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
- ADDITIONS - CORRECTIONS
The Lou Rawls Show with Duke Ellington
See DEMS 05/3-19
The Ellington bonus on the RAWLS DVD is The Hawk Talks (Klaus
Stratemann 13005, p334; The New DESOR 5203f, p179) in good quality.
They should label it a Bellson bonus though.
1940 Chicago Tonight radio program
Do you know if this is available on tape or CD from any source, and
if so, how can I get it?
This broadcast is claimed to have had three selections: Solitude;
Mood Indigo and It Don't Mean a Thing.
It has been documented in the Chicago Tribune of 5Sep40, the same
date as the broadcast. It is also documented in WaxWorks by Benny
Aasland as entry 40-22 and as a MBS (WGN) broadcast in which Duke
participated. It seems that the band did not. We have never found
this recording. We suspect that no recording (if there ever was one)
Magic Carpet and One Night Stand broadcasts
The latest DEMS was as usual awe-inspiringly informative. However I'm
in need of clarification about a couple of items (which is probably a
result of my lack of knowledge ).
1. I infer from the discussion of the DETS release of Zanzibar
broadcasts recorded on 7oct45 that there were 2 broadcasts, one
called "Magic Carpet" and one called "One Night Stand", from the same
date. If I'm correct, (and I may just misunderstand the whole thing)
were these broadcast live? I ask because Sjef refers to the "One
Night Stand" show as being "processed" on a different date. What does
You have three questions. I think that it is best to answer each one
There were probably indeed two broadcasts on 7oct45. There is one
which was documented on the date of 7oct45 since the tape of Magic
Carpet 131 showed up. See the old Desor session 361.0 in Volume 9
(1975) page XLI. The description below that session shows that the
first chorus of Love Letters by Lawrence Brown had only 24
bars and that the last selection, Kissing Bug was not complete
at the end. This was indeed the AFRS broadcast Magic Carpet 131 which
had these two imperfections. The release on the LP Joyce 1071 had the
same defects. In Bulletin 79/5-3 Benny Aasland offered to the
membership a reel to reel tape with this Magic Carpet 131 broadcast.
When the Joyce LP was announced in DEMS Bulletin 80/2-1 the date of
the Magic Carpet 131 broadcast was given (in error) as 4oct45. In the
next Bulletin (80/3-5) this announcement was corrected. The 4oct45
portion was claimed (in accordance with the Benny Aasland reel to
reel tape) to include at the start Take the "A" Train (which
was correct) and the closing Main Stem (which was wrong).
Neither was mentioned on sleeve or label. Comparison revealed that
the closing Main Stem was a repeat of the third selection of
the original broadcast.
The second time the date of 7oct45 showed up was in DEMS Bulletin
85/3-2 in which the LP Fanfare 135 was reported, with one selection
from Magic Carpet 131, Love Letters. One again it was also not
complete, showing that it was clearly dubbed onto this LP from the
Magic Carpet tape. The date of 7oct45 for the Magic Carpet 131
broadcast was again confirmed in DEMS 88/4-8, where the session
received the Waxworks entry number 45-79. When François
Moulé asked in Bulletin 89/1-9 what the correct date should
read: 4oct45 or 7oct45, Benny answered: "the date ought to be 7oct45,
despite what many times has been said elsewhere."
In Bulletin 90/4-7 Jerry Valburn announced the finding of the
original acetates of the complete 7oct45 broadcast. These acetates
contained four selections more than what was earlier known through
the Magic Carpet broadcast 131. This appeared in that Bulletin: The
balance consists of Suddenly It Jumped/Every Hour on the
Hour/Cotton Tail/Everything But You and bc close. Comments from
Hoefsmit: Love Letters (from the first part) has also been
issued on Fanfare 135, with a false date, 11oct46, as from the
Aquarium Restaurant. All earlier issued versions have the same
defect, but now having the original bc, we can enjoy Lawrence Brown
playing the first chorus complete. Comments from Benny Aasland: Bc
time: 11:30-12:00M. The date is said to be 7oct45, which contradicts
with the schedule for MBS bcs. However, I'm willing to use this date
until we know better.
From this original 10 titles broadcast, the first group of six was
used for the Magic Carpet broadcast 131. Apparently it was edited,
which proves that Magic Carpet was not the original broadcast but was
transcribed from an original broadcast. This original broadcast had
no defects and contained 10 titles. The balance of four were released
for the first time on DETS CD Vol 10. The Magic Carpet portion, but
now without defects was released on DETS CD Vol 2. The conclusion is
that my remark in DEMS 05/3-22 (additional comment 2) that the Magic
Carpet broadcast 131 was distributed over two sets, Volume 2 and
Volume 11, was wrong. It was exclusively on Volume 2. Actually this
was not the Magic Carpet broadcast itself but the first group of six
selections from the original 7oct45 broadcast, transcribed for Magic
Carpet with two defects. On Volume 11 were the remaining four
selections from the original broadcast of 7oct45.
There was another broadcast, titled One Night Stand 764. This
broadcast was claimed to originate from 24Sep45. It was not mentioned
in the old Desor, however it was mentioned in Aasland's WaxWorks
entry 45-73 in DEMS Bulletin 88/4-8. In the New DESOR this broadcast
was dated as 24oct45. The opening theme Take the "A" Train is
taken by the AFRS from the original recording in the middle of the
programme: the first part until the 12th bar in the 2nd chorus. It
has erroneously received its own number, 4583a, although it is dubbed
Klaus Stratemann (page 263): "The week of September 12, Ray Nance
left the band". Luciano Massagli: Ray Nance left after October 1.
Taft Jordan played the solo in Take the "A" Train. Conclusion:
this session is from October, probably October 24. (ONS 754,
broadcast of Tommy Dorsey, is from 30 September 1945).
The correct date is 7oct45. Source "One Night Stand Series 1-1001,
Greenwood Press by Mackenzie & Polomski. See DEMS 02/1-19/2. The
last group of two selections (released on Joyce LP 1071) is released
on CD DETS 903.9005. Six other selections are on CD DETS 903.9007.
How Deep Is the Ocean and Every Hour on the Hour have
not yet been released. See for an overview of the ONS broadcasts DEMS
The correct dates of both broadcasts are not known for certain. Maybe
the ONS one is more certain than the Magic Carpet one, which probably
gives 7oct45 as the broadcast date of the Magic Carpet broadcast, but
is silent about recording date of the original broadcast.
What I mean by "processed " is that transcriptions were made from the
original broadcast to be used later for edited broadcasts for the
AFRS or what Jerry Valburn described in 02/1-19-2 as cut for the
masters in the series. As you can see from this, some parts were
missing from the originals and sometimes a selection was repeated in
the edited version, as a result of this "cutting" process.
The original broadcasts were live, but the AFRS transcriptions were not.
2. And while I'm on the topic of broadcasts: the liner notes to the
"Duke's Joint" CD state that the broadcast of 15oct45 is "so scarce
that only the 1st half could be found in the RCA vault." My question
is: why was anything found in the RCA vault? How was RCA involved in
the broadcast? Because it was an NBC broadcast? (NBC and RCA used to
be part of the same company, I believe.)
I have no idea how and why the broadcast of 15oct45 popped up in the
RCA vaults. I can imagine why Will Friedwald's liner note for the
Buddha CD refers to the first half. Two of the four selections
(Fickle Fling and Autumn Serenade) have formed part of
a group of five recordings on tape. One of these five (Out of This
World) has been identified as belonging to the broadcast of
13oct45. Another one (Suburbanite) has been identified as
belonging to the broadcast of 24Aug46. A third one (Stomp, Look
and Listen) was not found anywhere else. For some time it stayed
with Fickle Fling and Autumn Serenade as a session in
the Fall of 1945. These three are so listed in the New DESOR as
session 4579. Stomp, Look and Listen is the only selection
that still awaits identification by date. Fickle Fling and
Autumn Serenade are now accepted together with I'll Buy
That Dream and How Deep Is the Ocean as a four title
session of 15oct45, since they appear as such on the Buddha CD
"Duke's Joint". Several of these recordings have also turned up on
other tapes in other combinations.
3. As to the ongoing discussion of when Sid Catlett was with the
band: Is it now generally accepted that it was from Oct 8-13th
No the authors of the New DESOR have not (yet) accepted the
corrections to be made for 10, 11 and 13oct45. About 8oct45 there is
no doubt. Sid Catlett has been mentioned on the recording sheets.
Recently (10Dec05) Loren Schoenberg claimed in an e-mail that Sid
Catlett also played in the broadcast of 15oct45. I am sure that he
meant the 13oct45 broadcast.
This was his e-mail:
"I'm convinced that it's Catlett on 15oct45. On How Deep Is the
Ocean, the fills, the cymbals, the rhythms are all typical
Catlett, and certainly not Greer. Would like to hear opinions of
others on this."
Duke Ellington Enigma Solved
See DEMS 05/3-33
Thank you for the voluminous Bulletin as always full of news and
comments. I'm working on it with Giovanni and we are preparing a list
of corrections to put into our discography.
We took a first look at "Duke Ellington Enigma Solved" (05/3-33): the
articles are very interesting but we don't agree about the statement
that Boogie Bop Blue is the same as Non Violent
Integration, because, in our opinion, they are two completely
different tunes. Non Violent Integration, on the other hand,
is the same as Who Struck John (DE 4708 g).
1. The introduction plus Willie Smith's echo lasts for 5 bars, not 6
as Luciano and Giovanni suggest on page 738 of the New DESOR for
5128h. This would qualify it for a place in the brief 'Unusual
Bar-Lengths' discussion on Duke-LYM last summer, but I suspect it may
have to do with the 19 bars Walter van de Leur says were cut out of
the manuscript score for this recording ("Something To Live For"
p202). 5 + 19 = 24.
2. The 32-bar vocal chorus now runs from bar 16 to bar 47. But the
final bar of the chorus is also the first bar of the 8-bar
section with the trumpet solo, which thus runs from bar 47 to bar 54.
This sort of running together is common enough in classical music but
much less so in jazz where soloists expect clearly defined choruses.
I suspect there are other examples of the device in Billy's work,
though Walter's index doesn't help point me quickly towards any.
3. New DESOR ascribes the trumpet solo to Willie Cook. The
discographical notes to vol. 4 of the CBS(F) 'Complete Duke Ellington
1947-52' box have Harold Baker. None of the early discussions of this
session listed in Klaus Götting's 1997 index (supplement to DEMS
Bulletin 97/2) relate to it and I can't recall it being mentioned in
the Bulletin more recently. I wonder who is right.
Thank you for a very interesting remark about Azalea for the
next DEMS Bulletin. I wonder how you came to the total of 24 bars.
That means that the last of these 24 bars is the last bar of the
first A part of the vocal. Is that true? If so I think we should
indicate that, otherwise people might (like me) be lost a bit.
Walter writes of DE5128h, on p202 of "Something To Live For": 'a
nineteen-bar instrumental section was cut. The order of the recording
is at variance with the order suggested by the manuscript. The
recording of June 10 1947 adheres to the original order.'
What I meant by 5+19=24 was that, by adding the 5-bar Introduction
with Willie's echo to the 19-bar cut you turn two episodes
of very unusual length into a much more usual 24-bar one. Of
course, this is pure speculation on my part, as I haven't seen the
manuscript, nor have I ever heard the 1947 Capitol version, DE4709e,
which Walter tells us is not at variance with the manuscript.
Whatever we may feel about Chester Crumpler's singing, it is a great
shame that Azalea has always been omitted from LP and CD
issues of these Transcriptions, and thus remains unavailable.
The early part of New DESOR's structural analysis of DE5128h
should be corrected as follows:
If my speculation were correct, the 19-bar cut would come after
Willie's bar and be followed by Billy's 6-bar theme-statement at the
piano, which would thus start at bar 25. The vocal chorus 2°
would then start 10 bars later, at bar 35. As we hear it on DE5128h,
2° starts at bar 16: 4+1+6+4=15, then the vocal chorus begins.
The (4+1=) 5-bar length of the Introduction on DE5128h is a fact, and
New DESOR's analysis needs correcting to reflect it. I hope this now
The continuation of New DESOR's analysis also needs changing, to
reflect the fact that the last bar of 2°LO is at the same
time the first bar of 3°(nc)8WC. There is indeed a complete
32-bar chorus and an 8-bar part-chorus here. But there are 39
bars in total, not 40, from the start of the vocal chorus to the
start of the coda. I think I've come across another running together
of this sort somewhere, but I'd have to go back through my notebooks
to find it.
The Capitol Transcription of Azalea from 10Jun47 has been
released on the so called black label LP Jazz Supreme 102 together
with the neglected Orchids for Madame. A copy of these two
recordings is on its way to you. It is almost impossible to find a
copy of this rare LP. By the way black label records should not have
a suspect reputation. On the contrary. Instead of covering the most
profitable parts of the market these releases are treasures for the
small community of collectors as they are filling up red-taped gaps
in their collections.
Billy Strayhorn Piano Passion
See DEMS 05/3-50
I find it hard to believe that Storyville have reissued The
Peaceful Side with the errors you mention uncorrected. I have it
on a Capitol CD, published in 1996 and numbered CDP 7243 8 52563 2 5
(oh for the days of simple issue identification numbers!). It has a
background note by David Hajdu, essentially his account in Lush
Life, and it corrects some of the errors you mention. I wonder if
E.Coates is Eric Coates, a well-known English composer of light
music. It also restores the original mono sound from the
electronically re-channelled stereo LP release. Is the Storyville
issue in stereo or mono?
I ran a Google search on G.Wiskin, and the composer of the other
Passion Flower is indeed Eric Coates. It worries me that
Storyville are preparing CDs for issue without cross-checking
mistakes of this sort, especially as the Capitol issue rectified
Thanks for following this up with Storyville. I now understand that
the new issue appears in mono, as did the 1961 original, restored in
the 1990s Capitol reissue; but that the personnel and composer credit
errors of earlier issues, which David Hajdu corrected in the Capitol
notes, have regrettably been perpetuated in the Storyville.
Bob Udkoff's Birthday Party
See DEMS 05/3-15
We have listened attentively to the "Amazing New Finds" recorded at
Udkoff 's birthday party: the sound is surprisingly good and the
whole session is very exciting.
Your description in the Bulletin is exhaustive and we mostly agree
with your article except the following points:
Stompin' at the Savoy: the trumpet soloist, in our opinion, is
Clark Terry rather than Benny Carter; we hear thesame soloist also in
Body and Soul: we do not agree that Benny Carter should be the
soloist: we think, on the contrary, that it is Oliver Nelson.
Willow Weep for Me: the trumpet is probably Cootie Williams
and there are two tenor saxophones, one of them is Paul Gonsalves.
I've just been reading the new DEMS Bulletin and it was fascinating
as always. I'd love to get a copy of the 3 CDs of the Udkoff birthday
party despite your concerns about the sound. I'm particularly
interested because of your mention that the band doesn't use their
normal charts. One of the 2 times I saw EKE (in April 1965) there was
a party atmosphere (though it was in a nightclub) and EKE took
requests from the audience often of songs which the band did not
often play. Duke would play a chorus or so on the piano and then one
instrument would join in and finally the whole band would play a
simple head arrangement. I'd like to hear another example.
Thank you for the copies on CD. I think that the soloist on Body
and Soul is Oliver Nelson and not Benny Carter.
Irv Jacobs is looking for a few rare
While not as active as in the past, I still attempt to collect all
the "tributes" to the Duke by other artists. Many CDs have limited
distribution and I really have to inquire at various sources to find
a particular scarce item. For example I am searching for:
Putte Wickman & Ernie Wilkins 'Plays Duke Ellington' Gazell GAFCD-1084
Dave Pell 'Plays Duke Ellington' Group 7 G7CD-1716
These are obscure items, but I hope to locate them sooner or later.
You can still contact me at my e-mail address email@example.com
Duke's Music by other artists
See DEMS 05/3-60
Below are additions to my list in DEMS Bulletin 05/3 Dec. 2005 -
March 2006 of recordings by other artists of Duke Ellington material
1923 - 1939:
Mooche, The Leo Reisman (with Bubber Miley) 1929-03
Vitaphone short No. 770. CD: Vintage Music VMP 0161.
It Don't Mean A Thing The Three Queens (tap-dance with
orchestra accompaniment) 1934 Vitaphone short No. 1761.
Showboat Shuffle Jo Bouillon et son orchestre
1936-12-17, Paris, F CPT 3036-1. CD Jazz de Scene 1931
- 1941 Vol. 2, EMI 252 708-2.
Solitude Jo Bouillon et son orchestre 1936-12-17,
Paris, F CPT 3039-1. CD Jazz de Scene 1931 - 1941 Vol.
2, EMI 252 708-2.
Thanks to Remco Plas, Haarlem, The Netherlands for the information
about the two Jo Bouillon recordings.
I was interested to see the reference to Mood Indigo by Joe
Daniels and his Hot Shots (1939-05-09), in Bjarne's monumental
contribution. My mother brought me this 78 rpm from the school in
which she was teaching at the time in around 1958, where it was about
to be thrown into the dustbin. I still have it somewhere, in a box in
The complete Columbia 1947 - 1952 recordings on CD.
There are two versions. The first one contains 5 CDs and has been
released by CBS in so called jewel cases. The booklets also show the
Jazzotheque logo. This series contains the same recordings as on the
6 LP set (CBS 66607/A-L) with the exception of "Controversial Suite"
but including "Masterpieces by Ellington". The numbers on the CBS CDs
are vol. 2 CBS 462986 2, vol. 3 CBS 462987 2, vol. 4 CBS 462988 2 en
vol. 5 CBS 462989 2. Volume 1 has probably the number 462985 2.
The second version contains 4 CDs, released by Columbia, with a
mention of Sony. The CDs are in cardboard sleeves. This series has
"Controversial Suite" and the alternate take of Maybe I Should
Change My Ways. Missing are now "Liberian Suite" and
"Masterpieces by Ellington".
From the first version (CBS series) I do not have vol. 1 (with 18
tracks, H'ya Sue - Sultry Serenade) but from the second
version (Columbia series) I only have vol. 1 (with 20 tracks, H'ya
Sue - Stomp, Look and Listen). The catalogue number on the back
of the box of the Columbia Volume 1 is 486642 2. The CD itself
carries number LC 1610. I have never found other volumes. The
copyright is in both cases 1989.
I found in Jerry Valburn's "Duke Ellington on Compact Disc" (1993)
that Columbia in France has released the same 5 CD set as on CBS
(France) with the same contents and with the same numbers. The
Columbia 4 CD set in Jerry Valburn's manuscript for his new updated
"Duke Ellington on Compact Disc" (from which he mailed a copy of the
relevant information to DEMS) is mentioned but under another set of
numbers as a French release: 486642 2; 486643 2; 486644 2; 486645 2.
On Volume 1 is indeed a second take of Maybe I Should Change My
Ways, but the title You Gotta Crawl Before You Walk is
missing. I would like to know if this is indeed the case. It could be
a typing error by Jerry and he should know if that is the case. It is
also important to establish the correct take numbers of the two takes
of Maybe I Should Change My Ways. If you hear Chester Crumpler
singing the recording is from 14Aug47; if you hear Ray Nance on
trumpet, the recording is from 1oct47, but if you hear Ray on violin,
the recording is from 6oct47. On the CBS 5 CD set (and on the 6 LP
set) the recording is from 6oct47. This is wrong in Jerry's
manuscript. It would be nice to have this confirmed and sent to him
as a suggested correction. The number LC 1610 is not mentioned in his
I have the 5CD set in jewel boxes as Remco describes it, and can
confirm that vol.1 does have the number 462985 2. What is irritating
is the fact that CBS dropped the Controversial Suite from this
compilation, since 4 of the 5 CDs offer each 55 minutes of music
there is much more than enough leftover space to accommodate the
"Controverail Suite." Also, what a shame it is that the company, however it
styles itself, releases this material over and again with arbitrary
additions and deletions. What we need is a tidying up CD
to rectify the glaring omissions from and discrepancies between both
issues, and to include the more significant alternate takes such as
The Clothed Woman in its 4-minute version, uncropped-for-78
Surely the switch from CBS to Sony Columbia simply reflects the fact
that the Japanese company bought out the American one some years
Klaus Stratemann's "Duke Ellington
Day by Day and Film by Film"
I finally managed to locate another error in Dr. Stratemann´s
book: Page 524, the photo of Lena Horne & the Duke: the correct
date should be December 26, 1965 (and not 1956).
Dusk on the Desert
See DEMS 05/3-37
As for the Dusk in the Desert debate, I guess David Berger
has put me in my place! There's nothing like having the primary
source material on your side. It is an amazing accomplishment by
Brown. The difficulty of it is reflected in the fact that he doesn't
really sound quite "like himself."
I have just installed a new software, Sonogram, to get those sound
spectrograms [to analyse the solo in Dusk on the Desert]. The
software looks promising, but has also ended in a total PC crash a
couple of times. I will send you the results later on after I have
gained some more experience using it.
"Duke Ellington" by David Bradbury
See DEMS 05/3-17
You're right of course; the photo on page 130 does not date from
1974. From Duke's jacket I would say it is around 1965, and probably
in Munich on 11 or 12 February. Compare the photos in Stratemann,
page 504; Music Is My Mistress, page 437; and World of DE (Macmillan
London edition), plate 26 opp. page 209.
You are also right that I read the script before publication, as
David had asked. But unfortunately I didn't receive it until the
weekend before the Monday of the publishers' final deadline. So I
read it too late to be able to prevent Trumpet All Out. Thus,
the accuracy of the detail is nothing to do with me. It's to do with
the fact that David is a good writer and diligent researcher.
As for Duke looking young in a 1974 photo. No way. I have a picture
of him coming back from Europe and it shows a very frail man. He lost
much weight and started to deteriorate in about 1970. Twice when I
was on the road, I should have overruled him and call an ambulance. I
remember once he asked me to meet him in Utica. He called later and
said "I changed my mind, you better come here because I might need a
nurse." He was so sick I stayed up all night watching his respiration
while he slept.
John or Johnny
See DEMS 05/3-30
I haven't finished reading the entire DEMS Bulletin yet, but can
answer one question, how Johnny Hodges used to sign his name. I
checked my subsequent band members who also autographed the same
photo such as Taft Jordan and Jimmy Hamilton. As for Hodges, it is
clear that he signed his name "Johnny Hodges" at that time.
George Jean: the "unknown" Ellingtonian.
I have had the pleasure of getting in contact with Larry Jean, son of
trombonist George Jean.
George Jean was one of Duke Ellington's substitute sidemen. On
occasions Duke had to draw on the local musician's union for certain
abilities. Since George Jean was already a semi-famous trombonist, he
replaced John Sanders on occasion, especially when Duke was in the
Midwest. The album covers often did not reflect such changes, i.e.,
"Duke Ellington '55" featured George Jean, not John Sanders, who was
ill with the 'flu.
Before he died in 2000, his sons had asked him about the bands with
whom he played; he had, by that time, forgotten many of them.
He started playing piano primarily and occasionally, trombone, B-flat
cornet and percussion in a local dance band (The West Side Orchestra,
Dayton, OH) at age 9, the only child playing with adults. He played
trombone and trumpet in the Roosevelt high school band, Dayton, OH.
When he was 18, in 1929, he went on the road with an unknown band as
a trumpet/cornet player.
Somewhere along the way, he began playing with the Hank Biagini Band,
which became the Glen Gray / Casa Loma Orchestra when Hank died.
George Jean and Glen Gray both vied for leadership, but Glen won; the
others thought Glen could get better gigs. I think they were right,
at the time. Again, somewhere along the way, George played for Glen,
Freddy Martin, and a bunch of others. He formed his own band in 1942,
but all the members got drafted, individually (not as a band). He
returned to Freddy Martin, and eventually played as a studio musician
for the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) doing The Breakfast
Club With Don McNeil, under Eddi Ballantine.
When Don McNeil retired, George Jean played for a few more years at
ABC, but it was boring. Then he moved to Las Vegas, doing the MGM
Grand until he retired.
He had a stroke in 1996, and his old buddies said that he could play
piano better with one hand, in a wheel chair, than most folks could
in good health. Bit thick, but good for him to hear.
Larry Jean tells his father knew very nearly everyone in the
business, and many of them would stop by when they were in town.
There were many impromptu jam sessions at the Jeans' house.
On our LP Ellington "55" (French Capitol CTTX 240 814) it is not John
Sanders who is wrongly credited, but Juan Tizol. On 21Dec53 the
correct name of the third trombonist is Alfred Cobbs. On 28 and
29Dec53, on 1, 2 and 17Jan54 it was indeed George Jean. This is
acknowledged in the New DESOR and obviously on the most recent
release on the Mosaic 5 CD box set (see DEMS 97/3-20). George Jean is
also acknowledged in Timner and in Kurt Dietrich's book "Duke's
Ellington on film in 1925?
Here's something exciting, a possibility of Duke Ellington being
filmed in 1925. I found this reference in the 13Jun25 issue of the
Philadelphia Tribune in the "News of Interest Around New York"
column. Although no writer was credited in this issue, the column was
written by J.A. "Billboard" Jackson, and distributed to African
American newspapers through the A.N.P. news service. It contains this
"Johnnie Hudgins, the Kentucky club band and four girls from the club
Alabam have been filmed in the Rue La Paix scene in a feature film
called Headlines being produced by the St. Regis Picture Corp."
I've discussed this with Steven Lasker who feels "the Kentucky club
band" most likely refers to the Washingtonians.
Larry Appelbaum of the Library of Congress has confirmed that they do
have a 35 mm print of "Headlines," but it is on nitrate stock. The
film cannot be viewed until it is preserved. Larry added that
hopefully the film will be preserved and accessible to researchers in
Ellington on film in 1933
Mark Cantor has pointed me to a brief bit of film footage form the
Cotton Club 1933. You can view it by going to britishpathe.com, and
then search for Ellington. You have to fill out your name, but you
don't have to pay. The quality is grainy. It does contain the sound.
I just talked with Steven Lasker - this is the first time he has hear
d the sound to this film, which is described on page 57 of Klaus
Stratemann's book "Day by Day and Film by Film".
See DEMS 01/1-18/1: "A short and silent Ellington Movie". The 01/1
Bulletin has been recently put on this web-site.
I revisited this incredible web-site last night and realized there
are TWO shorts with work by Duke. The second does not have sound. It
is a newsreel entitled Harlem, and runs a little over 6 minutes.
It includes the 44 second clip that is available separately under the
title of "A Minute With Duke Ellington." There are great scenes of
the band. I talked with Steven Lasker, he is convinced that this is
the film described in the January 1931 "Film Daily." He is going to
do some more research and see if he can pinpoint the date of the
News from Darmstadt's Jazz-Institut
Just wanted to advise you that we updated the Ellington bibliography
on our web-site. It now contains articles, books and essays from 1923
up to 2005, also containing articles in which Ellington is
prominently mentioned, blindfold tests in which an Ellington item was
played and Down Beat news items referring to local activities in the
bigger American cities. Again, this listing is far from complete, it
is an ongoing labour indexing our archive. Still it may prove a
helpful tool for Ellington researchers. You can search the pages by
using the search tool of your web browser. The Ellington bibliography
can be accessed through our web-site:
<http://www.jazzinstitut.de> then go to the English web-site,
scroll down to "Jazz Index / Duke Ellington".
I have just got hold of something unique - an unissued recording of
Mingus' 1957 composition The Clown performed by Duke and his
orchestra in 1969.
"This event took place at Zellerbach Auditorium, University of
California, Berkely, CA. on the night of 29 September 1969. The
Ellington concert at the University of California came as the high
point of a two-day celebration of Ellington's music. It had started
the day before, with lectures by Stanley Dance, Gunther Schuller, and
John Lewis, among others, and a concert by the Charles Mingus group.
Ellington's female vocalist on this occasion was Kathy Myers, who had
joined just eight days earlier. She was gone before the next tour.
Victor Gaskin joined permanently as bassist at this point, playing
alongside Paul Kondziela." (Thanks, David Palmquist.)
"There was Duke's on-stage announcement (when, according to Sue
Mingus as quoted in my book - I think - Mingus had become suddenly
shy about the idea of his piece being performed by his hero and was
hiding up in the balcony, to avoid being called to go on stage."
( Thanks, Brian Priestley, now I have to buy another of your
"The arrangement of The Clown may have been written by Jaki Byard. As
I recall Sue telling me, the details/expenses were taken care of by
Ellington's "office". Evidently, Hodges - or was it Cootie - refused
to play the piece. Can they be heard on the recording?" (Thanks,
Andrew for pointing this out)
"--an event that brought Charles back into music after he'd retired.
There's quite a story connected to that performance. Don't know who
made the tape, but I think it's on file at the Library of Congress--
it seems to me someone once gave me a copy." (Sue Mingus)
I also received an audio clip of an interview with Mingus explaining
some of the reasons for his absence; he wasn't sure Duke would play
his stuff, Duke had only two-three trumpets ready. That supports
Hodges seems to be absent, Procope is playing lead alto. The trumpet
section sounds unusually thin most of the time. Probably Cootie was
present, but played only when he felt like it. Not the first time he
did so. Sounds like Cat took care of the tricky trumpet parts. One
more thing; the audience is starting to laugh when Duke begins his
narrative. After they have finished playing and Duke has called out
for Mingus, he says: "Take it off". Did Duke put on a clown's mask
specially for this?
"Duke was definitely not wearing a mask. Charles was not "shy" as
Brian Priestley says. He knew that a lot of Duke's sidemen did not
want to play the piece because it was hard -- some of them even
turned their backs on Duke -- and Charles was not about to go on
stage in that situation. That's what I remember. I didn't know there
was an interview."
Anyway, this is really something extraordinary, the music is
absolutely fantastic and Duke the storyteller: elegant as always.
David Palmquist found his text in Klaus Stratemann's book on page
593. It is also mentioned in MIMM on page 297.
There is a recording of this concert in the Smithsonian Collection,
made by Robert Wong, Dick Patterson and Butch Cardiasmenos.
Thanks for your contribution. Do not send me the music and/or the
interview. I have both.
Dear Luciano Massagli,
Somebody in the Duke-LYM group has found a copy of the recording of
The Clown, 29Sep69. I looked in Volume 2 of the New DESOR for
a description. I saw only dots. I sent you on 29Mar96 a copy of this
recording. I wonder why you didn't make a description. Do you need
We think that the main part of it is the narration, the music
being only a background. We have described this title in the same way
as we did with Monologue.
Thanks for mentioning that passage in MIMM. I have overlooked that
one. Do you also have the Mingus "interview"? It was done with a
hidden tape recorder, Sue is positive that there never was an
interview, and it is obvious that Mingus (and Sue later on) was not
aware of the presence of a tape recorder.
Another thing I find interesting; there is a striking resemblance
between The Clown and Duke's own Fife recorded a month
later. Probably Duke got his "waltz-inspiration" from Mingus'
The next Storyville CDs
This is the answer I got from Mona when I enquired when DETS 13 was
to be issued. (See DEMS 05/3-46)
I cannot give you an exact date for Vol. 13 of Treasury. We are
planning a re-launch of the Storyville label for this Spring and we
will not release anything before the Autumn as we are planning a new
series called MASTERS OF JAZZ - 12 CDs with among others Duke
Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday.
Bjarne Busk of Storyville told us at the international Ellington
conference in Stockholm ( May 2004) that Storyville was planning
to release about 10 high quality Ellington CDs, consisting
mostly of previously unissued material. Since the conference,
Storyville issued "Duke Ellington - The Piano Player." In my view,
this CD contains among the best recorded examples of Ellington's
piano artistry and is overall a "five star" CD. Unfortunately, the CD
has not received much attention and the distribution is not the
greatest. I have rarely seen the CDs in the stores, including those
with large jazz selections such as J&R in NYC. I ordered my copy