full guarantee that this listing is completely correct. All the tapes I have are heavily edited and it is almost impossible to be absolutely sure to have a genuine connection between two selections. I have done my very best and I can send you on request a listing of my motives. A list of 37 arguments would occupy too much space in this Bulletin. Sjef Hoefsmit**
See DEMS 01/1-24/3
The release of this Anthony Brown CD is postponed. Anthony will be happy to sell pre-release promotional CDs to his DEMS co-members. 1253 Haskell Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA. E-mail Antnybrown@aol.com DEMS
See DEMS 01/2-18/1
The Harlem Footwarmers' three 1930-31 OKeh sessions have greatly confounded past discographers. Here is the data on dates and takes as found on the OKeh matrix cards; opposite the master numbers, I have noted take dispositions and original issues. Strikeouts indicate a change of take disposition.
14 October 1930
W404481-A Mood Indigo
1st choice, rejected, master destroyed,
OKeh 8840 pressed from dub mx. W480023-B
(The "B" designates the second attempt at dubbing)
W404481-B Mood Indigo rejected, destroyed
W404481-C Mood Indigo
2nd choice, rejected, destroyed
W404482-A Big House Blues rejected, destroyed
W404482-B Big House Blues 2nd choice, destroyed
W404482-C Big House Blues OKeh 8836
W404483-A Rocky Mountain Blues
1st choice, rejected, destroyed
W404483-B Rocky Mountain Blues
2nd choice, OKeh 8836
W404483-C Rocky Mountain Blues rejected, destroyed
30 October 1930
W404519-A Ring Dem Bells Odeon ONY 36166, Parlophone PNY 34154
W404519-B Ring Dem Bells 2nd choice, destroyed
W404520-A Three Little Words
1st choice, rejected, destroyed,
Odeon ONY 36166 & Par PNY 34156, pressed from dub mx. W480028-E
(The "E" designates the fifth attempt at dubbing)
W404520-B Three Little Words
2nd choice, rejected, destroyed
W404520-C Three Little Words rejected, destroyed
W404521-A Old Man Blues rejected, destroyed
W404521-B Old Man Blues Okeh 8869
W404522-A Sweet Chariot 2nd choice, destroyed
W404522-B Sweet Chariot Okeh 8840
8 January 1931
W404481-D Mood Indigo 1st choice, destroyed
W404481-E Mood Indigo 2nd choice, destroyed
W404802-A I Can't Realize You Love Me Odeon ONY 36190, Parlophone PNY 34183
W404802-B I Can't Realize You Love Me 2nd choice, destroyed
W404803-A I'm So in Love with You 2nd choice, destroyed
W404803-B I'm So in Love with You Odeon ONY 36189, Parlophone PNY 34183
W404804-A Rockin' in Rhythm Okeh 8869
W404804-B Rockin' in Rhythm 2nd choice, destroyed
The alleged Harlem Footwarmers session of 8 November 1930 is ancient misinformation dating back to Delaunay's New Hot Discography (1948), if not earlier.Steven Lasker
I made a gigantic error. I printed Steven Lasker's article about the Harlem Footwarmers (in Bulletin 01/2-18/1) without the second of the three sessions, the one of 30 October 1930. This session was still there after the inspections by Roger Boyes and Steven Lasker. I must have pushed a wrong button on the wrong moment without noticing the damage. I am very sorry. Please make a note in your 01/2 Bulletin on page 18, if you kept it to look it up later. Sjef Hoefsmit**
It is very interesting what Steven Lasker says about the OKeh recording sessions of 8Jan31 or 8Nov30. When we did the New DESOR, we had not any documented source to decide the correct date of this session. We preferred 8Nov30 because of the I'm So in Love with You arrangements: the arrangement of 3018b, in our opinion, is much more refined than the others. There are many affinities between 3019 d&e and 3101h: 4 choruses instead of 3, the presence of Tizol in the first chorus, the absence of any passage. We hardly can believe that 3018b was performed between the two others and two days only before 3101h. Luciano Massagli**
I established that masters W404802, W404803 and W404804 were recorded in January 1931 rather than the previous November by reference to the date typed on the original Okeh matrix cards held at the archives of Sony Music in New York. While I didn't photocopy these cards, I did photocopy the card for W404481 (Mood Indigo), which shows "1- 8-31" against takes D and E. (This card was reproduced in the last DEMS Bulletin on page 19.)
That these masters date from January 1931 rather than the previous November is also established by reference to the dates of surrounding matrices recorded in New York.
I mailed through DEMS to Luciano Massagli seven pages photocopied from issues 227 through 232 of Record Research. These are from the serial feature "the H3 chrono-matrix file" by Harold H. Hartel, which lists all recordings found in Rust's Jazz Records and in Dixon and Godrich's Blues and Gospel Records in chronological order. With yellow ink, I have highlighted the recordings made at Okeh's New York studio.
When W404802-03-04 are placed in matrical/date context, it is clear that the date "8 November 1930" has been given in error. Steven Lasker**
The following titles are from an audio tape with material transferred from acetates in my collection (now at the Library of Congress). One O'Clock Jump; Flamingo; The Mooche. The date that was shown on the acetates was 3Jun47. No location was shown on the acetate labels.
In the itinerary book (Ken Vail) the location shown is Manchester, N.H. What is most interesting is the fact that Johnny Hodges is not heard on any of these performances.
The One O'Clock Jump arrangement is different from the version found on the Treasury Shows and on the Capitol Transcription. Who is the vocalist on Flamingo? Jerry Valburn
I do not think that the arrangement of One O'Clock Jump is different. There is no doubt however that all three selections are "fresh". They are irrefutably linked together by the absence of Johnny Hodges from all three selections. The trombone solo in The Mooche by Wilbur de Paris adds further reliability to this date. I believe that the vocalist on Flamingo is Chester Crumpler. Sjef Hoefsmit
The Associated Press: Larry Adler, the virtuoso of the humble harmonica, has died at age 87, his manager said Tuesday August 7.
Adler died Monday night at St. Thomas's Hospital in London, said manager Jonathan Shalit. The cause of death was not announced, but Adler has been treated for cancer and had suffered two strokes.
There is an Adler-Ellington connection, as chronicled by Klaus Stratemann in "Day by Day and Film by Film."
In 1934, The Ellington orchestra accompanied Adler in a performance of Sophisticated Lady for the film "Many Happy Returns". Neither the orchestra nor Ellington are seen on screen, and the simple arrangement is by Jimmy Mundy. The Guy Lombardo orchestra was originally scheduled for the scene, but Adler insisted on using Ellington, who was on the Paramount lot to film "Murder at the Vanities." Stratemann's information comes from a January '63 Jazz Journal Adler interview.
This last January, jazz film archivist Mark Cantor showed a clip of the scene at his annual presentation for the Los Angeles chapter of the Ellington Society.Lee Farley
The recording of Sophisticated Lady (21Mar34) was released by Jerry Valburn on the LP Up To Date 2009. Jerry wrote to George Burns, who starred in the film with Gracie Allen. George answered that Duke was definitely in the film, although never seen on screen. Joachim Kreck made an interesting one hour documentary for television about Larry Adler in 1993. The "Many Happy Returns" sequence was not included. Sjef Hoefsmit
Klaus Stratemann wrote in DEMS 84/4-6: This was the only instance in Duke's film career in which the band contributed in a film without being credited.
Irving Jacobs wrote in DEMS Bulletin 87/4-1: I am pleased to report that the video cassette of Burns and Adler's "Many Happy Returns" is now available.... The segment with Larry Adler playing Sophisticated Lady does not show any of the accompanying musicians. Incidentally, it is especially frustrating that while Duke is not even mentioned in the credits, Guy Lombardo has a prominent role, and his entire orchestra appears prominently before the camera, throughout the film. (Oh well, Duke never said anything unkind about Lombardo, did he?)
See also DEMS 98/1-17 where Steven Lasker mentions the origin of the credit to Jimmy Mundy for the arrangement of Ellington's Sophisticated Lady. DEMS