|| THE INTERNATIONAL|
DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
05/1 April - July 2005
27th Year of Publication
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
HONORARY MEMBER: FATHER JOHN GARCIA GENSEL
EDITOR: SJEF HOEFSMIT
ASSISTED BY: ROGER BOYES
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
Many of the DEMS Bulletin readers will remember Mariam Ewing,
Gordon Ewing's widow. She accompanied her husband Gordon Ewing to
every Ellington Conference. She died suddenly of an aneurysm in her
brain on 7 March when she was travelling through Arizona. She knew
that this could happen any time, but she did not let it influence her
schedule. She was 83 years old. Gordon died in 1996 during his
preparations to go to Toronto for the Ellington Conference. Mariam
helped her friend Josie Childs to organise the Ellington Conference
in Chicago in 1998. It was a huge success. Those among us who have
known Mariam will remember her as a charming, witty and highly
intelligent lady. I personally owe a lot to Gordon and Mariam. Mariam
kept Gordon's ashes in the wine-cellar with the intention of joining
him after her own cremation. By now their ashes will have been
Gordon and Mariam leave a daughter, a son and two grandsons.
Bobby Short died of leukaemia on 21Mar05. In the New DESOR his
date of birth is given as 15Sep26. His name is documented in the New
DESOR because he played with the band as a guest on 8Jul72 at
Carnegie Hall at the so-called Newport Jazz Festival, though not many
people will consider him an Ellingtonian. Duke mentioned him briefly
in MIMM on page 244 as being too young (and still in Los Angeles) to
be expected to play at one of the clubs on 52nd Street when Duke came
there almost every night after he finished work at the Hurricane on
Broadway. Bobby knew Duke well and he told several nice stories about
him to Brooks Kerr. In the mid fifties, Bobby Short met Billy
Strayhorn at the Mars Club in Paris. Bobby was apparently interviewed
by David Hajdu ("Lush Life" page 145.)
Two of Bobby Short's LP albums have recently been reissued on CD
Collectables 7655. (Worlds Records item code 55499). The two Atlantic
LPs were titled "On the Eastside" (1959) and "Moments Like This"
This Bulletin is somewhat smaller than 04/2 and 04/3. The freedom
to have different sizes of Bulletins is an additional advantage of
the fact that we are on-line now. With the hard-copy Bulletins, we
had to worry about the maximum weight (of 100 grams). The swift from
hard copy to Peter MacHare's web-site was a great success. We owe
Peter a lot for his hospitality.
This time there are a multitude of additions of Duke's Itinerary by
Ken Steiner (05/1-7).
A discussion I had with Roger Boyes about Jig Walk inspired
him to write a long article about this piece. (05/1-42)
There has been some interest lately on the Duke-LYM list for the
article, written by Professor Jack Chambers about Duke's
Shakespearean Suite. After he had given his highly interesting talk
for the Toronto Chapter of the Duke Ellington Society, he wrote this
article for publication in CODA Magazine. (See "Harry Rasky
Interview" in 04/2-15).
We asked Jack Chambers and Daryl Angier of CODA Magazine permission
to "print" Jack's article in this Bulletin (05/1-43). They both
generously agreed. We think that it is right to say a few words to
promote CODA Magazine. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious
magazines dedicated to the music that means so much to us.
The e-mail address of the editor is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The land address is 161 Frederick Street, Toronto ON M5A 4P3 Canada.
Fax numbers are 416-596-1520 and 416-596-9793.
Florence Mills: Harlem Jazz Queen
DEMS member Bill Egan, Master of Science (London
University), has written this interesting book which was published by
Scarecrow Press in October 2004 in the Series Studies in Jazz #
This biography reveals the lost history of the life of Florence
Mills, a truly remarkable African American entertainer who was very
famous during the 1920s. It traces her story from childhood to her
untimely death at age 31. Mills was the first black female
international superstar, lionized by crowned heads in Europe and
described by English show business impresario C.B. Cochran as "one of
the greatest artists that ever walked on to a stage." Her
record-breaking achievements opened doors for generations of black
female stars from Lena Horne to Diana Ross. Although her career and
shows changed the nature of black entertainment, and thereby the
wider American popular culture, she was largely forgotten in later
An additional theme of the book is the important but little-known
associations Florence Mills had in the early world of jazz and
ragtime, and her innovative influence on important aspects of jazz
singing. It explores the connections between her and Duke Ellington,
who dedicated his outstanding composition Black Beauty to her.
It also records her little-known associations with classical music
through the composers William Grant Still and Constant Lambert.
Claire Gordon, "My Unforgettable Jazz Friends".
See DEMS 04/3-5
After it became known that there would be a second edition of
Claire's book, some DEMS members asked us when it would be published
and how to find a copy. We asked Claire and this is her reply:
The revised books arrived about a month ago. The book is basically
the same text with typos removed, misspellings corrected and similar
information noted from one chapter to another. It is only printed in
hard cover, and this is a much better quality book with a paper dust
cover. Instead of costing more than the original ($35), this one is
less ($32.50, at present exchange about 26 Euros).
Currently, the book is available on the West Coast:
Arthur Newman, a member of the Ellington Society, a man many of us
have been bought books from in the past.
8247 Crater Lake Ct., Fountain Valley, CA 92708-5916; phone: 714 /
968-3706; fax: 714 / 968-3921; email:
email@example.com; web site: http:/home.earthlink.net/artnewman
On the East Coast:
Fred Cohen; Jazz Record Center, 236 West 26 Street, #804, New York,
NY 10001; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Norbert Ruecker; Postfach 14, D-61382 Schmitten, Germany; phone
06082/688; fax: 06082/2960; email: NRuecker@t-online.de
All the books are already autographed. I am also exploring the
possibility of placing books with a larger book seller, on the order
of Amazon and will let you know if this goes through.
Claire Gordon (12Jan05)
Mon, 21 Feb 2005 18:56:33. My web site was just activated
about an hour ago. It is Myjazzfriends.com.
From it, readers can order the new, revised book from any
country using any currency.
Newport Jazz Festival 1962
See Meeker 2289, Stratemann p463, New DESOR 6233
This Buddy Bregman film can be found on DVD as BACH FILMS
EDV 1508. Low-priced (I found it at 6 Eur), zone-coded 2 in PAL,
CEE-made, running for 53 min. It is of mediocre audio and video
quality, as seem to be all existing copies. Duke's 6-min contribution
is the only film account of his nine appearances at Newport:
%1:09 of Rockin' in Rhythm; %1:57 of Passion Flower
and 2:52 of Things Ain't What They Used To Be. The other
sequences include Count Basie and Oscar Peterson.
The same film has been released on a Toshiba Laser Disc TOLW-3162,
copyrighted and produced by Storyville Records in 1993. According to
DESOR also Kinda Dukish was included. We have not been able to
watch the Laser Disc. We wonder if Kinda Dukish is on the DVD.
It is not on the video recordings that we have seen. Klaus Stratemann
gives 1:54 for Rockin' in Rhythm (in progress), 1:56 for
Passion Flower and a total of about 7 minutes for the whole