DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
06/1 April - July 2006
Our 28th 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
Lou Rawls, who became famous in a slightly different category of
music than that of Ellington, died on 6Jan06. We know him best from
the fact that Duke was his guest on one of his shows. Duke's
participation was recorded in late 1970 at the Royal York Hotel in
Toronto where he played Satin Doll and with Lou Rawls vocal
Sophisticated Lady. Duke brought his own rhythm section (Joe
Benjamin and Rufus Jones) and was accompanied by a studio orchestra.
The show recently appeared on DVD, see DEMS 05/3-19 and 06/1-7.
In the Danish collection is a tape from 12Aug69 with a male vocalist,
identified as probably Frankie Laine. This is based on Duke's remark
"You start call this time, Frank. Ready?" I believe that Frank was an
assistant in the studio because the voice of Lou Rawls is so
distinctive that the male singer was later recognised as being Lou
Rawls (also for the session of 29Aug69). Although he didn't work a
lot with Duke, he certainly deserves to be mentioned in DEMS Bulletin
and in Duke's discography.
Especially if you compare it with Bulletin 05/3, this one, 06/1, is
rather small. One of the additional advantages of using the web-site
instead of the hard copy editions is the fact that there is no limit
because of mailing constraints (we tried always to stay below 100
grams) and the consequence of having extra large Bulletins is that
there can also be some smaller ones. But in spite of the fact that
the Bulletin is so much smaller, there are still some "fresh"
addition to Duke's discography. One came from Lance Travis in South
Africa, who contributed an audio recording of Duke's appearance on
the Johnny Carson's Tonight Show on 2Aug65. Lance received this
recording from Bob Roberts, who explained that on this evening, Joey
Bishop replaced Johnny Carson as happened often on Monday nights.
Richard Minton, who was employed in the American TV industry during
this period confirmed that the voice is that of Joey Bishop. The
chatter between Duke and Joey Bishop took a bit more than 6 minutes.
After that Duke played for 2:35 Single Petal of a Rose. I can
confirm that this is a "fresh" recording. It has not been borrowed
The other one came from Michael Cuscuna. It is an alternate take of
Body and Soul, which is on a recently released Mosaic CD and
the whole CD is in genuine stereo. See DEMS 06/1-30.
Another memorable fact is that we have reached the start of the year
2001 (for many of us the beginning of the 21st century) in
going back with putting DEMS Bulletins on this web-site. There are no
plans yet to go any further. If you want to see an older Bulletin
than 2001/1, please let us know. All the Bulletins since 1996 are
still available as e-mail attachments. From older Bulletins than
1996, we can make you hard-copies. We are especially happy that
Bulletin 2001/1 is now on the web, because it shows you the picture
of Mark Tucker that we published with his obituary. He was undeniably
one of the most important Ellington researchers ever and it is more
than appropriate that his picture is available to everybody to see.
It is also good that a very thorough study by Hans-Joachim Schmidt
about Hank Cinq is on the web-site. If you have missed it, you
should read it.
A sad message is that Jerry Valburn's CD column has been discontinued
for the time being. Jerry has some health problems and he would love
to hear from the friends who know one or more of his addresses. If
you send him a message you should congratulate him on his
80th birthday, which was celebrated on 19Dec05.
A good message came from Ted Hudson on 21Jan06: "Today Jack Towers
came home from the rehabilitation center. A physical therapist will
come to his home several times a week to continue his treatment. I
spoke with him and he seemed in good spirits, glad to get home, of
course. He is very appreciative of friends who wrote, called, and
otherwise encouraged him."
(Jack Towers had to undergo a hip operation.)
Jazz 'Bones: The World of Jazz Trombone
See DEMS 05/2-25
"Jazz 'Bones: The World of Jazz Trombone," (with a nod in the
title to Stanley Dance) written by Kurt Dietrich has come to
fruition. Advance Music, who published in 1995 "Duke's 'Bones,"
released the new book in December 2005 with order number 19106 (ISBN
3-89221-069-1). It was "brought out" at the International Association
for Jazz Education conference in New York in January, and is creating
a nice little "buzz" in the trombone world right now. It is a large
project (612 pages) and the first work of this sort in our
"community." Some of the material in "Duke's 'Bones" is recycled
here, but Kurt discussed several hundred trombonists in his latest
book. It is written for the general reader, without musical examples.
A good place to see a little bit about it is at:
http://www.upbeat.com/caris/saxalt.htm#bones (scroll down towards the
bottom of that page). That is at Caris Music Services, a good place
to order the book as well -- but for US customers. In Europe you
would be best off going directly to the Advance Music site:
http://www.advancemusic.com/ The same publicity at the site mentioned
above is also at the Advance site.
At the same time that the new book was released, "Duke's 'Bones" went
into a second printing. It includes some updating in the
discographical section, corrections made in the text, and, unhappily,
some new death dates.
Kurt Dietrich is well known among Ellington conference attendees.
Kurt made presentations about Lawrence Brown in Washington on
27Apr89, about Tricky Sam Nanton in Ottawa on 18May1990 and about
Juan Tizol in New York on 13Aug93. Kurt is currently the Barbara
Baldwin DeFrees Professor of Performing Arts at Ripon College in
Wisconsin. I must apologise for the fact that his book "Duke's
'Bones" (230 pages) has never been reviewed in DEMS Bulletin. Because
I figured that it would be too technical for me, I sent a free copy
to a well-known Professor in Music, DEMS member and trombone player
himself who accepted my request to review it. Even after several
reminders, the review never materialised. Now the book is reprinted
and updated and since I have read the first edition, I can recommend
it strongly to every Ellington admirer. It contains many musical
examples and if you cannot read music you will feel sorry for
yourself that you never learned it. Kurt's doctoral dissertation
covered mainly Tricky Sam Nanton, Juan Tizol and Lawrence Brown but
his book "Duke's 'Bones" covers in detail all the trombonists who
played in Ellington's orchestra from John Anderson and his successor
Charlie Irvis to Murray McEachern and Art Baron. Even for musical
illiterates like myself, this book is a really important addition to
one's Ellington library. I have no doubt that his latest book "Jazz
'Bones: The World of Jazz Trombone" is an equally welcome addition to
the library of many friends with a more general appreciation of Jazz.
I just received my copy from my friend Norbert Ruecker,
The DVD Regions
See DEMS 05/3-20
Reading the last bulletin, I see that you don't know which region is Region
4 on DVDs. South America is Region 4, the same as for Korea,
Thailand, China, and other countries from the far orient. But almost
all of the DVD players one can buy here [in Argentine], are region
free and play all regions and formats (PAL and/or NTSC).
Firstly thanks for e-mail regarding latest DEMS issue. Another superb
effort from the team and I wish you all the very best for Xmas and
Re DEMS 05/2-18 my Panasonic DVD instruction book lists Region 4 as
South America, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.
Tasmania is of course a state of Australia, not a separate country.
The Classic Hollywood Years
A friend of mine has given me a copy of this DVD, released on 7Sep04.
Have you seen this interesting DVD?
This is the best site with more information on it:
I've not found in DEMS a reference.... I attach the list of the
"tracks" written with the help of the inserts on the DVD (some of
them with errors). All is OK, checked with DESOR, except for one
piece: the "Jungle Interlude", which probably came from another film
and is not with the right title:
1937 --------Hit Parade of 1937------------------------------------------
Hollywood Republic Studios, Los Angeles, CA, February 22, 1937
1. I've Got to Be A Rug Cutter (vc IA, RS, HC, HAl) (D. Ellington) [2:08]
2. Jungle Interlude (D. Ellington) [1:02] ??????
And also with, according to DESOR, 3 unissued tracks:
1943 --------An RKO Jamboree #7 ---------------------------------------
Hurricane Restaurant, New York City, NY, June 17, 1943
1. Mood Indigo/ Sophisticated Lady
2. It Don't Mean A Thing (Ellington-Mills) vcRN [2:45]
3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (D. Ellington) [2:46]
Am I right or have I made many mistakes?
Indeed this DVD has not been mentioned earlier in DEMS Bulletin. It
contains material previously released on video tapes and other
First the two sections you mentioned:
"The Hit Parade " is not complete. Missing are It Don't Mean a
Thing; Along Came Pete and Sophisticated Lady. That is a
pity because both missing titles have not yet been issued on video or
DVD (as far as I can check). Jungle Interlude is a new
subtitle for Love Is Good for Anything that Ails You, with the
only filmed (2 bars) solo by Fred Guy. This piece was not written by
Ellington, but by L. Handman. The film was made in the week from 22
"Duke Ellington and His Orchestra", RKO Jamboree # 7 was not filmed
at the Hurricane Restaurant or in Hollywood as the title of the DVD
suggests. The music was recorded on 17 and 19Jun43 by Pathé
News and the picture was shot at the Movietone Studios in Manhattan
on 22 until 27Jun43. These recordings have been previously issued on
video (Storyville 6033) and on DVD (Bluebird "The Centennial
Collection", see DEMS 04/3-35).
There is more to the DVD than the two sections you describe according
to the web-site you mentioned. I found: "Black and Tan" (1929); "A
Bundle of Blues" (1933); "Symphony in Black" (1935); "Paramount
Pictorial No. 889" (the making of records, 1937) and segments of the
longer films "Cheek and Double Cheek" [sic]; "Belle of the Nineties"
and "Cabin in the Sky".
The time-length is 80 minutes and it seems to be produced by
"ejazzlines.com", a division of Hero Enterprises Inc. The catalogue
number is rather long: 8436028690282.
The Ralph J. Gleason recordings on DVD
Eagle Vision EREDV-490.
See DEMS 05/3-20
The recent issue of the DVD containing the Ralph J.Gleason Aug/Sep65
recordings (now also available as DVD zoned "0") confirms the
confusion I always felt regarding this title: Love Came, New
Sjef's comments in 05/3-20 do not make it perfectly clear: "Love
Came ... 20Sep65-6553h ... fresh narration over the playback of
the recording by BS on 14Aug65 ... not documented in the New
New DESOR page 1001 describes this Love Came from 20Sep65 as
1°BS&DE(tk.);cod4BS, and at the same time states on page 408
that the BS (piano) performance was pre-taped. I would suggest, in
order to straighten the record definitively, that we should specify
that 6553h from 20Sep65 only concerns Duke's narration over the
playback of BS's piano playing Love Came recorded 14Aug65.
I stated that this Billy Strayhorn session of 14Aug65 is not
documented in the New DESOR. That the "fresh" narration was
documented in the New DESOR is illustrated by the reference number
6533h. I support your suggestion to change the wording of the note in
the New DESOR to "The BS performance of Love Came was
pre-taped on 14Aug65".
The DVD starts with a repeatedly played version of Take the "A" Train
as an introduction to the DVD. We see first Ellington with his
white jacket on the stage in Grace Cathedral and after several
excerpts taken from the documentary "Love You Madly", we see him at
the piano in Basin Street West. The audio part of this introductory
sequence is taken from what we later hear in the documentary when the
"complete" version of Take the "A" Train is performed.
The first part of the DVD contains the telecast titled "Love You
Madly" and not as mentioned in DEMS 05/3-20, "Duke Ellington - We
Love You Madly". That title by the way was used for the show,
recorded on 10 and 11Jan73 in Los Angeles on the stage of the New
Schubert Theatre. What I missed on my video tape and what I found on
the DVD is not only the opening In the Beginning God (an
incomplete replay at West Coast Recorders' control room) but also the
comments spoken by Jon Hendricks in Monterey later in the
documentary. Another correction I should make is this: I said that
the middle of Take the "A" Train was taken from Monterey. That
is not so. It is the section from the Cootie Williams solo until the
end of Take the "A" Train which has been taken from Monterey,
in spite of what the screen shows you. I have compared the audio
tracks. The piano introduction is not from Monterey. I must indeed be
from Basin Street West as is suggested by what we see on screen. What
I wrote about the 1965 documentary is in other respects correct.
The second part of the DVD, which covers the 16Sep65 Sacred Concert
contains exactly the portion that we already had on an audio tape.
The DVD is nevertheless very welcome, because now we can see the
performance as we saw it at the Pittsburgh Conference on 25May95,
when Patricia Willard showed us the NET telecast of the Sacred
Concert. That single viewing was not enough to make a reliable
description of the concert. We can now make a full report.
The concert started with Come Sunday and Light
(a.k.a. Montage). On the DVD we see documentary images of
Duke visiting the Cathedral and speaking with several dignitaries.
Through the music we hear the comments, probably by Ralph Gleason
himself (or by William Triest, who is credited at the end of the
telecast) explaining what happened. These comments are (fortunately)
missing from the audio recording in the Danish Collection, broadcast
in 1994 (bc # 54).
Come Sunday by the Herman McCoy Choir was scheduled next on
the programme, but is not on any of the recordings.
This was planned to be followed by a group of traditional spirituals
by the same choir. The only recording of this performance has been
found in the Danish collection. These were the selections: Come
Sunday; Do You Call That Religion?; My Lord, What a Morning; Every
Time I Feel the Spirit and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. It
seems possible to me that the scheduled Come Sunday was
dropped since the group of traditional spirituals started with this
very same title. Duke must have planned to alter the programme before
it started. He tells us why later in the programme.
Next comes the video recording of Tell Me It's the Truth by
Esther Marrow. On the DVD it seems to be uninterrupted connected to
In the Beginning God. But according to the programme it should
have been followed by what was called "Purvis a la Jazz Hot",
according to the programme composed (or arranged) by Richard I.
Purvis, orchestrated by Louie Bellson and Ellington and performed by
The Grace Cathedral Choir directed by Mr Purvis. The recording has
indeed been found in the Danish Collection and broadcast in bc # 54.
There were first two false starts (not in the broadcast), followed by
the complete We Shall Walk This Lonesome Road and Only
Joyful. Both selections are documented in the New DESOR because
the band took part in the performance. They are both credited (by the
New DESOR) to Ellington.
From this point on, the remaining part of the concert has been
released on the Status CD DSTS 1015 (See DEMS 97/2-19). According to
the liner-notes by John Bennett the CD presents the selections in the
order in which they were performed.
The next title is from the central part of the concert, In the
Beginning God, and is evidently on the DVD. Duke and Jon
Hendricks both had difficulties playing the melody correctly. This is
not surprising in the case of Jon Hendricks. He arrived the same
morning and was given the sheet music only shortly before the concert
started without any rehearsal (see note). However, Duke was not yet
used to playing his own composition, which was probably not yet fully
completed at this stage. The marvellous introduction on his baritone
by Harry Carney that we hear later in New York at Christmas 1965, had
still to be added in spite of the fact that he is mentioned as first
soloist in the programme notes. In the Beginning God was the
last part in which both choirs participated. The Grace Cathedral
Choir left immediately at the end of it. The Herman McCoy Choir
however stayed for the remaining part of the concert. This is odd,
because when Duke introduced the next number (Will You Be
There?), we hear him say on the CD: " Thank you very much ladies
and gentlemen. As programme our intermission is supposed to be here,
but because of the congestion we were late starting and the Herman
McCoy Choir, many of them who are school teachers in Southern
California, have to catch [a] plane and so if you don't mind we would
like to continue with part of the second half and therefor their part
and we will switch the programme a little bit so that they can make
their plane. And so now, we will go to Will You Be There? Will You
Be There? Herman McCoy."
If you look at the original programme (Klaus Stratemann p516) you
notice that the original running order was indeed altered. In the
Danish collection and on the CD (but not on the DVD) are first
Will You Be There? and 99% Won't Do by the Herman McCoy
Choir with Jimmy McPhail (and not with Jon Hendricks as is claimed in
the credits on the back of the CD case).
This was followed by Ain't But the One also by Jimmy McPhail
and the Herman McCoy Choir. This is included in the DVD. It is the
last number before the intermission.
The first number after the intermission was (as scheduled) New
World a-Comin', to my taste the best of Duke's recorded solos. It
was as usual not completely flawless, but it is a real pleasure not
only to hear him play but also to see him at the piano.
The next two numbers are explicitly announced by Duke as additional
to the programme. They are not on the DVD. The first one was what
Duke called "another additional version of In the Beginning
God." Both Duke and Jon Hendricks stumbled again through the
opening bars as we know them now by heart. The second of the two
additional selections was My Mother, My Father by Jimmy
McPhail. The note at the back of the CD case shows erroneously "the
Speaking Choir" as participating in the first of these two additions
as well as Jon Hendricks as the soloist in the second one.
The next selection is in fact also an addition to the programme. Duke
didn't give it a title. The CD and also the DVD called it The
Lord's Prayer. It has the lyrics based on "Our Father" or "Pater
Noster". It was sung by Ester Marrow (and not Merrill as copied from
the programme notes to the credits on the back of the CD case). The
problem of having two totally different melodies with more or less
the same lyrics has been addressed in DEMS Bulletins 83/2-4; 97/2-19
and 97/3-17. My suggestion to reserve the title The Preacher's
Song for the version done by Tony Watkins a cappella at the end
of several Sacred Concerts (also at the end of this first one in San
Francisco) and to free the title The Lord's Prayer to be used
for the Esther Marrow version, performed in 1965, 1966 and 1967 and
for the Ellington piano solo in the third Sacred Concert at
Westminster Abbey has been accepted by several discographers like
Timner, Nielsen, Massagli and Volonté. The piano solo from
Westminster Abbey is completely different again, but since it appears
only once in Duke's discography it doesn't create a great problem and
can be treated as in similar cases when the same title exists for two
different compositions (which is to give it the # sign in the New
DESOR). Anyway the third and last of the three additional selections
in the programme was Ester Marrow's version of The Lord's
Prayer. It is found on all recordings.
Duke returned to the scheduled programme with Esther Marrow doing
Come Sunday. Again found on all recordings.
This is followed by the marvellous rendition of the same melody by
Bunny Briggs, re-titled for his special performances (the first of
which dates back to 1963 at the "My People" show) into David
Danced Before the Lord. Not only did Jon Hendricks take part in
this number (as is correctly mentioned on the CD box), but so too did
the Herman McCoy Choir, whose members may have missed their plane!
This is by its nature the most appropriate recording for a DVD
instead of a CD.
This is the end of the DVD. The CD continues with what was scheduled
in the programme as The Lord's Prayer and is called on
the CD box The Lord's Prayer II, but what we prefer to call
The Preacher's Song. Again, Duke did not mention any title
when he announced Tony Watkins.
Note: I was very surprised to see that the liner notes of the DVD
were not written by Patricia Willard. It seems that Ashley Kahn has
been chosen because he is more famous. I must admit that I have never
heard of him. Reading his notes makes it clear that he consulted
Ralph Gleason's reports in "Celebrating the Duke" and that he does
not have much first hand knowledge of the event. We know however that
Patricia was very much involved in the preparation of the Sacred
Concert and that she assisted the producer of the two documentaries.
She is acknowledged in Ralph Gleason's book as the Ellington
historian who was especially helpful. She gave an exciting
presentation in Pittsburgh together with Louie Bellson about this
specific Sacred Concert. She is even seen on screen in the
documentary "Love You Madly" when Duke entered what might have been
Basin Street West, saw her and shook her hand. Before I wrote this
article about the Grace Cathedral Concert, I re-listened and watched
my video recording, made on 25May95 in Pittsburgh. Patricia explained
why Jon Hendrick had had so much difficulty singing In the
Beginning God. She also mentioned that there were about twenty
hours of filming done, that it was first cut to five hours and since
it was still too long for showing on television, it was further
reduced to two programmes of one hour each. That means that there may
still be some material left at the Ralph Gleason estate at Jazz
Casual Production, Inc. directed by Ralph's son Toby, who also wrote
a part of the liner-notes himself. Let's hope that he will decide to
release some of it as well, in the not too distant future. For the
time being we must be very grateful for having these beautiful DVDs.
We are most fortunate to be able to enjoy Duke's very first Sacred
Concert under marvellous circumstances. Those who were in the
Cathedral may have had the benefit of seeing the band in colour, we
have at least the best sound reproduction. We experienced ourselves
during the Ellington Conference in 1999 in Washington on Duke's
100th birthday that the sound in a Cathedral (on that
occasion the National Cathedral of Washington) can be awful,
depending on where you are seated. Ralph Gleason reported of the same
"acoustical disaster" on 16Sep65 in Grace Cathedral in his book
"Celebrating the Duke" (p215) in "A Ducal Calendar 1952-1974" under
the date of 2oct65, which by the way illustrates that Ralph for an
unknown reason did not put the actual dates on top of his
I have had some correspondence with Patricia Willard about this
concert and she gave me a few additional details when I asked her who
directed the choir:
"I just watched the total DVD, and although Tom Whaley was there in
San Francisco he was not in the Sacred Concert video/DVD. He's seen
frequently in "Love You Madly" and the footage for both was
originally all part of what was intended to be one program. I
remember Herbie Jones doing the copying of parts for the actual
concert. Tom obviously was very involved in the after-concert
recording session at the studio, and I see him backstage at
There were two choirs on the concert the Herman McCoy Choir,
which was Duke's choice, and the Grace Cathedral choir, which was
Grace Cathedral's choice. Both are on the video/DVD. Herman's group
was combined with the Grace Cathedral group for what the printed
program calls "The Speaking Choir," which must have been pre-planned
because I produced the printed program according to Duke's
instructions [although I chose the stock (paper), typefaces and
dimensions, the latter over the objections of Dean Bartlett who said
Grace Cathedral had never had a printed program that large. I argued
that they'd never had a performance program that innovative and
The "Group of Traditional Spirituals" by the McCoy Choir and "Purvis
A La Jazz Hot" were edited out of the television show because it had
to be kept to one hour, and those two portions were not really
Ellington-specific. Richard Purvis does not appear anywhere in the
DVD. The choir director you see repeatedly is Herman McCoy.
And I'm sure that you know that the order of actual performance is
per the unauthorized CD issued in Europe from Wally Heider's original
tapes. For the television special, there was some editing and
re-programming." End quote.
As I pointed out the editing and re-programming did not disturb the
actual sequence of selections but there were some alterations to the
programme as printed.