DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
06/3 December 2006 - March 2007
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
I write these words on the same day that my dear wife, Milia, died. It is 8Aug06. She was 81 years old. After 12 days of health problems, she had to give in.
Long before I met her 57 years ago, I was hooked to Ellington's music. She knew that from the first day on. We had other interests that we could share, like playing bridge, watching tennis on television and visiting good restaurants. But Ellington's music was not her taste. She hated especially the sound of the brass instruments. In spite of all that, she accompanied me several times when I went to a Duke Ellington Conference. She made herself many friends among the Ellington community. She has supported me all these years when I was busy collecting recordings of my favourite music and she never argued about it. When I was very busy with DEMS Bulletin, she asked: "Is there another booklet to appear?" If she wouldn't have let me pursue my hobby, the Bulletins would not have been there after Benny Aasland died. I will try to continue without her support, but I cannot make promises.
I am writing to let you know that my father, Henry C. Quarles, of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, USA died of a stroke May 19th, 2006 at the age of 90. He was a great Ellington fan and going through his things recently I found two binders full of DEMS Bulletins (1986-2003) and correspondence between him and Sjef Hoefsmit.
Catherine Quarles Timm
Henry was a dear friend of mine. He introduced me to some of his other friends, like Jean Bach and John Steiner. I met him for the first time in May 1983 in Washington at what has been considered the very first international Duke Ellington Conference. He had just published the second edition of the Index to Music Is My Mistress by H.F. Huon and he brought copies of this second edition as a free gift for those who had acquired the first edition. After I paid him several visits at his home, he came with his son and his daughter in law to the Netherlands, where we visited the North Sea Jazz Festival. We had quite a lively correspondence (by old fashioned air-mail letters and in rather frequent telephone calls) and I am moved to hear that he kept my letters in his binders, like I did with his letters over all these years.
Not only because I was occupied with other less joyful matters, but also because there were not so many questions and contributions as usual coming into my mail-box the past few months, this last Bulletin of the year 2006 is smaller than the recent Bulletins were.
First of all let me wish you, old and new DEMS Bulletin readers, a very happy 2007 after you have hopefully spent the most pleasant holidays with your loved ones.
Secondly I am happy that we are able to continue the tradition of announcing NEW FINDS. See 06/3-4 and 06/3-5
David Frost Show
Dr. Taylor's web-site has a video of himself, Ellington and Willie the Lion Smith playing a three piano trio of Perdido on The David Frost Show in 1969. Well worth listening to. This 1969 broadcast is identified in Stratemann (page 592):
July 24: "WNEW-TV The David Frost Show. "Willie 'The Lion' Smith was another guest on this 90-minute program. Billy Taylor led the show's orchestra." The film is on YouTube, <http://youtube.com/watch?v=TCug5HG9jLg>
I am unable to find this performance in New DESOR. Ellingtonia mentions the date but only as an interview of Smith and Ellington.
Klaus Stratemann mentioned that the show on 24Jul69 was pre-taped. The actual date of recording is not known. I suggest that we accept the date of 24Jul69 as including this session in Duke's discographies for as long as we cannot determine the actual date of the recording. The three piano-players play five complete choruses of Perdido. Starting with the second half of the first chorus, they were accompanied by an unknown bass-player and unknown drummer. The studio band (under direction of Billy Taylor) joins in for the final 8 bars of the fifth chorus and for the short coda.
I received from an anonymous source the message that this recording was edited. If that is true, it can only mean that the original recording was longer, because there are no duplications in the five choruses as I can testify after having listened to it.
Attempts to copy this sequence onto DVD were not successful, but my grandson managed to copy the music properly onto CD.
Additional CASA MANANA from Feb41 to consider?
For years we have had in our collections some items (obviously broadcast cuts) that must come from Duke's stay at CASA MANANA during February 1941.
- a first group of three titles we believe to originate from the 9feb41 bc (Aasland's WWoDE 41-4):
Clementine %2:34 - Madame Will Drop Her Shawl 1:54 - Jumpin' Punkins 3:03
- a second group of four is certainly from different broadcasts during Feb41:
Unknown title %2:34 - Blue Serge 3:42 - Are You Sticking? 3:37 into Take the "A" Train 0:09% - A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing 3:06%
All this is of quite good audio quality, despite some surface noises, and worth listening to. It is certainly different from what we know of as described in the New Desor. Comparing you will find for instance a very different coda for Jumpin' Punkins, a piano intro to Blue Serge and the presence of Otto Hardwicke during A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing (...2o16RN,8OH,8BAND;...)
Shouldn't these recordings be mentioned in our discographies?
Claude CarriSre and Jean Portier
They certainly should. Thank you very much for the audio-copy. These recordings are indeed genuinely fresh for collectors, that is to say: not discovered by Duke's discographers yet. One question: why do you think that the first group of three selections has been recorded on 9Feb41? Benny Aasland included four sessions 41-4, -5, -6 and -7 for future specification if at any time the contents of these broadcasts would pop up on a recording of any sort. He knew that there were MBS broadcasts on the dates 9, 11, 13 and 14Feb41, but he did not know the contents. If we had heard in the broadcast a reference to what day it was, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, we would know the date of the broadcast and the number that Benny reserved for it, but I hear no such reference.
Ben Webster, "SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME"
See DEMS 06/2-8
31Jul06. I just found on the web-site of University Press of Michigan:
BEN WEBSTER'S MUSICAL ACTIVITIES
This is compiled by Frank B_chmann-M"ller and is shown there as an appendix to his Ben Webster biography. I wrote about it already in my review of the book. Sorry for being so late with this information.
Herb Jeffries, "Dance of the Peckerwoods"
by Michael H. Price (348 pages - paper back)
This book contains 30 chapters dealing with various kinds of artists who seem to have some relation to Texas. Either emanating from Texas or having performed there. The book is a compilation of articles M. Price has written for local papers. Out of the 30 names presented there are only two that I recognise: Ornette Coleman and Herb Jeffries. The reason why I mention this book to you is of course the latter name.
The chapter "The Bronze Buckaroo: Herbert Jeffries" consists of 9 pages and was made while Herb appeared at a place called The La Joya Hotel somewhere in Texas.
The interview is mostly concentrated around Herb's career as an early film star. His contacts with Duke Ellington are mentioned very briefly but I would like to quote his own words about how he was engaged by Duke:
"I was standing in front of the bandstand, in that full Western-movie get-up, a walking advertisement for my movies," Jeffries recalled. "Duke spotted me and suddenly said to the audience: "Well, look here; if it isn't the Bronze Buckaroo in the flesh?" Then to me he called: "Why don't you come up and sing a few things, Herbert ?
"That was surprise enough, but then Duke called me backstage and asked: "So what are your plans looking like?". I said, well, I guessed I'd go back to Hollywood and make some more of those cowboy movies. And Duke grinned and said: "That's too bad, 'cause I was going to offer you a job." I said, well then, I guessed it was time for me to change my plans.
The book is produced by: Music Mentor Books, 69 Station Road, Upper Poppleton, YORK YO26 6PZ, England.
Symphony in Black
I do have a DVD ("New Orleans" from KINO) which has a very nice transfer of Ellington's 1934 "Symphony in Black" Paramount one-reeler. Much better quality here than the print Mr. Lasker used on the RCA-Victor double-pack with one CD with studio recordings & airchecks and one DVD of Ellington shorts from various dates.
The DVD/CD combination you refer to is discussed in DEMS Bulletin 04/3-35. If your copy is so much superior to the one on this DVD/CD combination, it must be extremely good. The quality on Steven Lasker's DVD was impeccable in every respect. Better than I ever saw it before.
Change of Mind
See DEMS 06/2-16
18Aug06. Yesterday, I finally received my copy of the DVD of Change of Mind. Duke Ellington wrote its score and the movie is quite rare. I have not seen the complete DVD, but I am able to report many things about it.
From what I have seen, the image and sound quality are acceptable. The movie was done in color and the colors do not run like the DVD Duke Ellington-Berlin Concert 1969. However, there are subtitles on this DVD and they can not be deleted. I have talked with Sjef this morning by telephone. It appears that the subtitle language is Dutch. Also, there is a "watermark" in the upper right hand corner of the image. This maybe from 5 Minutes to Live or from the Dutch source. I cannot figure this out and Bruce Kennan with his 55 inch TV screen cannot either. There are chapters to the DVD, but no chapter menu.
One last thing, I ordered this DVD on June 30th online. I received it yesterday. I am not complaining about the owner's honesty, but his promptness.
It can be purchased at:
DVD Video Artists International (USA) VAI DVD 4371
"Harold Arlen - An All-Star Tribute"
Richard Ehrenzeller reported in the TDES Newsletter of September 2006 the release of the DVD "Harold Arlen - An All-Star Tribute". This is a color video of a National Broadcasting Company telecast of 5Dec65. The only Ellington performances on this DVD are Stormy Weather, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Blues in the Night. The last of these three selections is performed by hostess Dinah Shore. Louie Bellson is also on screen. He was back in the band since July of that year.
Klaus Stratemann (p518) explains that the date of recording of Ellington's part of the show was probably 9Nov65. Klaus showed us on 28Apr89 in Washington (at the Ellington Conference) a poor black and white kinescope of this session as part of the "Bell Telephone Hour" titled "The Music of Harold Arlen".
Addition or correction to the Itinerary?
I have a little paper item labelled "Pass Out", which I assume was a pass to exit and return to Sandy Beach Park Pavilion. It is not dated in itself, but on the back of the item the date of Friday Aug 10-1934 is written, together with the name of the original (?) owner. On the front it advertises that Duke Ellington was coming on August 16. It is made of heavier paper and measures approx. 1,5" x 2.5". No information of where Sandy Beach Park Pavilion was situated, and I can't find it out with help of Google either.
In Stratemann, the date of Aug 10, 1934, is blank, but maybe it is known now what The Duke did this day; in other words this is where he may have been. I can send you a picture of the paper, if you want.
There might have been another (non Ellington) show being played on 10Aug. We know where he was on 16Aug34 though: Russell's Point, Indian Lake, Ohio. Dancing 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (ad Lima News 16Aug34,p11) See DEMS Bulletin 05/1-7
I enclose pictures of back and front. I don't know what to think of this.
DISCUSSIONS - ADDITIONS - CORRECTIONS
See DEMS 06/2-5
Lance Travis mentions concerns with the Documents label. I know of at least 6 different names this company uses:
2. Trumpets of Jericho
3. Horns Of Jericho
4. Past Perfect
5. History Of Jazz
There may very well be more names that I've forgotten.
They also often use fake looking Japanese lettering. There is an allegation on Amazon.com that Membran stole the Past Perfect name from T.I.M. and that they are 2 separate companies. I don't know if that's true or not. Both do use the fake looking Japanese lettering and the "Past Perfect" name.
I've posted at length to Duke Lym about this company more then once. In my experience, the sound quality of all their releases is uniformly quite poor, with the exception of the "Past Perfect Silverline" single CD series, which tends to have very good sound.
Their pricing is very low, but as they spend very little time on mastering and don't pay licensing, their costs are also quite low. Unless one has a $50 stereo or poor hearing, I recommend avoiding all their releases other then the Past Perfect Silverline.
I posted to Duke Lym on 6/24/2000 a review of the Duke 40 CD box set. The price has gone down considerably since then! Geff Ratcheson
Geff's review has been published in DEMS Bulletin 00/3-17/3. This Bulletin is not on the DE Panorama web-site. If anyone wants a print, we can supply a hard copy or send the text as an attachment to an e-mail message. We can at the same time add the complete title list from Jerry Valburn's article in the same Bulletin, but only in hard-copy. It is not stored in our computer.
Non-Ducal Violin Session Featuring Ben Webster
See DEMS 06/2-43
I wonder if it is possible to learn more about the diatonic system which Blanton invented.
I do not think I can help you here. I read in the New Grove: "His strong feeling for harmony led him to incorporate many nonharmonical passing notes in his accompaniment lines, giving them a contrapuntal flavor and stimulating soloists to their own harmonic explorations."
Maybe this helps a bit.
Thanks for your quick reply. The entry in the Grove sure sounds good, but I need more technical details. What I really wanted to know is what Leonard Gaskin had in mind when he said this. Maybe I can get through to him or to Brooks Kerr
May we hear from you if you are successful?
Ivie Anderson in 1954?
Recently, I saw a Capitol LP from 1954 on ebay, with autographs from several of the members of the Ellington Orchestra, among them Ivie Anderson! One has to be careful!
FEEC Field Enterprise Educational Corporation
See DEMS 05/1-11
I have been playing this LP. I saw that the date is 18Jul66 in the discography. But on the LP-cover it is 8/9Sep66. Just for information, which date is right? It looks like Duke is playing live at the conference in Chicago, or was it a studio work in New York?
That date of 18Jul66 in the discography is correct. Look in the New DESOR 6658. The tapes from which these recordings were taken have been found in the Danish collection. See DEMS 05/1-11.
The dates of 8/9Sep66 were from the celebration of the Field Enterprises Educational Corporation at McCormick Place in Chicago. It was the intention to give you the impression that Duke had played in Chicago at the convention. He also recorded the spoken introductions in two takes on the same date (18Jul66), which were later heavily edited.
The DETS CDs
See DEMS 05/2-11; 05/3-22 and 06/1-26
This began as a question, but further reading of recent DEMS Bulletins changed it to a comment seeking responses and reactions. My original question was "what has happened to the DETS on CD begun by Storyville and only reaching volume 12 of 24 planned volumes over a year ago?" The answer to the basic question seem to be that under the new ownership of Storyville, the DETS has moved into limbo. The technical problems with volume 10 revealed in the recent comments in DEMS do not bode well for the continuation of this project under the current arrangement. Surely there maybe some foundation grants somewhere that would facilitate the completion of this important project. State-of-the-art re-mastering as that done on the French Dreyfus CD's "Ko-Ko" and "Take the A Train" would generate a marvellous historic record of the great Ellington band over an extended period of time. Current market conditions do not promote the successful completion of the current arrangement with Storyville. Unfortunately, my series of the original LPs is incomplete and I was very much interested in completing the set with the promised final six 2-CD albums from the proposed Storyville project. The availability of an important part of Ellingtonia for younger listeners appears in jeopardy. How about some comments on this matter!!!
You listed the proposed contents of volume 13 and 14 in the Treasury Shows a year ago (05/3-46 and 47), but they don't seem to have come out yet. Has Storyville abandoned the series or do you know what the status is.
We cannot answer these questions. See our latest message in DEMS 06/1-26.
Not until we are absolutely certain that Storyville does not intend to continue the release of DETS CDs, will we consider to make copies of the latter DETS LPs on CD for those who are interested. It must be clear that we cannot take any action until it is absolutely certain that there will be no continuation. The worst thing would be if we would be the cause of the discontinuation. The critique in DEMS Bulletin about the quality of volume 10 did not result in an advice not to buy these DETS CDs. On the contrary. We have done all we can to promote this great and important undertaking.
Message from Irv Jacobs
Is it possible to obtain these two CDs? The Jazz Colours CD 874701-2 and CD 874719-2; "A Tribute to Duke Ellington" - Volumes 1 and 2. They are of European origin, and were never available here.
Next question: Is there some
specific reason why "A Drum Is A Woman" is not currently available on
Finally a comment regarding "Change of Mind." At one time I possessed a 16mm duplicate print, which I no longer have. My memory is now quite fuzzy, but I seem to recall that two of these 16mm prints were in the hands of collectors. With the arrival of the DIGITAL age, I believe that a nice, sharp DVD could be derived from the 16mm print.....if the owners of the 16mm could be located. (Perhaps an inquiry on your Website might be successful).
We hope that there is somebody who can help you with your search for these Ellington tribute releases.
There has been a French CD with the original "A Drum Is a Woman" album: Columbia CD COL 471320-2. But as is the case with so many of these nice re-releases, it is difficult to find. We are all waiting for a more important re-release with a lot of "fresh" music. Phil Schaap finished his work for Sony for a double CD, but the market seems to have been judged too small for a release. What a pity!
About the picture "Change of Mind", I still cherish the copy on video you sent me many years ago. It is probable that a much nicer version is now on the market. See in this Bulletin 06/3-9.
See DEMS 06/2-26
8May06. Hi, I have just found out that the Mayor of Sturgis and the City Commissioners have approved $2,500.00 for this project. The funds apparently are coming from the City of Sturgis. They are designing and will order a plaque to be placed at the Sturgis-Young Auditorium. I don't know what it will look like or have any more details at this time because they are handling it. They may even put other notable things on it and not have it only Duke Ellington. At this point in time I don't believe that donations are needed. I do sincerely appreciate the offer and when we find out when the plaque will be dedicated, perhaps you or someone would like to be present? As members of the Historical Society some of us will be sure to be there.
Linda Winkens, Vice President of the Sturgis Historical Society
6Sep06. I have some distressing news to pass on to you. The City of Sturgis had decided that they need to save some money, somewhere. In their wisdom the Duke Ellington Plaque has been dropped from their projects list. I understand from them that the cost for a plaque is approximately $2,500. The Sturgis Historical Society can come up with half of that and it has been approved. Are you interested in trying to get donations for the remainder from your members? Please get back to me.
Linda Winkens, Vice-President of the Sturgis Historical Society.
2Nov06. Our Historical Society has agreed to pay half of the plaques cost. Now we need to have someone come up with the second half of the cost. Linda Winkens, now the President of the Sturgis Historical Society.**
21Nov06. Does this mean that you need 1250 USD? If that is the case I will send you the money on behalf of the Duke Ellington Music Society if you give me all the details (bank numbers etc).
I am not sure that I will be able to come, but a nice picture of the ceremony would be terrific. I also would ask you to mention the name of DEMS member, the late Gordon Ewing from Chicago, who started all this and who dreamed of once seeing the plaque installed at the true venue where Duke Ellington played for the very last time on 22Mar74. In a room at the Student Center at Northern Illinois University in De Kalb is a plaque which claims that Duke played his last concert there on 20Mar74, but as Mercer wrote in his book on page 200, it was Sturgis two days later.
If there are old or new DEMS members who want to share with me the donation to Sturgis Historical Society, they are most welcome.
"Jump for Joy" broadcast aired on 22Feb04
I have just received a CD of this interesting WYIU broadcast, titled "Jump for Joy": Duke Ellington's Celebratory Musical. It features nearly all of the music that Ellington's 1941 Blanton-Webster band recorded for the show. Other highlights include a portion of comedian Wonderful Smith's monologue, a radio medley spot and Ellington himself discussing the musical and its impact, more than 20 years after its debut. Guests include Ellington assistant and Jump for Joy scholar Patricia Willard, Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra conductor David Baker, Ellington biographer John Edward Hasse and cultural historian Michael McGerr. The program is written, produced and narrated by WYIU announcer David Brent Johnson.
Could you please tell me the dates and origins of the tunes played.
I found out that IU stands for Indiana University.
The broadcast starts with Jump for Joy, from 2Jul41, take -1, complete.
Duke is interviewed by Carter Harman in1964.
3:33 Unknown title (often miss-titled as Cotton Club Stomp) from 22Apr30, take -A, complete.
6:28 Sepia Panorama, 24Jul40, take -1.
9:11 Take the "A" Train, 15Feb41, almost complete.
12:36 Stomp Caprice, 3Dec41.
14:49 Brown-Skin Gal, 2Jul41, complete.
19:12 Bli-Blip, Summer 41, complete and not overdubbed with talk.
24:26 from the broadcast "Salute to Labor" from 1Sep41: Brown-Skin Gal and Jump for Joy, complete and not overdubbed.
27:40 Wonderful Smith's monologue with President Roosevelt.
32:45 Duke interviewed by Carter Harman in 1964.
34:08 I Got It Bad, 26Jun41, take -1, complete.
37:36 Bugle Breaks, 3Dec41.
39:42 Subtle Slough, 3Jul41, shortly overdubbed, complete.
42:57 Rocks in My Bed, 26Sep41.
43:57 Rocks in My Bed, 8Sep41, by Joe Turner (vo), Freddie Slack (p), Al Hendrickson (g) and Jud de Naut (b), complete and not overdubbed!
47:52 Chocolate Shake, 26Jun41, complete, not overdubbed.
50:44 Giddybug Galop, 5Jun41.
53:54 Some Saturday, 3Jul41.
56:03 Jump for Joy, from 2Jul41, take -2.
If the contrary is not specifically mentioned, each selection has been overdubbed with talk and is incomplete.
Young Duke with a Symphony Orchestra?
I live in Georgetown, South Carolina, USA and am researching the 1920's years.
The newspapers of Georgetown from the mid-1920's (1923 or 1924) occasionally list "Ellington's Orchestra" as the band playing for pavilion dances and other large dances here. Was this DUKE Ellington's Band? I need to know for my third book. The deadline is soon.
As far as we have been able to find out, Ellington did not play in South Carolina in 1923 and 1924. The group he played in was named The Washingtonians. If you have more information about these dance dates, please let us know. If we have specific dates we can compare these with what we know about his Itinerary. Are there any reviews, with probably names of musicians? For the time being we advise you not to claim that this was Duke Ellington's band.
Thank you for your reply and information. The Georgetown Times (Georgetown, South Carolina) in 1924 referred to the summer dances that year at Kensington Park Pavilion with "the regular Friday night dance, usually serenaded by Ellington's Symphony Orchestra." That is the most specific information I have about dance dates - Friday nights during the summer 1924. There are no reviews or mention of specific musicians, or the Washingtonians. Thank you for checking.
Good news for Cab Calloway fans
Since its launch in January 2006, The Hi De Ho Blog has been viewed by 400 visitors, coming from France as well as from the entire world (mainly Japan, Canada, United States).
Within a few months, more than 200 notes have been published, all of them with the intention of sharing my passion and love for Cab, his music, his musicians and his era.
This second season will be rich with infos and various series:
A commented reading of Cab's autobiography, Of Minnie The Moocher & Me
A biography of each musician of the orchestra (trying to focus on the less famous ones)
Slideshows with, for instance, the image of Cab in the advertisements.
Many existing series will get new content:
Cartoons with Cab,
Revues from the Cotton Club, Broadway or elsewhere,
The movie Stormy Weather,
Cab's influence on artists from his era or from today (Outkast, Alicia Keys, among others),
Interviews of jazz personalities or genuine fans,
The Calendar, with explanations about all the record sessions. From January 2006, a new kind of calendar will be proposed.
Naturally, I'll try to continue to show you new rare audio and video segments.
In case you've missed them, you can still find the first notes released in September:
<http://thehidehoblog.zumablog.com/index.php?sujet_id=3372> Gilles P,tard's interview, the Chronogical Classics series' producer
<http://thehidehoblog.zumablog.com/index.php?sujet_id=3343>Autobiography's first note
<http://thehidehoblog.zumablog.com/index.php?sujet_id=3391>Sesame Street 's appearance
Superb sessions in <http://thehidehoblog.zumablog.com/index.php?p=748>the Calendar
I would like to thank all of you who share with me precious information and documents which allow me to be more accurate on The Hi De Ho Blog.
A last word: you can now access The Hi De Ho Blog at this simpler address:
The Hi De Ho Blog remains an amateur site, with no financial goal. My passion for jazz is the only one that gives the beat!
Jean-FranOois PITET. The Hi de Ho Blog. <mailto:email@example.com>
Visitez le 1er site en franOais sur Cab Calloway : <http://www.thehidehoblog.com>www.thehidehoblog.com
R,alis, avec <http://www.zumablog.com>www.zumablog.com
We found this question in our e-mail box, probably from Brian Gilmore who used the name Bumpyjonas:
When did Chico Hamilton play with Duke Ellington and are there any recordings made?
Chico Hamilton subbed for an ailing Sonny Greer for part of the engagement of 3Jan-20Feb41 at the Casa Maana (California Eagle 23Jan41). Some of the broadcasts during this engagement have been recorded. These broadcasts were played after the date of 23Jan41. In each broadcast Sonny Greer has been credited in discographies, which seems to be correct.
Agreed, the California Eagle was a weekly newspaper, by the time the 23Jan issue came out he would have been with the band for a while. Sonny is on the 15Jan Standard Transcriptions. A couple years ago I had the opportunity to ask Chico for how long did he sit in with Duke, and Chico replied "about a week." The first surviving aircheck is not until 13 Feb.
BTW, Chico turned 85 on 21Sep06. He still plays beautifully. As Duke would say, retire to what?
See DEMS 01/3, first article about 11Sep
Saw something on your site today about Duke playing in Kabul. I know that this is true because he stayed at my father's house in Kabul in 1963.
Unfortunately I had returned to England to go to school so I did not meet him. My late father (Terry Crisp) was a great jazz fan so you can imagine his joy at having the great man - and his band - stay at the house. He often told the story of how he stood in one night (in rehearsals) for Duke's drummer - Sam - who had been on the hooch a little too much that day and wasn't capable!
It's a shame that my father is not around to tell you more. My family is from the North-East of England but my father taught health matters abroad which is why we ended up in Afghanistan for a while. I was delighted to see something in writing about Duke's visit to Kabul as I have told many people about this over the years.
When I first met Jerry Valburn, in July 1969 in NYC, he told me that "NBC and Columbia still have some airchecks of the Duke from the 20ies in their vaults". He did not offer any proof to back this statement and he never again returned to the subject.
I do have a copy of James R. Smart's book "Radio Broadcasts in the Library of Congress 1924-1941", published in 1982, and it is interesting reading.
The earliest preserved broadcasts, (Coolidge, Lindy, Hoover, etc.) are actually pressed records from matrices but when we arrive to the year 1932, "direct-cuts" on to aluminium and shortly thereafter, lacquers were in use.
Technically speaking, broadcasts with the Duke could have been recorded on to 16" wax masters, standard groove, at 33 1/3 as early as 1927. This was already in common use by, let us say, Vitaphone in Brooklyn, for their soundtrack discs for movies. They were cut inside-out, the playing time was up to 11 minutes per disc and preserved pressings in nice conditions offers "full range sound".
Sound was also being recorded on to 35 mm film as early as 1927 (or even earlier), each "reel" ran for c. 10 minutes.
Brunswick was involved in recording complete radio programs in 1929-30, 12" at 78 rpm, and a set of 5-6 sides made up a complete 1/2 hour broadcast.
White headliners in the entertainment field, rich people like Paul Whiteman, had their broadcasts recorded as early as 1930, complete or in part.
Duke was the greatest headliner in the sepia field and it might be possible that "opening night gala broadcasts" from, let us say the Cotton Club were recorded in this fashion.
The complete run of the CBS "Saturday Night Swing Club" 1936-39 broadcasts, which were recorded in full, for delayed European re-broadcasts, are still waiting to be re-disovered, only 3 complete programs have surfaced as yet.
"The Magic of Ella Fitzgerald"
See DEMS 05/3-38
I have just seen a DVD with different sections recorded for the NBC "Ella Fitzgerald Show" in Apr68. This DVD is in acceptable color, while my old VHS-copy was of a very bad black and white quality.
To my ears and eyes this DVD shows that
- the Ellington orchestra was present and pparticipating (together with a studio orchestra) during the first Ella songs, generally said to be from 08Apr68.
- all the recordings listed in the New Desoor seem to have been recorded on 11Apr68. This is documented by various views of the "clap board" which carried that date.
- the three titles Ella with Duke: Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Lush Life and Oh! Lady Be Good seem to have been recorded in this sequence (6818dfe) and not as shown in The New Desor (6818def). There is obviously continuation between Don't Get Around Much Anymore and Lush Life on screen. The question "Duke or Jimmy Jones" playing the piano in Lush Life however remains unanswered.
This DVD gives indeed more information than the black and white video tapes I saw in the past. They even show more clearly than ever that Duke did not play in Lush Life. On one moment he stretched both his arms in the direction of the ground, while you hear the piano being played at the same time. On another moment we hear high notes while Duke does not touch the right side of the piano. His hands remain in the centre.
Duke's Brass, 1937-38
See DEMS 05/2-23
Cootie Williams, during a l3May76 interview with Helen Dance (for the NEA's Jazz Oral History Project; tapes held at the IJS, Rutgers) stated that Harold Baker "was a wonderful trumpet player but I never had the pleasure of working with him--but I heard him on records." Elsewhere in the interview, Cootie remarked "I wasn't there [in Ellington's orchestra] during his [Harold Baker's] period." In that Williams was in Ellington's band throughout 1937 and 1938, his statements serve to rule out the theory that Baker was also a member during those years. (Helen didn't ask about a Danny Baker, and Cootie didn't mention any Bakers other than Mr. and Mrs. Harold Baker .)
Dusk on the Desert
See DEMS 06/2-20
The points raised by Michael Kilpatrick, Richard Bambach, Jean Portier and Klaus G"tting persuade me that the mystery soloist is probably Cootie Williams rather than Arthur Whetsel as I've previously suggested.
George Early Jr.
Illness caused Nanton to be absent from the band from 20oct37 (or slightly earlier) through at least 30Nov37.
Per the Chicago Defender, 6Nov37, p18 ("Bud Harris Buzzes") :
"Just had word from Fat Nanton, brother of Tricky Sam, ace trombonist of Duke Ellington's band. He says his brother is very ill here at Boston, in City Hospital. In fact, the physicians have not changed him yet, although Fat says Tricky is improving." According to the Boston Post, the band played at Boston's Metropolitan Theatre from 14oct to 20oct37.
Nanton 's replacement was evidently hired in Cleveland where the band played the Trianon Ballroom on Sunday 31oct37 and again on Wednesday 3Nov37. Ellington was absent from the first engagement - busy burying his father in Washington D.C. - but appeared at the second as did one George Early, Jr.
Per the Cleveland Call and Post, 11Nov37, p9: "The village smith stood, but it was at the Trianon ball room that Duke Ellington and his syncopating band completely captivated the hundreds of dance lovers who dangled about the waxed floor last Wednesday. Ivy Anderson thrilled each and every one of us with her singing, but the thing that pleased us the most was the seeing [sight] of Cleveland's George Early, Jr. sitting in the band and tooting on his trombone along with the rest of the stars of Duke's aggregation. Of course he is only substituting for one of the boys who has the pneumonia, hut the fact remains that if he is good enough to substitute with the band of the King of Jazz he should find a regular spot in some worthwhile aggregation. Early who resides at 2267 E. 71st street is the director of Sisco's Musical Magpies who are playing at Lyndhurst Country Club. George, old pal, Cleveland is pulling for you!"
The International Musician for February 1938 (under the heading "local reports for December") lists the members of Ellington's band - among them George Early, Jr., but not Nanton - who played a Birmingham, Alabama engagemeent (date unspecified) which itinerary research dates to 30Nov37 and Birmingham's Municipal Auditorium.
Per Tempo, Jan38, p4: "Tricky Sam, who has been ill for the past four weeks, is back with Duke's band "
The International Musician for March 1938 indicates that Nanton was in the band (and Early out) for a Charleston, West Virginia engagement (date unspecified) which itinerary research dates to 24Dec37 and Charleston's Armory.
So, to the ranks of documented Ellingtonians one may add the name of George Early, Jr., whose stay in the band lasted from 3Nov37 through at least 30Nov37.
Ken Steiner and Steven Lasker
It is a pity that no recordings have been detected for the month of November 1937.
NEW RELEASES AND RE-RELEASES
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Duke Ellington at the Rainbow Grill
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This CD is a re-release of the CD Moon Records MCD 049-2 as described in DEMS Bulletin 93/4-2. Since this is almost 13 years ago, we give again some details.
The first group of six tracks contain recordings made prior to the CBS broadcast on 17Aug67, which started with the seventh track and ran on as far as and including the fifteenth track.
These were the titles: Heaven; Le Sucrier Velours; In a Sentimental Mood; Azure; I'm Beginning To See the Light; Rock the Clock; Take the "A" Train; Satin Doll; Sophisticated Lady; Take the "A" Train; Passion Flower; Perdido; Solitude; Things Ain't What They Used To Be; Ocht O'Clock Rock.
The Gambit CD is available from: customerservice@Jazzmessengers.com
The Gambit CD is also available from WorldsRecords under item code 59468 for $ 17.00. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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> Fresh Sound Records re-release of the SESAC session
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See DEMS 04/3-18
My persistence with Pujol has paid off. He has re-issued "The Dukes D.J. Special", FSR-CD 410, that I just received from Ren Brown's WorldsRecords in California. It is a wonderful reminder of the skill and artistry of the Duke. Please note the new number. Its old one was FSR 141. Do you know of any critiques of this work? I can find none in the books I have. Lots of Clark Terry. Shorty Baker, too. But no soloists listing. Weak "liner" notes. Wonder what my old dear departed friend, Stanley Dance, thought of it.
The only open desire I have now is to get the Teresa Brewer CD.
The SESAC session has been mentioned often in old DEMS Bulletins. These Bulletins were mentioned in the last article about this matter in DEMS 04/3-18.
Critique can be found in Eddie Lambert's "Listener's Guide" on page 213. The description by Eddie of the selections Fat Mouth and Little John's Tune indicate that he must have listened to one of the LPs with the mixed-up titles of these two selections. Eddie explains also the situation with the copyrights of SESAC recordings.
Here is a comment by Steve Voce: "I had this as a BBC 'non-needle time' disc, which meant it could be used on air as filling music without the BBC having to pay any further fee. I think it was originally recorded by SESAC. As with a similar Woody Herman disc and some Sy Olivers, the music was best described as ordinary."
Soloists listings can best be found in the New DESOR.
N.B. The CD Fresh Sound 410 is available from WorldsRecords under item code 59093 for $ 16,-. (e-mail: email@example.com)
About the Teresa Brewer CD: you can buy my copy for a donation for the Sturgis plaque (see 06/3-18). I have the LP, which I seldom play.
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Mosaic Capitol 5 CD box out of print
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See DEMS 95/2-8; 95/3-7; 97/1-2; 97/3-20
I was starting to compose a rather nasty diatribe suggesting that we boycott the new Definitive spin off of the Mosaic Ellington Capitol box in support of Mosaic. However, I've discovered it's permanently out of print on Mosaic, which pretty well cancels my arguments, so I'll change the tone to a simple FYI that Definitive has released what appears to be pretty much a total copy of the now out of print Mosaic box at a much lower price ($31.50 on Amazon for 4 cd's).
The Definitive "Capitol Sessions" box appears to be available at CD Connection for $21.73.
The 5 CD set of Mosaic had a total of 96 tracks. The Definitive 4 CD set has only 88 tracks. Missing are:
Don't Touch Me, Mosaic disc II, track 9
Hear Me Plea, Mosaic disc II, track 12
What More Can I Say?, Mosaic disc II, track 14
Chile Bowl, Mosaic disc III, track 2
Oh Well, Mosaic disc III, track 4
Night Time, Mosaic disc III, track 12
Harlem Air Shaft, Mosaic disc V, track 5 or track 6
Discontented Blues, Mosaic disc , track 14
furthermore: It Don't Mean a Thing, on Mosaic disc IV, track 11 has been put at the very end of Definitive disc 4 as track 18
It is a pity that almost all the missing selections are unique and unissued (except on Mosaic) recordings.
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ASV Living Era double CD AJS 2015
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13oct06: ASV Living Era have just announced the issue of a double CD, AJS 2015 entitled "Creole Rhapsody" a set with 48 tracks done by Duke Ellington between 1930 and 1939.
This company has a deservedly high reputation for reproducing 78s in excellent sound on CD.
Since the '30s, and particularly the late '30s, were particularly knotty years for Ellington recording sound qualities it'll be most interesting to see what kind of a fist ASV make of the job.
30oct06: ASV Living Era's "Creole Rhapsody" (CD AJS 2015) will be available from November 5 at Amazon.co.uk who are advertising it at o 8.99 including carriage. Total playing time 2hrs 32 min.
The sound quality, given the state of the originals, is good and I'm hearing nuances that I didn't hear in other versions.
The release is also available on WorldsRecords under item code 59873 for $ 26.00
1. Jungle Nights in Harlem 4Jun30
2. Jungle Blues 29Jan30 take-2
3. Ring dem Bells 20Aug30 take-3
4. Mood Indigo 17oct30
5. Rockin' in Rhythm 16Jan31
6. Creole Rhapsody 20Jan31 part 2 is take-A
7. Echoes of the Jungle 16Jun31
8. It Don't Mean a Thing 2Feb32
9. Lazy Rhapsody 2Feb32 take-A
10. Blue Harlem 16May32
11. Swampy River 17May32
12. Blue Ramble 18May32
13. Lightnin' 21Sep32
14. Sophisticated Lady 15Feb33
15. Drop Me Off in Harlem 17Feb33 take-A
16. Bundle of Blues 16May33 take-A
17. Harlem Speaks 13Jul33 take-2
18. Dear Old Southland 4Dec33 take-1
19. Daybreak Express 4Dec33 take-1
20. Stompy Jones 9Jan34
21. Solitude 10Jan34
22. Saddest Tale 12Sep34
23. Merry Go Round 30Apr35
Track 3 is not from 26Aug30 take-6, but it is from 20Aug30, take-3.
Tracks 8 and 9 are not with Lawrence Brown and track 9 is not with Otto Hardwicke. Brown came in the band in Mar32 and Hardwicke returned in Apr32. The recording reports show 3 saxes and 2 trombones.
The subtitle of track 9, Lazy Rhapsody, is according to our files not Swannee [sic] River Rhapsody. Swanee River Rhapsody was from "Blackberries of 1930". We have as subtitle of Lazy Rhapsody: Swanee Rhapsody. Lazy Rhapsody was according to the ASCAP listing copyrighted in 1962.
In the listing of the soloists of track 12 is probably a typing error. The initials AH should read JH.
The correct title of track 15 is according to the ASCAP file: Drop Me Off in Harlem and not Drop Me Off at Harlem.
The correct subtitle of track 16 is not Dragon Blues, but Dragon's Blues.
The personnel listing for the tracks 18-22 is rather confusing. If I understood it well, I can suggest the following corrections: on track 20 is not only Johnny Hodges absent but also Otto Hardwicke (see DEMS 99/3-17/3 and 99/4-10/2). These corrections have been accepted by the authors of The New DESOR in spite of the recording reports which indicate four saxes on 9Jan34 and two trombones on 10Jan34, see DEMS 99/5-23, DESOR small corrections 5001. The recording reports also indicate for 4Dec33 (tracks 18 and 19) the presence of a guitar which is denied in the liner-notes (again if I understood it well).
On track 22 Harry Carney played alto clarinet (as correctly mentioned in the liner-notes). This correction on the New DESOR was brought forward by Roger Boyes in DEMS 02/1-7/1. It was only accepted as being a clarinet and not as a specific alto clarinet by the authors of The New DESOR in the small corrections 5005, page 1102, in DEMS 02/2-27 and 28. I think it should be corrected as alto clarinet.
The last track of this CD has two errors in the personnel listing in the liner-notes: Fred Avendorf was not yet in the band. He replaced Sonny Greer in Jun and Aug35. Hayes Alvis was also not in the band yet. He came on 31May35.
Harlem Rhythm is not a subtitle for Merry Go Round. It is merely the second theme of Merry Go Round.
1. In a Sentimental Mood 30Apr35
2. Showboat Shuffle 30Apr35
3. Reminiscing in Tempo 12Sep35
4. Oh Babe, Maybe Someday 28Feb36
5. Clarinet Lament 27Feb36
6. Echoes of Harlem 27Feb36
7. Trumpet in Spades 17Jul36
8. Yearning for Love 17Jul36
9. In a Jam 29Jul36
10. Uptown Downbeat 29Jul36
11. Caravan 14May37
12. Diminuendo in Blue 20Sep37 take-1
and Crescendo in Blue 20Sep37 take-1
13. Harmony in Harlem 20Sep37
14. Ridin' on a Blue Note 2Feb38 take-1
15. The Gal from Joe's 2Feb38 take-1
16. I Let a Song
Go Out of My Heart 3Mar38 take-2
17. Rose of the Rio Grande 7Jun38 take-1
18. Prelude to a Kiss 9Aug38 take-1
19. Battle of Swing 9Aug38 take-2
20. Blue Light 22Dec38 take-2
21. Grievin' 14oct39
The personnel listing for track 1 is different in my files. I do not have Hayes Alvis on bass and I still have Sonny Greer on drums and not Fred Avendorf.
Also the listing for track 2 is different. I do not have Charlie Allen replacing Arthur Whetsel. Charlie did not come before Jun35 and he left before Aug35. Hayes Alvis and Fred Avendorf were not in the band. Billy Taylor was in the band.
The spelling of the title of track 4 is different in the ASCAP list. It is not Oh, Babe! Maybe Someday, but the ASCAP list spelled it as I did in my listing above.
Billy Taylor (without Alvis) played in track 9 and Hayes Alvis (without Taylor) played in track 10.
I prefer to spell the subtitle of track 10, Uptown Downbeat as Blackout.
See DEMS 04/2-55. Freddie Jenkins played in the 20Sep37 session. Also in my files, Juan Tizol took part in the recording of track 12. I assume that the liner-notes indicate that Juan Tizol did not play in track 12, but that he played in tracks 13, 14 and 15.
Tracks 14 and 15. I question the conclusion in the liner-notes that Fred Guy was absent. Furthermore I have accepted the correction as mentioned in DEMS 05/1-39 in the small corrections sheet 5010, which says that Freddie Jenkins was playing in the 2Feb38 session.
Track 16 was played by three trumpet players: Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams and Freddie Jenkins (see DEMS 04/2-55).
Tracks 19, 20 and 21. I question the conclusion in the liner-notes that Fred Guy was absent.
Transblucency is not a subtitle for Blue Light. It is merely the Lawrence Brown solo in the third chorus of Blue Light.
The correct recording date of track 21 is not 4oct39 but it is 14oct39.
An overall word of critique, especially on disc 2: it is much too fast. I can understand that one wanted to copy as many selections as possible. These were even so much squeezed together that the end of Diminuendo in Blue is missing.
The opening paragraph of the liner-notes states that this new double CD set is the middle of a series starting with AJA 5573, "The Duke Steps Out" covering 1924 into 1929 and AJA 5310, "Stomp, Look and Listen" covering 1940 into 1948. This is undoubtedly true, but do not believe that there are no duplications. on other ASV Living Era releases; for instance: It Don't Mean a Thing has also been released on AJA 5024 "Jazz Cocktail" and on AJA 5057, "Rockin' in Rhythm". Other duplications with this new double CD set are Trumpet in Spades; Echoes of Harlem; In a Jam; Uptown Downbeat; Yearning for Love; Showboat Shuffle; Clarinet Lament on AJA 5057 and Jungle Nights in Harlem and Creole Rhapsody on AJA 5024
The former president of DESUK, Vic Bellerby, was involved in the compilation of these CDs. The release is dedicated to the memory of Ellington scholar Eddie Lambert. Both facts are well worth mentioning.
The New DESOR corrections
We remind you that these
corrections are merely suggestions. They are not (yet) accepted by the authors
of the New DESOR. Unsigned suggestions were brought in by Hoefsmit.
Page 46. 15Feb40, session 4004. This is what I wrote in the last Bulletin (06/2-51) as suggestion for a correction: "The recording ledger lists three reed-men on the 15Feb40 Cootie Williams session: 'Bigard, Hodges and Carney,' but not their instruments. Discographies show Bigard playing clarinet only, but I don't hear a clarinet on the date, so he must have played tenor-sax throughout."
On re-listening, I now hear his clarinet as well.
Page 757. Black Swan, 7059ab. The description needs correction. The description seems to have been made from a very poor portable recording. Recently I listened to a much better recording and I heard a complete version in which the first chorus was played by Wild Bill Davis and Duke Ellington, the second chorus by Wild Bill Davis, the third chorus by Joe Benjamin and Duke Ellington. From here on I agree with the description: the fourth and fifth chorus by Rufus Jones and the sixth chorus not complete with 8 bars by Wild Bill Davis and a coda with 2 bars by Wild Bill Davis and Rufus Jones.
Pages 117 and 1026. Should not the entry in DESOR 5124 have D.E. (tk) noted on Mood Indigo ? As is done on the Monologue performances?
I listened to this recordings and I think you are right. Duke narrates his well known story about Mood Indigo starting at bar 9 of the first chorus and he ends on bar 12 of the second chorus.**
Page 1452. "Sonny" Cohn died 7Nov06. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/obituaries/135073,CST-NWS-xcohn14.article)
Page 1477. See DEMS 06/2-51. Someone has indeed stepped forward:
Melba Liston died Los Angeles 23Apr99, after a series of strokes. Source: Jazz Journal International obituary column, and obit by Stan Woolley in June 1999 issue p. 18.
Page 1484. Anita O'Day died 23Nov06.
Correction-sheet 1060. Session 3716, 20Sep37. Same as 3505, but FJ(t) added. (04/2-55, see also small corrections 5010, correction 05/1-39).
DESOR small corrections
These corrections are
authorised by Luciano Massagli and Giovanni Volont,.
DESOR small corrections 5012
Volume 1 (Corrections December 2006)
IX - PH..Philippines (06/2-7)
XX - RRo..Redentor Romero..v. (06/2-7)
XXVI - VAI..Video Artists International (06/2-155)
8Nov27, session 2711. The correct title is:You
Will Always Live On in Our Memory.
(06/2-51, pages 4 and 1282)
- 8Jun39, 3913c. First release on Vo 5378 iinstead of Vo 5376.
(06/2-51, page 42)
- 22Nov39, 3923a. First release on Vo 5378 instead of Vo 5376.
(06/2-51, page 45)
- 15Feb40, session 4004. BB(cl.,t.s.) insteead of (cl.) only.
(06/2-51 and 06/3-33, page 46)
188 - Prob. 1952/53. Add session 5232. Correctiion-sheet 1078 (06/2-7)
- 20Apr64, session 6433 and Correction-sheeet 1057.
The whole telecast is released on DVD VAI 4358.
Correction-sheet 3027 (06/2-15)
- June/July 1964, session 6450. Change the date into June 24, 1964;
and add: Daiichi Kaikan Kyoto, J. (06/2-30)
405 - 2Aug65. Add session 9056. Correction-sheeet 1078 (06/2-7)
- 5Dec65, session 6560. This session is inccluded in the DVD VAI 4371.
Correction-sheet 3027. (06/3-10)
- 20Jan72. Add session 9057.
Correction-sheet 1078 (06/2-7)
Volume 2 (Corrections December 2006)
- Bettween the Devil and the Deep Blue
The first chorus should be read as follows:
- Blaack Swan. 7059ab should be read
(06/3-33, page 757)
Add, after 5002h: 5232a..Time: 01'03". Correction-sheet 1078 (06/2-7)
- I GGot It Bad. 7059ac should be read
- Takke the "A" Train. 6433m
should be read as follows:
int4DE;1o/2oBAND;cod4BAND. Correction-sheet 1057 (06/2-15)
- Unidentified "O". 7059ad after the 1ochorus, should be read as
- The correct title is:You Will Always
Live On in Our Memory.
(06/2-51, pages 4 and 1282)
- Carpenter, Thelma. The birthday date is JJan 15, 1920.
(06/2-51, page 1450)
The New DESOR correction-sheets
1078 - 9053 Los Angeles, part
3 17Apr68 05/3-15
5232 U.S.A. Prob. 1952/53 06/2-7
9056 NYC 2Aug56 06/2-7
9057 Manila 20Jan72 06/2-7
3027 - 6433 Video Artists International 4358 06/2-15
6560 Video Artists International 4371 06/3-10
Correction-sheet 3027 is waiting for more corrections.