|| 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
ADDITIONS - CORRECTIONS
The Auckland Concert of 10Feb70
See DEMS 04/3-27
Taken from my journal:
12Feb70. Telephone call received about 10 PM from DE (Buffalo Hilton
"I just crossed the equator. I came in directly from New Zealand
across the date line. The plane was co-operative, it came in a half
hour early. I had the night off and I have been trying to reach you
since 9 PM."
As I remember the band flew into NYC then came in by bus the day of
the concert and Harry drove his car in. There was a terrible ice
storm in Buffalo and from there they travelled to Toronto. I remember
that night well. DE had me drive down an icy hill, which I said was a
no no on ice, but he insisted and the car skidded sideways, I almost
hit the side of the band bus and ended up about 2" from Carney's car.
What a back seat driver he was.
Now a follow-up on the New Zealand Ellington visit in 1970.
1. From what I can find out by talking to people that were there in
Wellington, the 6.30pm concert was a sound check concert and the
2. The band left Auckland, New Zealand on the 11th February. There
was a one and a half hour gap in LA (ex. Johnny Hodges). A friend of
mine interviewed some band members on the 11th (am and early pm)
prior to their departure for the States.
3. Another friend of mine, Arthur Pearce (now dead) did meet the band
at the Wellington Airport and stayed with the band until they left
New Zealand. Arthur wrote the words to Ellington's Black
Butterfly. The Duke was very impressed with the knowledge that
Arthur had on him and that would explain why Duke replaced Passion
Flower with Black Butterfly for the Auckland Concert.
4. The broadcasts in 1999 were from the 8.30pm Wellington Concert and
the broadcast was introduced by a lady announcer from the New Zealand
Broadcasting Corp. Radio Archives only have the 8.30 Wellington
concert and the broadcast was taken from this.
5. The Wellington concert was recorded onto 5 reel to reel tapes,
with each reel annotated showing the sequence of tracks.
6. An NZBC employee responsible for "Dance Music on Air" also
travelled with the band and recorded the 8.30 Auckland concert but
only the 1st half because of the change of Passion Flower.
There was no official recording of the Auckland concert.
7. Duke also returned to New Zealand in 1972 but only to Auckland on
the 13th February. This was part of an Australian tour brought out by
Kym Bonython in association with George Wein.
8. It must be remembered that when flying from New Zealand to the USA
you cross the date-line and step back one day.
Frankie and Johnny and Metronome All Out
In one of the compilations of Fonit Cetra V-Disc, Adriano
Mazzoletti (he is not a John Hammond, but he is one of the best
critics in Italy) wrote for the double version of Frankie and
Johnny that it was recorded on 26Dec45 instead of 26May45 and he
split the recording into two parts: Frankie and Johnny and
Metronome All Out.
I don't think that this is because of ignorance of the writer, but
that there is another explanation. Can you help me?
In Benny Aasland's Waxworks (1954) the V-Disc 626 has two
parts of Frankie and Johnny, recorded 26Dec45. Later it was
established that the recording was made on 26May45. The second part
of Frankie and Johnny has often been performed under the title
Metronome All Out. It is more or less an extension of
Frankie and Johnny, because it is basically the same theme.
The New DESOR discography has it even catalogued under its own name:
we find Metronome All Out not only the few times when it was
performed separately (from 14Jul45 until and including 17Aug46) but
also when it was performed as the second part of Frankie and
Johnny. Frankie and Johnny in turn was also initially performed
without Metronome All Out (from 29May41 until 16May45).
Andriano Mazzoletti must have used a discography which hasn't been
updated, so he has separated the work into two distinct pieces, as
was done in the old DESOR in 1968. It's interesting to see that
Frankie and Johnny is described as 'traditional', whereas
Metronome All Out is said to be a composition by Ellington and
Duke Ellington Sacred Concert from Westminster
Abbey on 24oct73
Each year BBC Radio 3 holds an "archive week" where
various concerts etc. are nominated for re-broadcast. A poll is held
and the winners are re-broadcast. This "archive week" is 13th-17th
DESUK has succeeded in getting Duke's "Third Sacred Concert"
nominated and there have been enough votes cast for this broadcast,
which was on the air on the last day, Friday 17Dec04.
The re-broadcast of the first broadcast of this Sacred Concert
at New Year 1974 at 4:25 PM through Radio 3 of the BBC has received
quite some attention. Many of us hoped and believed that we would
hear this Sacred Concert in its entirety for the first time. Radio
Times listed an hour and a half for it but the surviving part of the
service turned out to be less than an hour long. (The whole broadcast
took almost two hours.) The remaining time of the broadcast was
filled with the original RCA Take the "A" Train, quite a bit
of chat between the host Steven Johnson and guest Geoffrey Smith and
the RCA album Far East Suite (without the alternates). The contents
of the Westminster Abbey broadcast however were fortunately not fully
identical with the contents of the RCA album. There were a few
"fresh" sequences. Thanks to a dear friend in the UK, I am able to
discuss the broadcast in detail.
To make my points clear let me also mention what was missing on the
The LP omitted from Is God a Three-Letter Word for Love?
(ABAC34) the portions which we have underlined in the following
description of the structure:
On the other hand, the broadcast omitted other parts of this piece
(again we have underlined them):
This means that we have the complete performance if we combine the LP
with the broadcast. Essentially, the LP omitted Russell Procope's
clarinet solo and the broadcast omitted Tony Watkins' narration. It
is odd that Russell Procope on alto saxophone (sic) is credited in
the annotation for track 6 of CD 20 in the 24 CD RCA box (p97), and
yet he is totally edited out of the CD itself and the identical
The situation with Every Man Prays in His Own Language
(I ABC24; II ABCD32; III 24; IV 20; V ABAC16) is a bit more
complex as is the fact that it contains five different themes.
This is the LP (missing parts underlined):
This was the broadcast (missing parts again underlined):
The sad conclusion must be that the BBC broadcast gives us a bit more
music, but that there are still several sections missing. The
description in the New DESOR (which I have used) covers the
recordings in the collection of the Danish Radio. It may be that we
still see one day a complete release of this music based on the
Danish Radio source.
The Majesty of God (I AABC16; II 10) is now complete in
the broadcast. To make myself clear, I have amended slightly the
description in the New DESOR. The New DESOR starts with:
I would start with after the fifth chorus a passage of 8 bars instead
of 6, like this:
although I would separate these 8 bars into 7+1 bars, like this:
in order to show my conclusion that the LP omitted the underlined parts:
The broadcast is also omitted (though the LP included): the
Introduction by Sir Colin Crowe; Hallelujah ; The
The LP omits (though the broadcast includes): Praise God and
Both the LP and the broadcast omit: Tell Me It's the Truth;
Somebody Cares; The Preacher's Song; In the Beginning God; The
Preamble of the United Nations Charter; The Closing Prayer.
Happily Tell Me It's the Truth and Somebody Cares were
included in broadcast #34 by the Danish Radio and In the Beginning
God was broadcast in bc #40. Somebody Cares was
interrupted as indicated in the New DESOR on p1137.
50th Anniversary promotional record of Field
Enterprises Educational Corporation
See New DESOR 6658, 18jul66, pages 436 + 1223 + 854
I suggest to check again the different takes of The
Shepherd from this session. The issue-infos seem questionable,
because the descriptions of 6658a-d on page 1223 show the
- 6658a: I do not have; can't compare;
- 6658b: runs for approximately 5:46 and iis take -1 on LP Fantasy
9462, take -2 on CD Fantasy 98561 and again take -1 on the Danish
- 6658c: runs for approximately 6:30 and ccan be found on the LP (as
take -2) and on the CD (as take -3);
- 6658d: runs for approximately 4:59 and iis the take used for the
FEEC Promo-LP AR 1705: here the bass playing is much more present and
consequently Duke's interpretation is very different. The description
almost could read 2°/9°IIDE&JL (at least to my
By the way: the spoken intros to Dancers in Love are different
on the Danish Radio DR-46 and FEEC Promo-LP; do they belong to
6658n+o? And while DR-46 has 0:35+0:08+1:17 versions of Duke's spoken
promos (6658n?), can it be that the passages used on FEEC Promo-LP
(6658o?) are excerpts from the Danish broadcast or are they
You are right. The descriptions of The Shepherd 6658a,
b, c and d do not correspond with the claims on page 436. What we
hear on the Field Enterprises LP is the same as what we see described
for 6658d. The correct chronological sequence of these four takes
will probably never be established. The recording which was later
released on Field Enterprises was not found in the Danish Collection.
That is not so strange. It happened quite often that if a recording
was sold, a copy was not made and delivered but the original itself
was cut out of the tape. If we could see the original studio tape, we
would probably find the spot where the missing take was removed to be
sold. But unfortunately the Danish Collection contains mostly copies
of original studio tapes made after editing had been done. However
the sequence in the New DESOR on page 436 is not unreasonable. After
a more or less false start, without a number came on the Danish tape
take -2 (it must have been announced in the studio, because it is so
documented in the Danish Arkiv), followed by take -3 (also
announced). Since the false start did not have a number, it makes
sense to give the number -1 to the missing take which was earlier
released on Field Enterprises. But one of the two situations needs
correcting, either the sequence on page 436 or the sequence on page
1223, because the descriptions do not belong to the actual releases.
You are right: take -1 on the LP is the same as take -2 on the CD and
was broadcast through the Danish broadcast # 38 (on 8Dec85) as having
the working title 6:40 Blues. It was identified as take -1. We
could only compare it then with the 1974 LP. (The CD was not released
until 1992). But when the CD did appear, the announced take numbers
were attributed to the correct recordings. The description 6658b
belongs to announced take -2 and the description 6685c belongs to
announced take -3. Your conclusions are all correct.
The spoken introductions to Dancers in Love are indeed
different. This can be explained by the fact that this piece of tape
was similarly sold and removed from the original recording. That in
turn means that for the Danish broadcast another piece of the tape
was used, probably from a rehearsal. This was said on broadcast #
"Dancers in Love is a tiny little bit of a ditty, played by
the piano player, and along about half way through, there are breaks
in the melody and we'd like very much to have you join us and snap
your fingers in these breaks and the breaks will go like one, two,
three, and it's Dancers in Love and I'll tell you when."
This announcement is different from what we hear on the Field
Enterprises release which goes like this:
"Dancers in Love is a little bit of a ditty, played by the
piano player. That's me. And usually, about half way through, there
are breaks in the melody and usually the gentlemen of the orchestra
fill these breaks by snapping their fingers, one, two, three. And we
like to have you come along now and snap your fingers too. It's one,
two, three and I'll tell you when. Dancers in Love." (See also
Stanley Crouch at the Ellington symposium of
3Aug95 at the IAJRC convention
I recently listened to an audio recording of the panel
discussion at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis Tennessee about
"Ellington, the complexities of race, romance and good times". In his
closing statement Stanley Crouch said something that is certainly
interesting to all Ellington collectors. "We are all very lucky to be
in a period where the technology allows us to maintain the human
presence of the kind of art that used to disappear. If we were in
1895 and there was a Duke Ellington who lived in 1799 and died in
1875, we would talk about him like: 'did you ever hear him?' The real
wonder of our particular period that we can all be very happy about
is that if all of us are gone somebody puts on Lightnin' 150
years from now and it sounds exactly the same as it sounds to us now.
That's the great thing for all of us, gathered here. We are
record collectors. Those of us who were lucky enough to see him in
person and the new-comers, we can be very sure that our particular
individual experience may disappear in the quicksand of history but
that the great thing that touched us will also touch other people as
long as human beings are interested in the expression of human
feelings in this specific frame of art."
When did Ray Nance join the Band?
See DEMS 04/3-12
It seems that Ray's many talents had already come to Duke's
attention in 1939. After their own gig at the Panther Room in
Chicago, the Ellingtonians would go to Joe Hughes' DeLuxe Club on the
South Side at East 63rd and South Parkway Boulevard. My source is
Patricia Willard's booklet on Jump For Joy (Smithsonian 1988,
p5). Ray himself told Stanley Dance that Duke's musicians would come
and hear him play (World of Duke Ellington, pages 132-3). He also
mentions Freddie Jenkins among the Ellingtonians who came to listen
to him, suggesting that his playing was of interest to Duke's
musicians, if not to Duke himself, even earlier. For more general
information on the DeLuxe Club, see Grove Jazz (one-volume 1994
edition, p 868), and Ray's account in Dance's book (p 133).
None of this answers the question, when did Ray join. But it does
suggest he was already 'in mind' in 1939, which in turn would make it
easier for Duke to move swiftly to secure his services when the need
arose in 1940, and when the Ellington Orchestra was based in and
around Chicago for much of the late summer and autumn. I too think it
likely that Ray was in the band at Winnipeg on 6 November, and maybe
earlier in the week.
Duke Ellington - Blues in Orbit
See DEMS 04/3-30
On the Blues in Orbit album did anyone notice in the intro to
C-Jam Blues we get a brief snippet of Who Knows? from
the Capitol piano sessions? I must admit I haven't checked but I'm
sure I'm correct.
You are very close. I'm sure that if you had checked you would
have found the correct title in the very same Capitol session:
B-Sharp Blues. I am not surprised that this was not noticed by
anyone, because in most cases when Duke played two choruses as an
intro, the second chorus was the same theme as B-Sharp Blues.
I have never seen liner-notes in which B-Sharp Blues was
mentioned. Nor, if I had ever, would I have expected to find the
observation that this was a theme taken from Duke's intro to C-Jam
Blues. When he recorded B-Sharp Blues he had only once
recorded the same theme previously: in the first four bars of the
second chorus of the recording of C- Jam Blues at the Armory
in Yakima on 29Apr52. I have not found any trace of it in earlier
recordings of C-Jam Blues. We can state that after the
recording of B-Sharp Blues on 13Apr53, the theme became a
rather permanent part of Duke's intro to C-Jam Blues.
So it's another mischievous Ellington title. In the
key-system, only a semitone separates B natural from C natural; thus,
B sharp is tonally exactly the same as C natural, so B Sharp
Blues = C Blues, the original title of C-Jam
Columbia/Legacy COL 512915 2
Duke Ellington - Blues in Orbit
See DEMS 04/3-30
I have a question regarding the various versions of Blues
in Orbit. On my CD CO CK 87041 only take -2 is specified, the
other version is specified as "alternate take" (not as take -6).
I have take -6 on the EP CO 4-41689 and have compared it with the
"alternate" take on CD 87041 and came to the conclusion that they are
identical. Could it be that Columbia has taken another take for a
rerun? If the alleged "take -6" on the old EP 4-41689 is not take -6,
which take could it be? The recording sheet does not yield any
I do not have the CD CK 87041. This seems to be the American
release (see DEMS 04/2-31). I have the European (?) edition of this
album Columbia/Legacy COL 512915 2. I believe that the American
edition came first and that would mean that if there has been a
rerun, that should be the European edition. It is not impossible that
there is a difference between both editions, but I doubt it. I have
made you a cassette with three different recordings of Blues in
Orbit. I copied from my CD 512915 the tracks 10 and 18. (There is
a serious error in the third sentence of DEMS 04/3-30, where it is
said that Blues in Orbit was on track 7. That should have been
track 10.) The third version is taken from my copy of the EP 4-41689.
As you will hear these three recordings are very different. I admit
that there is some similarity between track 18 of 512915 and the EP
release. This indicates that they belong to the same session (in fact
the session of 12Feb58), but they are certainly not identical! Will
you please compare my cassette with your CK 87041?
The recording sheet did give some information. On the recording sheet
of 12Feb58 we see typed "TENDER" Ellington, hand-written changed into
Blues in Orbit Billy Strayhorn. The matrix number is typed
40626 REMAKE (Single) and hand-written 4-41689 + CL 1445. This has
led to the identification of the LP release (CL 1445) to be from
12Feb58. This claim has been repeated on the Philips LP 847.004 BY
and on the Columbia CDs 44051 and 512915 and on the CD Giants of Jazz
53066. They all contain the same recording and they all claim that it
was recorded on 12Feb58. There is however another source of
information. In the liner-notes of the Columbia/Legacy CD 65566
("Black, Brown and Beige - Duke Ellington featuring Mahalia Jackson"
I found this:
NOTE: This [Blues in Orbit on track 8] is a remake. On 4Feb58
Tender (RHCO 40626-1) was recorded in a single take. Later
this tune, retitled Blues in Orbit became the title track of
an Ellington album. This 4Feb58 version of Blues in Orbit (aka
Tender) (RHCO 40626-1) isthe one that was issued. It is on the
mono (CL 1445) and stereo (CS 8241) LPs released in 1960 as well as
the current CD (CK 44051) of the album "Blues in Orbit". At the end
of the 12Feb58 session, Ellington returned to Blues in Orbit
(aka Tender). Take One was a balance test, this Take Two [on
this Mahalia Jackson CD on track 8] was the actual first take
recorded. And Take Six was slated for issue.
My strongest reason to believe these statements in the liner-notes of
the Mahalia Jackson CD is the fact that the indicated takes -2 and -6
are rather similar and very different from the one we all know from
the first LP releases. I have compared all the recordings I have of
this tune and I can simplify my findings as follows: track 10 of
512915 is identical with track 1 of 44051; track 18 of 512915 is
identical with track 8 of 66566 and both these recordings are
different from what I have on the EP 41689. The dates (and take
numbers) of these three recordings are in my opinion respectively
4Feb58 (take -1), 12Feb58 (take -2) and 12Feb58 (take -6).
After listening to your cassette and comparing its contents
with my recordings, it became quite obvious that only takes -1, -2
and -6 of Blues in Orbit have been released.
These are my results:
CBS/Co 84307 (LP) take -1
Co CK 44051 (CD) take -1
Co CK 65566 (CD) take -2
Co CK 87041 (CD) take -6
Co CK 87041 (CD) take -2
Your first statement is correct. That may be sufficient for
your discography, where you only indicate the name of the releasing
company, but it is not enough for discographies which distinguish
between different releases from the same company.
I cannot make a statement about your LP, but I presume that it was
the first release, which indeed carried take -1 from 4Feb58 and which
was re-released on the CD 44051. I believe that track 18 on your
87401 is identical with track 8 on 66566, which is in fact take -2
from 12Feb58. I believe that track 10 of your 87401 is identical with
track 1 of 44051, which is in fact take -1 from 4Feb58. The
differences between the three takes are so evident, that if you
confirm that track 18 of your 87401 is identical with the EP 41689, I
must believe you and conclude that there is an important difference
between the American and European releases of the most recent Blues
in Orbit album.
The CBS issue claims to be 7th Dec 1951 (DE5127) but DESOR
claims that both takes on that date have a piano intro by Ellington,
which certainly isn't the case on Vol 4 of the 1947-1952 CDs. DESOR
lists the only take not have a piano intro as being 30th July 1952
The CD liners say the trumpet solos are Terry and Williams, which
seems to make sense with DE5127 notwithstanding the missing intro.
Can you shed any light on this for me please? Or did CBS edit out the
DE5127h has been released on Up to Date 2004 with the
piano-intro. DE5127i has been released on Columbia and Giants of Jazz
without the piano intro.
Kendra Shank - Reflections
See DEMS 2000/2-21/2
In case you're still curious to know, the lyric is by Marjorie
& Milt Raskin, and it fits Duke's music beautifully. My web site,
<http://www.kendrashank.com> has links for buying each of my 3
CDs. Just go to my web site and, in the bio, where it talks about the
CDs, click on the highlighted title of the CD and it will take you to
the page devoted to that CD. At the bottom of each CD's page, is a
link to click on if you want to purchase it. They are also available
through <http://www.amazon.com>. All my best wishes to you.
Caravan 14May37, DESOR 3709a.
The New DESOR shows only one take of Caravan, viz. M470-2.
That means of course there was at some point also a take -1 but
according to DESOR this is not mentioned and consequently never used.
However, I have recently come across the Japanese 78rpm Columbia L 6
which indicates that take -A (which I deem as take -1) has been used.
When consulting Jerry Valburn's Directory of DE's Recordings this
particular record is mentioned with bold letters and indicating take
-1 is used. I have investigated 9 various 78rpms in my collection and
according to the imprints in the shellac 7 of them have used the
second take whereas two Columbia's (The Japanese mentioned above and
the Italian CQ 1423) have used the first take. When consulting Dick
Bakker's discography produced in 1974 he mentions both takes and
states that take -1 has been used on several LP productions whereas
take -2 has only been used for 78rpms.
I have listened to takes -1 and -2 but I can find no differences in
them, but this does not necessarily mean there are not two different
Maybe this question has come up earlier for discussion in DEMS and if
so maybe you can direct me to the relevant pages. If not, what is
This matter has indeed been covered in a long discussion in
DEMS Bulletin 98/4-7. Since this is rather long ago, it seems
appropriate to reprint this article. The conclusion was that take -1
was a dub, made from take -2. The discussion started with an overview
of earlier discussions.
82/4-5: Carmack asked: what is correct M470-1 or M470-2 on Columbia
C3L-27? DEMS answer: we believe take -2 to be the one used here.
89/4-2: (comments on Timner 3rd edition) Hoefsmit: Timner gives
Caravan -1 as unissued. Aasland: both -1 and -2 are issued.
90/1-5: Lasker: take -1 is unissued Japanese Columbia L5 (I
have it) shows take -1 in the wax, but it is a dubbing of take -2.
Thus ALL issues are take -2. Aasland: way back I made some
investigations with the following results: ALL 78rpm releases used
take -2 (there is no doubt!). Columbia CL-558, C3L-27, Philips,
CBS-52529, Supraphon have all -1. Columbia B-1819, Historia 621,
CBS-88185 have used take -2. Perhaps a misunderstanding at that time
judging from Columbia(J) 78rpm issue, which incidentally by me is
listed as L6. Your confirmation would be much appreciated.
90/2-6: Lasker: my mistake, you're absolutely correct, the Japanese
issue is Columbia L6. Harry Fein lent Frank Driggs his copy of L6 to
use for C3L-27, which reissue identified the take as -1 as what is
shown (incorrectly) in the wax of L6. Could this have been the start
of the phantom '-1" on LPs?
Hoefsmit: the only difference, that we have been able to find is
this: CBS-52529 is a little bit faster at the beginning than later in
the same recording, as compared to the relationship between the
speeds at the beginning and later in the recording on CBS-88185. It
is impossible to have both recordings playing in synch from the
beginning to the end, without making corrections in the speed.
We have compared all the copies we have. Exactly identical in speed
from start to finish are CBS-52529 and C3L-27. But both CBS-52529 and
C3L-27 are different from all the others: CBS-88185, Joker SM 3056,
the Time Life issue and Parlophone R 3041 (78rpm). It is possible to
play these four copies from beginning to end in synch, without any
correction in the speed.
This is the only difference between these copies. There is
nothing in the music that would indicate that the recordings are
different. The Giants of Jazz CD 53046 has not been compared. This is
a production of Joker Tonverlag.
In Ottawa, 18May90, Steven Lasker showed me the original pressing and
the dubbing, the difference being the last groove for the needle at
the very end. On the original pressing this is a double parallel
groove, on the dubbing a single groove. The speed differences between
the original and the dub are due to the poor dubbing techniques of
I am not saying that any of these explanations is wrong. But
there are a few things I have some problems in accepting. If a
recording company (Master in this case) has used take -2 for
production my logic says there must have been also a take -1. If for
some reason somebody decided to make a dub of take -2 why call it
take -1 and not take -3 which would seem more logical. This was the
case with a record presented on an auction and discussed on LYM some
weeks ago (see note). There ought to have existed a genuine take -1
which might have been destroyed at some point in the past. If so the
so-called dub of take -2 should not have been named take -1. Do you
Yes. I agree, but the fact is that the dub does carry
the take-number -1. That's the number found on some of the
There were actually two records mentioned on LYM in Dec04. One was a
Victor test of mx 80145-3 Stompy Jones said to be unissued on
78rpm. The other was a Brunswick test of mx 13801-B Jive Stomp
also said to be unissued. According to second hand information from
Steven Lasker he said however that Stompy Jones take -3 is a
dub from take -2. Jive Stomp take -B however seems to be
genuine. These two records were offered on Mark Berresford's auction
list in a recent VJM. This VJM auction list is due to close on
24Jan05. By the time you are putting the next DEMS Bulletin on the
net the auction list may most probably have been deleted and replaced
by a new one.
Adolphus J. Alsbrook
See DEMS 04/3-17
Oscar Pettiford said (in an interview in Down Beat,
21Mar57p17): "I was impressed by Blanton - and by Adolphus Alsbrook,
a Minneapolis bassist I'd known since I was about 16. He was one who
was really playing the instrument."
The address of my Oscar Pettiford web-site is http://themenschmidt.de/don.htm
See DEMS 01/3-10/1 (The Hamburg concert was on 29May50)
To Whom It May Concern:
I read an introductory paragraph that was published online as part of
a discussion about Duke Ellington's "Blue Serge." Specifically, the
writer states that they do not recall a 3rd trombone, and perhaps Ted
Kelly was indisposed due to his enjoyment of "European
I recognize the fact that your organization is dedicated to the
enjoyment of Duke Ellington's Music. However, in response to that
paragraph, I would like to share the following:
1. The late Theodore (Ted) Kelly was a member of Duke Ellington's
band during the 1940s and 1950s, and he made many recordings with the
band. He was also a member of Dizzy Gillespie's band;
2. Ted played the tenor and bass trombones and recorded with several
big bands of that era;
3. While playing the trombone, Mr. Kelly toured Europe, Malaysia, the
Caribbean, and the United States;
4. When working in New York City, Ted played his horn in Broadway
Show pit bands, classical and jazz concerts, and Greenwich Village
5. Ted was married 50 years, and he and his wife raised two children
(both are professional adults);
6. In addition to being a well respected musician, Ted Kelly was also
a chemist by profession; and finally
7. The late Theodore (Ted) Kelly (1921-2000) was my father.
Daughter Of The Late Ted Kelly
Ted Kelly has not been mentioned in any of the on-line DEMS Bulletins
in relation to "Blue Serge".
The remark about Ted Kelly being "indisposed" as a result of all the
North European "hospitality" was made by Olof Syman in DEMS Bulletin
As far as we know Ted Kelly was in the Ellington band from early
April to somewhere in May50.
It is possible that he made recordings with Ellington but none has
ever surfaced. The only recording he was credited for was the 29May50
concert in Hamburg Germany because he was mentioned in the programme,
but he was not seen or heard during that concert.
Thank you for your message which gives us some additional information
about the trombonist Ted Kelly. He is not mentioned in the New Grove
Dictionary of Jazz or in John Chilton's "Who's Who of Jazz".
His name appeared in several of the discussions around Duke
Ellington's European tour in 1950 that appeared in DEMS Bulletin. [A
survey followed of the articles in 01/3-10/1; 02/1-5/2 and
Ted Kelly's name is properly documented in all Ellington
discographies. One discography placed him in the band from early
April into Jun50 and mentioned that he was born 7Sep21 and died on
Respectfully for the Duke Ellington Music Society (DEMS), Sjef Hoefsmit
This answer did not arrive. We received the following message:
The original message was received at Wed, 26 Jan 2005 03:04:43 +0100
from outmx011.isp.belgacom.be [22.214.171.124]
----- The following addresses had permanennt fatal errors ----- firstname.lastname@example.org
Since Ted Kelly's daughter did not send us a home-address, we
couldn't reach her. We hope she reads Sjef's answer from this
When did Hodges lay down his soprano sax?
See DEMS 04/1-14
In the book "Music was not enough" by Bob Wilber (assisted by
Derek Webster) (Macmillan, 1987) there is an account of Johnny's
visit to the Storyville Club in Boston where Wilber was playing, in
1950. Rab was persuaded to pick up Wilber's straight soprano, and
according to the book he "started playing the blues". This account
occurs on pages 51 - 52 of my Bayou Press (Wheatley, Oxford)
paperback reprint (1989) and there is a photo opposite page 57! (A
good one too
It is also on the same pages of the first edition of Bob
Wilber's book and the story is very interesting. A good reason for
re-printing this paragraph:
"One night at the club stands out in my memory. The Ellington band
was in Boston, playing at a local theater. [Duke's Itinerary
indicates that Duke played the Scollay Square Theatre in Boston from
22 until 28Nov50 according to Variety 29Nov50 p18. DEMS] One evening
after they had finished their last show, some of the boys from the
band, including Johnny Hodges, came over to Storyville. They sat at a
table in front of the bandstand and, spying my straight soprano,
urged Johnny to sit in. He demurred, saying that he hadn't played the
instrument for a long time. In fact the last time he'd played soprano
had been back in 1940, some ten years earlier. Finally, after much
persuasion, Johnny was literally pushed onto the bandstand. He picked
up my soprano, looked at the mouthpiece and saw that it had a soprano
reed on it. He asked me, "Gotta clarinet reed?" I pointed to an open
box of reeds sitting on top of the piano. Without saying a word, he
removed the soprano reed, reached into the box and took out one at
random. He didn't bother looking at it or wetting it or anything. He
simply stuck it on the mouthpiece, tightened the ligature, put the
horn to his mouth, and started playing the blues slow and
stately, with that beautiful tone. It didn't have the earthiness of
Bechet's blues, but you could hear the influence, the soaring
lyricism. I was absolutely amazed, considering that he hadn't played
the soprano for so long. What an incredible natural player!"
Duke's last gig.
See DEMS 90/2-8
I'm an Ellington fan, and had the privilege of being stage
manager for an Ellington concert in, I think, 1973 or '74 at Gaston
Hall at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. I was wondering how
close to his final performance this was. Might you know?
It was a great night and it was a pleasure to meet him, his band, and
his companion. Oddly enough, I bought a white dinner jacket in a
thrift shop for the occasion, and it turned out to be a cast-off from
Ellington's band from the early 1960's, which the Duke recognized.
The date of the concert at Georgetown University was 10Feb74.
DEMS member Ken Steiner took part in the preparations for these two
About Ellington's last concert we can quote an article by Les Airey,
which was published in DEMS Bulletin 85/4-8 by Ulf Renberg. Les Airey
had found the article in "Storyville 59" (Jun/Jul75) and wrote:
I thought that readers would be interested in the following article
which appeared in the Detroit Press of 27oct74 together with
two fine photographs of Duke Ellington on his last 'gig'. [The
article more specifically appeared in "The Magazine of Michigan's
Metropolis" of 27oct74, see DEMS 90/2-8. DEMS]
The article was titled: "The Duke's last gig. A legend says 'So Long'
in Sturgis, Michigan" and it went on as follows:
"On 22Mar74, one month before his 75th birthday, Duke Ellington had a
concert date to fill because of a cancellation, and Sturgis,
Michigan, had an empty auditorium. So the Duke came to Sturgis,
population 9,295, for his last gig. But no one knew it at the
Carl Alken, who manages the auditorium in the city just North of
Indiana in St. Joseph County, was instructed to have a couch ready
backstage, and a six-pack of Coke for the jazz-man who had sworn off
hard liquor years before.
'When I saw him after the performance, he was a tired old man,' Alken
said. 'He looked like he'd been run through a wringer. But he was
still gracious, a real gentleman of the old school.'
Duke Ellington, who had played his music on every continent, snapped
his lithe fingers on the time for Take the "A" Train, Mood Indigo,
Satin Doll and Caravan. Then, after the 20-piece band had
played a half-hour encore, the leader came out alone to the piano,
and played Lotus Blossom, a Billy Strayhorn composition that
floats like soft wind and water, to a hushed audience.
Afterwards, a girl who played trumpet in the high school band, asked
for Duke's autograph. As he gave it, he mischievously probed and
found her musical interests. 'Well, then,' he jived, 'pack your bags
and come along.' One week later, Duke Ellington checked into Columbia
Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. When he died on 24May, he
was suffering from cancer of both lungs and pneumonia."
In DEMS 90/1-6, (the late) Gordon Ewing wrote: "Many people believe
that the last public appearance of Duke occurred on 20Mar74 at
Northern Illinois University in De Kalb. In fact there is a room, in
the Student Center, called the "Duke Ellington Ballroom" and there is
a plaque just outside that room declaring that this was the site of
Duke's last performance. However no one seems to have read the
Mercer-Dance book which in this case correctly states that Duke last
played two concerts on 22Mar74 in Sturgis, Michigan. Mercer refers to
the auditorium as a "firehouse" kind of place. Actually it is a very
fine building. I drove over to Sturgis several months ago, met the
present manager and talked to an Ed Smoker, who worked backstage and
remembers having to provide a cot for Duke in his dressing room and
bringing him a six-pack of Coke. There were two concerts, at 7 and 9
pm. I am going ahead with a plan to have a plaque placed on this
building, a project to which the Board of the Auditorium agrees
The wonders of the internet! Chris Thompson was very important
in me becoming an Ellington fan, as he asked me to work on the stage
crew for a concert series at Georgetown. Most of the concert series
included rock and folk bands, but for one night, the Duke, and my
I will contact Chris right away. Thanks.
See DEMS 04/1-31 p902.
Sjef argues illogically that "if we accept Harry as the tenor
player, we will have to credit Barney with the clarinet part, which
seems even a bit more unlikely." These are not mutually exclusive
propositions, in fact quite the contrary: I believe Carney plays
tenor at the beginning of the record (accompanied by brass and
rhythm) and alto thereafter while Bigard's clarinet is only heard
towards the end of the record.
Perhaps Sjef could relisten to Hot Feet with an open mind and
I could and I did. What we have here is obviously a
misunderstanding. I see now that my statement was ambiguous. I'm
sorry. I did not question Barney Bigard's solo in the 5° chorus,
but his playing in the bridge of the 1° chorus which was
performed by a tenor together with a clarinet. If the tenor was
Carney, the clarinet must have been Bigard and it doesn't sound to me
like Bigard. I understand your statement about Carney playing alto
later in the piece to mean that he takes part in the ensemble of the
5° chorus and not that he is the soloist in the 3°
Now we do agree again. It is not Bigard whom you hear in the
bridge of the 1° chorus playing alongside the tenor. It is not a
clarinet at all. It is Freddie Jenkins on trumpet.
I agree. I didn't think of considering a different instrument.
The description of Hot Feet on page 902 in the New DESOR does
need some corrections indeed. It should read as follows:
Also on page 1449 a correction is called for. The list of instruments
played by Harry Carney should be extended with tenor sax.
Oops! Neither did I, in my piece on Hot Feet in Blue
Light vol.9 no.2, 2002.
Duke's Brass, 1937-38.
See DEMS 04/3-13.
Thanks to a clue supplied by George Hoefer (Downbeat,
5Nov52, p18), Michael Kilpatrick's question of when Dusk on the
Desert was written can be answered: "Ellington remembered he had
written the melody while waiting for a train in Rockford, Illinois."
Reference to Klaus Strateman's "Day by Day
" shows that the band
played an engagement in Rockford on 29/30Aug37, three weeks before
Dusk on the Desert was recorded in New York City.
While I continue to believe that the trumpet soloist on Dusk on
the Desert is probably Whetsel, by no means am I certain. My
opinion is based on what I hear and the knowledge that Whetsel was in
declining health, which might have affected his tone adversely. Alas,
the identity of the trumpet soloist on this title will likely remain
a controversial topic in years to come.
As for Harold Baker's alleged presence in the band in 1938, and John
Chilton's supposition that evidence to this effect might have been
supplied by Baker himself to Leonard Feather for his "Encyclopaedia
of Jazz," there might be a way to test this hypothesis: It is my
understanding that Feather sent biographical questionnaires to many
jazz musicians, and that the filled-out forms are today on file at
the Institute of Jazz Studies. Can Annie Kuebler tell us if Baker's
form notes the year he first joined Ellington?
Newly released [?!] 1924 Wilbur Sweatman Recording
See DEMS 04/3-21
a. The Gennett 78 was released in 1924, so only reissues are
new. (Look for the newly-released 2-CD Wilbur Sweatman set on Jazz
Oracle, one of the last reissues remastered by the late great John R.
b. Ellington's only known engagement with Sweatman was in March 1923.
c. The Gennett files don't show personnel present at the date other
d. The report that Ellington was on the date originated in the
autobiography of Mike Danzi, "American Musician in Germany, 1924-39"
(Schmitten, Germany, 1986). Danzi recalled that he played banjo on
Battleship Kate and Ellington played piano.
e. As I remarked in DEMS (02/2-17/2), the pianist on the Gennett
Battleship Kate sounds to me like someone sight-reading. (I
find his playing to be tentative, which suggests he is likely
f. Judging from the story Ellington tells (MIMM, page 70) about his
sale of Blind Man's Buff (copyright claim dated 24oct23) to
publisher Fred Fisher, Ellington was then capable of writing a lead
sheet in just 30 minutes. It follows that since he was able to write
music manuscript in 1923, he also had the skill to read it.
g. Ellington's memory was very good but not necessarily perfect (or,
if you prefer, photographic). Accounts given by many of his
bandsmen, however, make the case that Ellington's ability to recall
melodies and solos was astonishing. (One might call this
phonographic memory.) Like Sidney Bechet (who made a point of
never learning to read music), Ellington needed to hear a melody only
once to learn it. (Indeed, he started out playing piano by ear; see
MIMM, page 30.)
h. One doesn't hear very much piano on Choo Choo or Rainy
Nights, but enough is heard to tell the pianist was comfortable
with the tunes unlike the pianist on Battleship Kate.
On the other Blu-Disc sides with Ellington (recorded as by Alberta
Prime, Alberta Prime - Sonny Greer, Jo. Trent and the D C'NS, and
Sunny and the D C'NS), a whole lot of piano is heard. This is
distinctly Ellington and it is apparent that as early as 1924, he was
one of the strongest stride pianists on the Harlem scene.
Thus what I hear on the record leads me to conclude that contrary to
Mike Danzi's recollection, the pianist on Sweatman's 10oct24
Battleship Kate isn't Ellington. No way, no how, no sir!
Danzi might instead have recalled an unissued Gennett session, called
circa 12Aug24, at which Sweatman recorded a version of Battleship
Kate that was never issued.
Battleship Kate has been subject of discussions many times. It
was brought forward by Ulf Renberg in DEMS 86/2-10 who reported to
have found Rainer Lotz' article about the Danzi story in Storyville
Hoefsmit brought this story again in circulation in DEMS 89/2-8 in
his comments on Timner's 3rd edition.
Valburn reacted in DEMS 89/4-2: "In 1960, Len Kundstadt, editor of
the Record research, did extensive interviews with Sweatman. He was
in excellent health and his mind was as clear as a bell. He told
Kundstadt that Duke never recorded for him."
In DEMS 02/1-16 the release of this very rare recording was
announced. The news came from Andrew Homzy's e-mail of 19Jan02. DEMS
asked the opinion of those who listened to this release. The first
one who reacted was Steven Lasker in DEMS 02/2-17/2.
Arne Neegaard (e-mail 27Jan04) came with the same message as Andrew
Homzy and suggested that we should consult other ledgers than those
of RCA. After I sent him copies of the discussions in previous DEMS
Bulletins he answered in an e-mail of the same date (27Jan04): The
Red Hot Jazz Archive has 20Sep24, Gennett 5584, but with George
Rickson on piano.
See DEMS 04/3-23
According to Laurie Wright (" ' Fats' in Fact," page 296),
Jig Walk on Paramount 14027 (released circa 1945) is dubbed
from QRS 3565, a piano roll "released in August 1926 and actually
played by J. Lawrence Cook." Piano roll authority Mike Montgomery
tells me he used to own Jig Walk on a U.S. Music nickelodeon
roll which he believes is probably a reissue of the QRS roll (which
he has never heard). Montgomery adds that nickelodeon rolls each
normally contain 10 different songs, and that Jig Walk was the
only Ellington composition on his U.S. Music roll, which doesn't
Another non-Ellington 1920s recording.
While on the subject of 1920s recordings that have been
attributed to Ellington but are actually by other performers:
THE HOTSY TOTSY BOYS: Irving Mills, kl/v; Jimmy McHugh, p.
9 East 37th Street, New York City Thursday, 14 May 1925.
9533 Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now -1 (MillsMcHugh)
Gennett "rejected," master destroyed
9533A Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now -1 (MillsMcHugh)
LP: BD T1001 [released c. Aug 79]
9534 Charleston Charlie (AustinMills) Gennett "rejected," master destroyed
9534A Charleston Charlie (AustinMills) Gennett "rejected," master destroyed
The recording date has previously been reported as 8 June
1925, however the above date is given on the original Gennett matrix
cards. The personnel isn't shown in the files, but the Gennett ledger
notes "Piano Acc Vocal" for both titles, whereas the matrix cards
note "Accompanied by piano" only for the first title. Neither source
notes the presence of a kazoo. Irving Mills is, unmistakably, the
vocalist. Jerry Valburn identified the pianist as Ellington, but
historical and aural evidence points to Jimmy McHugh.
Billing themselves as "The Hotsy Totsy Boys," Mills and McHugh had
visited Chicago in March 1925 to demonstrate songs. (They advertised
the trip in Variety, 4 Mar 25p56; a photograph of the two
performers appears on the cover of the sheet music of their
composition Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now.) Lucille Meyers of
Jimmy McHugh Music, who worked for McHugh the last twenty years of
his life, told me on 10 March 1994 that McHugh had been a very
competent pianist. When I played Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now
for her, she "swore" it had to be McHugh. Musicologist Larry Gushee
is of the opinion that the pianist isn't Ellington; Mark Tucker
believed it is.
The master parts for these titles were destroyed in 1925.
Fortunately, a test pressing of the first title was retained at the
office of Mills Music, where Jerry Valburn found it many years after
the recording. He borrowed, taped, and returned it. Sidney Mills
(Irving's son) told me in 1987 that the various office tests were
subsequently thrown out.
[Not Such] A Small Puzzle
See DEMS 04/3-24
According to Victor's files, The Dicty Glide mx. BVE-49767-1
and Sloppy Joe mx. BVE-49769-1 were the first choice "master"
takes, yet every commercially issued 78 I have found of these titles
is pressed from the second takes, which were marked "hold
indefinitely." In the case of Stevedore Stomp, mx. BVE-49770-1
was originally marked "master" and BVE-49770-2 was marked "hold
indefinitely"; a subsequent change of mind (noted not on the session
sheet but rather on a separate "history card" for Victor V-38053-A)
ordered take one destroyed and take two mastered. So far as I know,
no test or commercial pressing of BVE-49770-1 exists, and the
performance is lost.
I believe that the original issue of BVE-49767-1 is actually
RCA(F)741.029 while that of BVE-49769-1 is RCA(E)RD-7331.
Anybody who can prove me wrong is invited to just produce an
actual commercially-issued 78 that contains the take one of any of
the three titles in question.
Who is going to ask Al McKibbon?
See DEMS 04/3-31
On 15Feb02, Al McKibbon told me that he was called to a
session of 3Mar61 as a sub for Aaron Bell who was missing. McKibbon
says he rehearsed with the band until Bell showed up and took over
the bass duties. McKibbon didn't record with the band, but was paid
What you wrote calls for corrections in the New DESOR on
session 6103 of 3Mar61 on page 297 and/or on Correction-sheet 1023
and on page 1479.
"Duke Ellington, Jo. Trent, Blu-Disc, Up-To-Date
and Various Topics of Related Interest."
See DEMS 04/3-57
Here is a correction on Part Three:
Blu-Disc T1003-A was not issued as by SUNNY GREER AND THE D C'NS, but
rather as by SUNNY AND THE D C'NS.
Here is a correction on Part Five:
The matrix/take numbers were incorrectly expressed in form. T2013-B2
should have read T2013B-2, and so on.
Dixie Dreams is mx. T2020-1 [sic]; June Brought the
Roses is mx. T2021B-1, and Openshaw is the only composer shown on
A copy of Up-to-Date 2017, probably the same copy that was once owned
by the late Billy Thomas, has been located (thanks to the assistance
of Kurt Nauck) in the collection of Gene Scranton of Greenburg,
Pennsylvania. [To make this correction go to the second paragraph
after the listing. It starts with "Only four issues".]
Here is an addition to Part Five:
Both Blu-Disc T1002 and the various BD&M issues of Rainy
Nights, including Pennington 1439, were released in December
1924. While the precise release date of the four Up-to-Date issues
isn't known, it would be logical to infer that they were released in
February 1925, the month when BD&M released two of Up-to-Date's
masters on Pennington 1453 and Pennington 1455. From this deduction
and the fact that the song When My Sugar Walks Down the Street
was first introduced in December 1924, one might reasonably conclude
that Up-to-Date's masters were recorded in December 1924 and/or
January 1925, most likely at several different sessions held over the
course of those two months. The fact that the Florence Bristol title
with Hardwick and Ellington was among the last Up-to-Date masters
recorded suggests that the session was held sometime in January 1925
rather than in December 1924 as I proposed in the last DEMS Bulletin
[04/3-57, Part Five]
How Many Compositions Did Ellington Actually Write?
See DEMS 04/3-58
Circa 1972 Brooks Kerr posed this very question to the maestro
who estimated that he had written about 5,000 compositions.