DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
07/2 August - November 2007
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
- ADDITIONS - CORRECTIONS
On Carnegie Blues (28Apr45) on the third Treasury Broadcast (DETS CD 903 9002) the recording 'skips' during the final, scored blues chorus. The 'skip' occurs at around bar 6 approximately, at the two-minute mark.
Did this blemish also occur on the earlier LP issue, and if so, does it also occur on the original source from which the LP and the CD issue were taken?
It also occurred on the LP issue, but we cannot tell you if it was on the original acetate as well. This selection was not included in the European AFRS broadcast Date with the Duke # 3, otherwise we could have checked that copy. Maybe it was omitted because the blemish was already on the acetate that came from the US. It seems to us that it was caused during the playback of the recording during dubbing. But we have no idea which copy was on the turntable when it happened. We are convinced that it must already have been present in the material that was copied onto tape by Jack Towers. He would have noticed the problem if he had caused it himself and he would have repaired it.
In DEMS 01/1-28 was a question by Klaus Götting about a more complete take of Brown Penny on programme #34 of "The Genius of Duke" broadcasts. We took up the matter with Klaus. He wrote:
I never found the solution but I'm still convinced that Brown Penny (4724e from 2oct47) as released on CBS LPs and CDs is edited. The Genius series was made around the same time CBS first released the recording (1973/74), probably earlier, because I cannot imagine the reason why they should have expanded the number to approximately 4:10, if the CBS version running for 3:05 was ready and available. Consequently the 4:10 version must be the original...unless Genius has take-3 = 4724f.
It is still possible (although most unlikely) that the additional sections were mixed in from 4724c or 4724d, but I don't have either of these takes to compare. I finally must add that this certainly is not a collector's mix made later; I have two very different sources (André Mahus and Luis Contijoch) with the same Genius program.
I would like very much to have your opinion; here is what I hear: the Kay Davis part, according to New Desor, is "ABCD32", each section of 8 measures running for approximately 30sec. On the Genius version I hear A B C1 D1 C2 D2 , while CBS has A B C? D2. I am unable to determine whether section C on CBS is identical with C1 or C2 on Genius but I am certain that section D1 on Genius is different from what we have on CBS: - D1 on Genius has (at 1:54) Kay Davis singing "'till stars .... his eyes" followed by some notes by HC; - D2 on both Genius (at 2:59) and CBS (at 1:54) has "'till stars .... begin it too soon" melting directly into the piano.
Thank you for sending me the Genius version on CD. I am very sorry to have to say that we have not discovered a "fresh" recording. Takes 4724c and d were not used for this editing. The second half of the chorus by KD of 4724e has been repeated. C2 is the same as C1 and D2 is the same as D1. The join is made at the end of D, but I did not find it at the spot you have indicated. To point out what I found, I have used the CBS CD 462985 2, track 15. If one makes a copy onto CD, the start of the music can be different each time but if we take the same commercial CD we must have the same time indication. At the end of B at 1:16 after …."a penny, brown penny, brown penny" you hear "I am lost". At the end of D, at 2:20 again after …."a penny, brown penny, brown penny" you hear the words "One cannot". Well, "One cannot" at the end of D is replaced by "I'm lost" and from there on the recording runs to its end. I have checked several times synchronously. There is no doubt. Sorry. This is one of the disappointments a fanatic tape collector gets used to. The Genius of Duke broadcast #34 must have been assembled after Duke died. I have no idea why it would have been expanded for the broadcast. I believe that it was done for the release by Columbia but withdrawn for a reason we do not know. Since it does not contain any "fresh" music, the reason why is not very interesting.
How very curious! I haven’t heard this expanded form of the song of course, but from what is said here, I wonder if the producers of the broadcast needed to expand it for purposes of continuity. Was anything else going on while “Brown Penny” was being played? (1) Why else would they do this?
Incidentally I think the song’s structure is better described as AABC. Or even arguably AABA´. The last 8 bars start very differently indeed, but the final two lines of the song do return to A.
Do I infer from what Klaus says that the expanded version conflates the two lines ‘I am lost in the depths of his eyes’ with ‘One cannot begin it too soon’ at D1? (2)
Brown Penny and also Take Love Easy connect in my mind with the Irish poet W. B. Yeats. The title of
Take Love Easy is certainly taken from a line in ‘Down By The Salley Garden’. I’ll try to follow this up.
There seems to be no reference to Yeats in Franceschina’s book.
(1). No, nothing was going on during the song in the broadcast.
(2). I wouldn't say 'conflates'. What happened is that the 16 bars between "I am lost" and "One cannot" were once repeated with the result that you hear twice "I am lost" and only once "One cannot.
Correct date for the Today Show
See DEMS 07/1-18
To set the record straight: Duke and the band recorded three days from 15 until 17Dec69 for the Red Skelton Show, which was telecast on 13Jan70. He also made probably as a guest a 40 minutes recording for a Today Show to be aired also on 13Jan70. I mentioned mistakenly the date of 15Dec69 for the second telecast.
See DEMS 07/1-20
I noticed in the last DEMS Bulletin Roger Boyes' "I know it [Monologue aka Pretty and the Wolf] is credited to Duke, but am I right in thinking that the delightful clarinets writing was by Jimmy Hamilton?"
Thought you would like to know that Jimmy Hamilton claimed that he wrote the music for it. Here's a transcription of part of a tape of an interview of Jimmy by Marcia Greenlee in the Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian:
"Pretty and the Wolf was created in Philadelphia. We were playing a club on Market Street. Duke came to me and said, "Hey, listen, I need some music to parallel a little story I'd like to tell. Could you write some background for it?"
So I said, "I'll try to Duke, you know." We were playing on Philadelphia and we were going over to New York to play a special day at the Met Opera, I believe it was (1). So he asked me to do this. So I said, "O.k., let me hear the story," So he read the story, I wrote a little something. No, he wrote the story out for me. I write out some music to parallel that.
So I said, "I'm working on it, Duke." So we went to Philadelphia [likely intended to say New York] to play the Opera House. I had put some things together for three clarinets, a bass clarinet and two soprano clarinets.
So I said, "Hey, Duke, I got something together. How about listening to this." So he said, "O.k. Come on in the dressing room," so we go on in the dressing room.
So I told the guys, "you all just follow me, I'll direct it — I'll listen to the story." And he started doing the story — it's a lot of counterpoint music, themes running contrary — and when I got through, he said, "Hey, yeah, that's it! We're going to do it now!"
We don't know it man!" (laughter).
He put in on in the Opera House — I think we — we had some stands, and we played from off the stands, you know. It went over good, you know. From then on, Pretty and the Wolf.
So we got so that we knew it, you know, we just play it, he tell the story. Pretty and the Wolf. And that — it took me about not long to do it, just one day.
When we went to New York, and he heard it, "We are going to do it now!" I think if I had known that I wouldn't let him hear it (laughter).
Reference for the tape:
Duke Ellington Oral History Project: Interview NMAH-AC#368
Interview of Jimmy Hamilton by Marcia Greenlee, 3/25/91, at the Smithsonian Institution.
Tape 4 of 5, Side B, beginning at 26 minutes, 10 seconds.
Incidentally, during the interview, Jimmy Hamilton also claims that he wrote "Ad Lib on Nippon."
(1) The date of the concert at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC was 21Jan51, when Duke indeed premiered his Monologue. On 18, 19, 20, 22, 23 and 24Jan51 the band played at the Click Restaurant in Philadelphia.
Since the old Bulletins are not accessible on the depanorama web-site, it might be interesting to copy the article that was published in DEMS Bulletin 97/4-4:
Interview with Jimmy Hamilton
Introduction by Ted Hudson:
Your discussion of Brian Priestley’s presentation (near the top of page 9 of the 97/2 bulletin) in your coverage of “Ellington ‘97” prompted me to transcribe the enclosed excerpts from the Ellington Collection’s interview of Jimmy Hamilton.
This interview took place in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands on 26Mar91 and is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Duke Ellington Oral History Project.
Jimmy’s account of authorship of “Ad Lib on Nippon” sounds credible.
Incidentally, in the interview he tells an amusing little story about the circumstances under which he composed and the trio first performed the music for Duke’s monologue, “Pretty and the Wolf,” and he mentions his collaboration with Duke on “Tootie for Cootie.” Overall, for me it’s one of the more interesting and revealing interviews.
Something you said just there I’d like to set the record straight on. I don’t think I ever got the credit for it, and it is my song. I wrote it, I composed it, I arranged it, and Duke collaborated by putting others -- by adding to it.
That Ad Lib on Nippon, that’s mine. I composed that, and I did the arrangement for the band. I don’t think that I got any credit for it because when the album came out, they didn’t even mention my name.
No. You’ve been credited for your performance, of course, but I think you’re right. You’re the composer of it.
I went downtown to see Duke one time when he was down there in that room down there on Broadway, down Radio City. He was down there, and I went down there because I was doing some arrangements for him. He would pay me to make some arrangements. I went down to see him to get some money or something and went into his dressing room, and he said, “Have you seen this?”
I said, “What?”
He brought out the album had been released. They put the album out, The Far East Suite.
He said, “Here.”
And I looked at it and I read it, “Ad Lib on Nippon.”
My name ain’t mentioned nowhere. Stanley Dance is the one put it out, put the notes on the back. Didn’t mention me nowhere that I wrote the song.
Did you say something?
I didn’t say anything. You know why? I’m going to tell you why he did it. He was like getting -- he was getting even with me because something he asked me to do. [Pause]
We were working somewhere. Where were we working? Somewhere we were playing, and he asked if I would relinquish this song. There was some kind of award offer, some kind of awards being handed out, and he needed so many things to qualify in some way. And he said,
“You’ll get the money for it, you know, but I would like to claim it you know -- uh.”
This is one of your compositions?
Yeah. And I didn’t agree to it. I said, “Why should I do that.” I said, “Hell, it might be the only thing I ever do. Why should I?” [Chuckle]
But he didn’t like that. He didn’t like that. So that’s how he got back at me, by doing that.
Had you given him -- was the composition for “Ad Lib on Nippon” something you did as you were performing?
Had you actually written it out and handed it to him?
I wrote it out. We were in Japan, and we were getting ready to go to the Middle East, or Far East, I think it was. [See note] And he asked me, “Why don’t you write something for you to do in the Far East Suite?”
So I said, “I don’t know what I can do.” We’re on a ship coming back -- no, on the airplane. And I said, “Well, I’ll think about it.” And I did.
I started working on it, putting it together. And by the time we got to Italy, we had it all set. We rehearsed.
Maybe we rehearsed it before we got to Italy. It was a matter of me writing me a solo, some melody to play and then showcasing it with an arrangement so that I would stand out. It went over good. It went over quite good. But he never give me credit for it. Never got credit for it.
Now, this occasion where he wanted you to agree to let him claim one of your compositions -- do you remember when that was, what period of time?
What was he competing for?
Well, it was some kind of Grammy award or something like that, you know.
I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was some kind of Grammy award like [unintelligible word].
Was it very long before the “Ad Lib on Nippon” incident? I mean, like years before or was it a fairly short period of time?
No, after we started playing “Ad Lib on Nippon” we went through the Far East and came back, and somewhere we were playing. I used to remember where it was, but I can’t remember it any more. Maybe it was in a theater or somewhere, and he asked to use it like that.
[Later in the interview while looking over a list of compositions and credits]
Oh, yeah, he give me credit for “Ad Lib on Nippon.”
Second time it was --
In the book here. ‘68, he gave it to me in ‘68.
Note: ‘FAR EAST is in English English a rather vague geographical term which covers more or less
those parts of Asia which are east of the old Indian Empire - i.e. the phrase includes Japan. I don’t know
if Jimmy would use the phrase in this sense, but it reads oddly to me that he talks of getting ready to go
to the Far East when he’s already in Japan.
Comments by DEMS:
It is clear that Jimmy’s claim to have written “Ad Lib on Nippon,” can only be justified and should be accepted for part 4 of that “Suite.” Part 4 is titled Tokyo.
There are some recordings of Duke trying to establish part 3. In Jun64, a video recording was made of Duke’s first tour through Japan. These recordings were used for a telecast on 20Dec64, titled “Duke Ellington Swings Through Japan.”
In this telecast is a short piano interlude of 0:25 min. (see Klaus Stratemann page 487 as ‘unidentified’ and Desor 939f as ‘unknown’), which is the first time we hear the theme of part 3 of “Ad Lib on Nippon.”
We also hear this theme at the end of the Danish broadcast #26 from a recording, probably made on the empty stage of the Koseinenkin Hall in Tokyo on 1Jul64.
Part 2 was a part of the soundtrack of “Astrofreight.” This soundtrack was recorded on 26Aug64. The title was Iglo or Iglo Blue. As part 2 of “Ad Lib on Nippon,” this theme was titled Igoo.
Part 1 and 3 are exclusively for piano and bass. We wonder if there was ever any score written out for these parts.
At the end of the interview Jimmy acknowledged the fact that his name was mentioned “in the book.” This book must be MIMM. He is also mentioned as co-composer for Tokyo in 1965, at the top of page 518. The listing in MIMM is the same as the ASCAP listing. (This was mentioned by Steven Lasker at the end of the presentation by Brian Priestley in Leeds in (on 25May97). This listing is very confusing and contains many inaccuracies. We find in 1965 a second set of titles, belonging to “The Far East Suite:” Fugi, Ad Lib on Nippon and Nagoya.
They are all three credited only to DE.
Fugi is the title of part 1 and Nagoya is the title of part 3 of “Ad Lib on Nippon.” We suspect that Ad Lib on Nippon stands for part 2, better known as Igoo.
We have also checked the dates and locations mentioned by Jimmy in his interview. We are convinced that he is at least the co-composer of Tokyo and we believe that he wrote the whole score himself. Duke might have altered a little bit later on, as he usually did (the famous “Ellington Effect”!)
But we are also convinced that he must be wrong in his additional remarks about dates and locations.
The only time the band was heading for the Middle East or the Far East after having visited Japan was in 1970.
If Duke asked Jimmy to write his part in Japan, it must have been in 1964, because the first recording of Tokyo was made in Paris on 29Jan65. The oldest recording available is the one of 30Jan65, second concert on the CD “Europe 1” 710.433, see DEMS 94/1-4.
The band set foot on Italian soil for the first time after the 1964 tour in Japan on 30Jan66.
It is a pity that the interviewer only wanted to know when this other composition was written and that he did not ask which composition it was. We have the impression (based on Jimmy’s answer) that it was the composition of Tokyo itself. Otherwise we cannot explain why Duke asked permission to put his own name under Jimmy’s composition after the band started playing “Ad Lib on Nippon.” But again something does not make sense here: “after we started playing 'Ad Lib on Nippon' (on 29Jan65 or earlier) we went through the Far East (in Jan70) and came back, and somewhere we were playing. Maybe it was in a theater somewhere, and he asked to use it like that.” That was long after the album came out in 1966!
To give some more examples of “mistakes” in the copyright listing in MIMM: Tootie for Cootie is credited to DE and Jimmy Hamilton in 1964. The New Tootie for Cootie also in 1964 is credited only to DE. And Fade Up, which is the same as Tootie for Cootie, is credited in 1965 to DE and Billy Strayhorn, although it is credited to Hamilton alone on the cover of the album “Concert In The Virgin Islands” and on the record label.
We hope that Ted Hudson will send us more transcriptions of interesting interviews and that the officials of the Smithsonian Institution do not mind if we print these interviews in our bulletin.
We also hope that Brian Priestley will do as he suggested in Leeds and make a presentation exclusively dedicated to “Ad Lib on Nippon.” We would be most interested to hear about the handwriting on the scores and to have his professional comments on the development of the performances during 1965 and 1966.
Giovanni Volonté and Luciano Massagli made a correction-sheet (# 7074) for the Rainbow Room session in August 1970, where Jan Bruér made a recording of three titles. In 1985, Benny Aasland organized a mini-conference in Stockholm, prior to the famous first Oldham Conference. This is a quote from the report of this mini-conference, as it was published in DEMS Bulletin 85/3-8:
What the Oldham Conference missed was a fascinating story by Jan Bruér, how he was given the original "Black, Brown and Beige" manuscript by Duke and also a dramatic story from a Rainbow Grill visit at which occasion he succeeded in smuggling a big open reel tape recorder. At that time Duke featured a Swedish vocalist, Lena Junoff. The sneak recording was not so successful, as Jan put it: "This is not only the worst Ellington recording, but also the most rare one." Really so, because we don't know of any other recording by Duke with Lena.
In DEMS Bulletin 98/1-8/1 Lena is mentioned again:
When was Åke Persson in the band?
See DEMS 97/4-12.
I can’t say anything about Åke Persson being in the band in Copenhagen on October 26, 1973. Alice Babs doesn’t remember. But it is strange because he played in Malmö on October 25 and in Stockholm on October 28. It seems that he was also not in the band on October 27 in Umeå. At any rate he is not mentioned in the local newspapers.
About October 28 (1973) in Stockholm and Uppsala.
Two friends went with the bus together with the Orchestra up to Uppsala that evening. Duke had a taxi. They played from about 19:00 O’Clock until 21:00 O’Clock in the Konserthuset in Stockholm and about 45 minutes later they started in Uppsala and played the 2nd Concert. So if your audio tape is from one concert and they played all these selections as the files say, it was tough to do that in less then 120 minutes. I asked Willie Cook if they can do that programme in that time and he didn’t believe that. They surely had a break too. The Orchestra was not in best shape in October 1973 and Duke was ill.
Rolf Dahlgren wrote in Orkesterjournalen that the following numbers were played that evening. Rolf saw both concerts. From the video we can see most [but not all] of these selections being played.
Tea For Two (with Åke Persson), Satin Doll (with John Coles), Caravan (with Åke Persson lead trombone), Rockin’ in Rhythm, Creole Love Call, Take the “A” Train, It Don’t Mean a Thing, Mood Indigo, La Plus Belle Africaine, Hello, Dolly!, Basin Street Blues, How High the Moon and I Can’t Get Started.
In both concerts Duke and Joe Benjamin played Lotus Blossom at the end. In Uppsala Lena Junoff sang a number. This is what you can read in Orkesterjournalen December ‘73.
I think the list of tunes is a list of what the manager told the press that the Orchestra would play when they went on tour to Europe. But I think for one concert it is too much for the time available.
Ole Nielsen doesn’t say anything about Lena Junoff in his book from that evening.
Your information about the second concert on 28oct73 in Uppsala is highly interesting. It is not included in Duke’s (Joe Igo’s) itinerary, but it should be, because your testimony leaves no doubt.
You also made a strong point with the suggestion that the programme was too long to fit in one concert of 2 hours. We made a copy of our very poor quality portable recorded tape and it showed to fit easily on a 90 minutes cassette. We have mailed that copy to you. Listening to the tape does not give any indication that this is from two concerts, or that there was an intermission. We believe that the whole Stockholm concert didn’t take more than 90 minutes and we see no conflict with your statements about a second concert starting 1’:15” later in Uppsala.
It Don’t Mean A Thing and I Can’t Get Started, mentioned by Rolf Dahlgren, must have been performed in Uppsala, because they were not played in Stockholm.
We are surprised to see that John Coles did a solo in Satin Doll. We believe that we heard Barry Lee Hall doing that in Stockholm.
We know from a presentation by Jan Bruér, that Lena Junoff sang with Duke in August 1970 in the Rainbow Room in NYC. It is very interesting to hear that she also joined the band in Uppsala. She can not be heard on the audio tape made in Stockholm.
There is no reason for Ole Nielsen to mention Lena Junoff or the Uppsala concert, since there is no indication that a recording from that second concert was made and survived.
See DEMS 07/1-40
In my final contribution to the discussion on the role of the clarinet(?s) in Blue Light reported in the last Bulletin, I said I’d listen carefully to the piece in the coming weeks. I have now done this, with the help of Volume 5 of the Mosaic 7CD set Duke Ellington: The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion and Okeh Small Group Sessions, the ASV Living Era 2CD set Creole Rhapsody, and the recently acquired Volume 5 of the Naxos Jazz Legends Ellington series, Braggin’ In Brass. Both takes of Blue Light are on the Mosaic CD; the Naxos and ASV compilations have M 958-2, the take originally issued on Brunswick 8297.
First of all, the easy bit. The clarinet solo on the first chorus following the piano introduction is by Barney Bigard on his regular Bb soprano clarinet. It is rooted at the bottom of the instrument’s lower, ‘chalumeau’ register, starting on the lowest note of all, E, the note from which Barney takes off again in bar 5 and revisits in bar 11 to end his solo. In the past I’ve seen loosely written references to ‘low pitch clarinet’ by people describing Barney’s playing here. They may be ignored.
You can see Barney’s solo on M 958-2 transcribed at the bottom of page 109 of Gunther Schuller’s The Swing Era (Ex. 41b). Note, however, that Gunther transcribes it in concert pitch, so the clarinet’s low E appears as a low D, on the fourth line below the staff (the third below middle C). This note is very obvious even to a non-reader, as the semibreves – in American, ‘whole notes’ - which Barney holds throughout bars 1, 5 and 11. Bar 11 is the last bar of Gunther’s transcription.
Next, the second easy bit. I agree with those who hear chorus 2 as a Mood Indigo or Dusk trio for trumpet, trombone and clarinet, with the clarinet at the bottom. Gunther Schuller transcribes the first three bars of this on page 109, and again Barney visits low E in the first bar of the three (Ex. 40). It’s transcribed, as explained above, in concert pitch, so the E appears as D below middle C. I hear no evidence of a clarinet going below this note during this trio chorus, nor any evidence of another clarinettist; just Barney, on his regular instrument.
The question arose as to whether the trombone is played by Tricky or by Lawrence. I have no competence to join in this debate, though I did look up what Kurt Dietrich has to say about Blue Light in Duke’s Bones, always my first port of call for trombone issues. But his remarks about the piece are confined to Lawrence’s solo in the next chorus.
This next chorus, the third, is the difficult bit. Steven was very clear, in a footnote to his final letter to me on the subject of Finesse, (see the end of the lengthy DEMS 07/1-43), in which he added: “Now, if Harry’s playing something other than bass clarinet on Blue Light please let me know what he’s playing and be so kind as to remind me if you’ve written about this issue in the past, and if so, where. In my dotage, alas, my imperfect memory needs the occasional jog.”
Steven need have no fears concerning his memory, on this account. My note on Blue Light is in a handwritten notebook. I wrote it in 1990 when I first heard the recording on a cassette supplied by a friend, adding to it in 1994 when I bought the 2 LP ‘1938’ with both takes (see my last contribution to the email exchange reported in DEMS 07/1-40). I have a number of such notebooks with notes on many pieces. Some of them, though not the one on Blue Light, have appeared in the DESUK Newsletter, also called ‘Blue Light’.
As I wrote in 07/1-40 I found no reason to suppose there was a bass clarinet on Blue Light when I began to listen to it in the 1990s. Nor have the ASV ‘Creole Rhapsody’ and the Naxos ‘Braggin’ In Brass’ CDs given me any reason to change my mind. The Mosaic 7CD set is another matter though, as on both takes the clarinet playing in the first few bars has a resonance that recalls the lower clarinets. The lowest notes are still bottom E and above, in the chalumeau register. My first reaction to hearing Steven’s transfers and reading his notes was to stick with my original view, no bass clarinet. The resonance then led me to think that Harry might be playing along with Barney, very softly, perhaps on a bass clarinet which Duke provided for that purpose. After more and more listenings (I do not have super-hi-fi, I have to say), I am going back to my view in 1990 - ‘there appear to be two or three clarinets, and no trumpet behind Lawrence’s theme statement’. In DE – A Listener’s Guide, the late Eddie Lambert called it ‘a trio of low-register clarinets’.
I am sorry that this comment is in the end inconclusive.
By the way, while ‘playing along’ with the opening of Barney’s solo, I found no perceptible difference when I used the ASV CD from when I used the Mosaic or the Naxos. I mention this, not because it has any bearing on this discussion (it doesn’t), but because there has been comment in the Bulletin about the speed of the ASV transfer, compared to that of the Mosaic [06/3-32].
See DEMS 06/2-55
I have just enjoyed the wonderful article on Timme Rosenkrantz (The Jazz Baron by Mike Matloff) on your website. <http://www.depanorama.net/dems>
I can offer a small addendum. I was a high school student in Hellerup (Copenhagen suburb) and I met the Baron when I was shopping for jazz records in 1952 or so at a local record shop there. I bought a couple of his recordings issued on "Baronet" - both live recordings from the below Town Hall concert. One featured the Gene Krupa Trio and the other Red Norvo. I wish I still had those records as I am sure they are now very rare and perhaps not ever re-issued...
A few years later I was visiting New York City and again met Timme when I went to the Commodore record shop and found him working there.... He recommended that I go to a New Year's jam session in a hotel ballroom - and I still recall that it was an incredible evening with Roy Eldridge playing "When the Saint's Go Marching In" on top of a piano as the finale of the session...
Those were the days... I later had the good fortune to meet Duke Ellington through a friend of mine - Tom Detienne - who was the president of the Duke Ellington fan club in NYC... As I recall it was the Duke's birthday, which was always celebrated by the club, and he popped in as a surprise!!!
In June 1945 Timme produced, recorded and hosted a concert at New York's Town Hall (45) that featured numerous jazz legends including drummer Gene Krupa, vibraphonist Red Norvo, pianists Teddy Wilson and Billy Taylor, violinist Stuff Smith, trumpeter Bill Coleman, saxophonists Flip Phillips and Don Byas, and bassist Slam Stewart.
See DEMS 07/1-28
I have great news for you and your group!!!!
I am so very excited because the Sturgis-Young Auditorium, here in Sturgis Michigan, has just been notified us that the Duke Ellington plaque should be delivered Thursday or Friday of this week.
Now, nothing has been arranged about a dedication ceremony yet but, there definitely will be one and we as the Sturgis Historical Society want to make a big deal out of this. Could you please give members of your Duke Ellington group, who might be able to attend, a heads up and I will get back to you with a date.
I am so excited for all of us to see that this is finally happening and, again I want to thank you and your group for the generous donation toward the memorial plaque. We are hoping that someone, or even better, that lots of people from your group can attend this dedication, once a dedication date is set up. I will keep you updated and will let you know as far ahead of time as possible with reference to when the dedication ceremony will be held.
Linda Winkens, President of the Sturgis Historical Society
Do you have any really nice photos of Duke Ellington, or a selection of them, so we could choose one to put on a small plaque? Digital images would be great. We would like to have it in our Museum and inside the Auditorium along with a brief write up on this small plaque giving the date of his last performance and saying that it was here in Sturgis, MI.
Linda Winkens, President of the Sturgis Historical Society
I have received your message and I will announce the latest news about the plaque in the next DEMS Bulletin, scheduled for 1Aug07.
I will mail tomorrow (25Jun07) a dozen pictures of Duke. I would like you to send them back later if that's not too much trouble. I loan these pictures to the committee's organizing our Duke Ellington Conferences to be exhibited.
The last two concerts Duke played were at the City Auditorium in Sturgis on 22Mar74. This is confirmed by his son in his book "Duke Ellington in Person" on page 200 and also by an article by Les Airey from Ontario in the "Detroit Free Press" of 27oct74 together with two fine photographs of Duke Ellington on his last gig. The article was re-printed in DEMS Bulletin 85/4-8.
The Duke's Last Gig
A legend says "So Long" in Sturgis Michigan.
On March 22, 1974, one month before his 75th birthday, Duke Ellington had a concert date to fill because of a cancellation, and Sturgis, Michigan, had an empty auditorium. So the Duke came to Sturgis, population 9295 for his last gig. But no one knew it at the time.
Carl Alken, who manages the auditorium in the city just north of Indiana in St. Joseph County, was instructed to have a couch ready backstage, and a six-pack of Coke for the jazz-man who had sworn off hard liqour years before.
"When I saw him after the performance, he was a tired old man," Alken said. "He looked like he'd been run through a wringer. But he was still gracious, a real gentleman of the old school."
Duke Ellington who had played his music on every continent, snapped his lithe fingers on the time for Take the "A" Train, Mood Indigo, Satin Doll and Caravan. Then after the 20 piece band had played a half-hour encore, the leader came out alone to the piano, and played Lotus Blossom, a Billy Strayhorn composition that floats like soft wind and water, to a hushed audience.
Afterwards, a girl who played trumpet in the high school band, asked for Duke's autograph. As he gave it, he mischievously probed and found her musical interests. "Well then," he jived, "pack your bags and come along."
One week later, Duke Ellington checked into Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. When he died on May 24, he was suffering from cancer of both lungs and pneumonia.
Thank you for trusting me with the photos. I will see to it that you get them back but would like to display them at the Auditorium that evening, if it is alright with you that I keep them that long.
I love your write up of his biographical information. The details make it very special. May I use that information and say that you and your group provided it at the unveiling?
I do hope that when we get the program firmly scheduled for the presentation of the Historical Marker, that someone from your group can be there and will say a few words. We are tentatively looking at 10/6/2007 [6oct07] as the presentation date. That is a Saturday and we would have the evening available. We most likely will not only have the Historical marker unveiled at the Auditorium but some Jazz orientated bands will perform. We have contacted Purdue University's Jazz Band in Indiana, the University of Michigan's Jazz Band and our local High School band Director. So, if we had all three of them perform it should be quite good. This is still very much in the planning stages, Sjef but I want to keep in touch with you and to make this a very nice presentation. I'm hoping to draw a significant number of people to Sturgis and the Auditorium for this very special occasion.
If anybody want to go to Sturgis for the unveiling of the plaque, we will be happy to send you the full address of Linda, to let you make your arrangements.
Who is the soloist?
A little update (from Jazz Research Group) on my project that was literally stalled due to computer crashes: A couple of years ago I tried Sonogram on my PC, but that computer crashed!
Eventually I am now on a Mac and the software looks amazing. My intention of using Sonogram is to identify early jazz musicians. Not by voice but trying to detect personal characteristics like breath technique, embouchure and tonal differences.
Probably this is pioneer work and I will keep a low profile until I can start drawing any conclusions, but I would like to receive some inputs and guidance from any of you.
Sonogram Home Page: http://www.christoph-lauer.de/
If this works I hope it can solve many uncertainties in the discographies, like Dusk in the Desert. See DEMS 05/2-25; 05/3-37 and 06/2-20.
Ad Lib on Nippon
20Dec66, 6688f. In the December 1999 small correction on the New DESOR I found: 450 - Session 6688. Add in NOTE: Tokyo, the first 4 bars of intro on the LP RCA LPM-3782 and on the CD "The Far East Suite - Special Mix" on Bluebird 07863-66551-2 are different. (see DEMS 99/3-17/2). After the release of "Duke Ellington's Far East Suite" on Bluebird - First Edition 82876-55614-2 (see DEMS 03/3-22/2) a "fresh" Correction-sheet (# 1070)came out. On this Correction-sheet item 6688xa was added, 8 bars by Jimmy Hamilton. Does this addition replace the previous correction?
Is it true that if you have the RCA 24 CD Box, The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition, and the first edition of the Far East Suite on LP RCA LPM-3782 or on the CD RCA Bluebird ND 87640 (see DEMS 88/5-4), you have both versions?
The answer is: yes, you do not have to look for the Special Mix version. You have the same version on the 24 CD box.
To understand your question, I have re-read my own reaction in DEMS 99/3-17/2 to Damon Short's observation that something was different between the Special Mix version and the one originally issued.
I must admit, I was unable to follow what I myself had written in 1999. It is not difficult to express your findings when you are fully occupied with the issue under discussion, and have worked out what that issue is. It is however very difficult to express your findings in such a fashion that you immediately grasp once again what you were getting at when you read it back many years later. I have had this experience several times. I apologize to those who had great difficulty in understanding then what I was trying to say. Even my Italian friends did not completely understand what I meant when I tried to explain about this matter.
I will try to tell the story again.
In the Smithsonian collection there are two takes of "Ad Lib on Nippon". Take -2 has a length of 11:00 and take -4 is 4:05 long. However, both the released versions are longer than 11:00; 11:30 (on the original version) and 11:34 (on the Special Mix version). Even after we have finished arguing about the exact length to the last second of each of these two released versions, we have to accept the fact that the long take -2 is not long enough to be used for either of them. There is at least half a minute's shortfall.
Something went wrong at the end of Tokyo (and without the original take -2, we will never know just what did happen at the end of its 11 minutes).
To make it possible to correct this error in the recording, take -4 was recorded. Take -4 started at 4'05 from the end of "Ad Lib on Nippon". If take -4 had been used in its entirety, the join would have been made at 7:25 or at 7:29 from the start. But my guess is that Duke played a few notes before Jimmy started his first 16 bars for the recording of take -4 and that Duke's introductory notes were dropped (as happened often with studio recordings).
The correction has been made twice, but slightly differently. On one version the join was made at the start of Jimmy Hamilton's 16 bars. In the other version it was made after the first 8 bars of his introduction. The result is that, when we compare the two versions of the introduction, each has a different 8-bar sequence at the start. In the original version these 8 different bars run from 7:37 to 7:55. In the Special Mix version they run from 7:36 to 7:57. Thus, take -2 (which was incomplete at the end) and take -4 (which only covered Tokyo), should both be mentioned as being released: take -2 for Fugi, Igoo and Nagoya, and take -4 for Tokyo. But we will only be able to determine if the variant 8 bars on each of the two versions come from take -2 or from take -4 if we gain access to the original recordings in the Smithsonian Institution.
see DEMS 07/1-42
In discussing the above at "52:03 Satin Doll". The singer is Nancy Wilson, a popular singer with Capitol records at the time. She has recorded a number of popular Duke tunes including Satin Doll.
I can't tell you who the orchestra leader is but from the distance he's from the TV camera, he almost looks like Duke, when he gets up from the piano stool at the end of the song.
Willie Ruff is after all a true Ellingtonian!
I am finally the owner of Timner's "Ellingtonia" and browsing through I found the session of 31 Dec 1964. I was in NY that Christmas and went with friends to listen to Duke at the Basin Street club. I know that it was between the 26-30 Dec but the exact date has gone from my memory. The reason I write is that the night I was there Willie Ruff was playing with the band. He played one of the tenor sax books. As you know the French Horn is in F but must have a switch to turn them into B flat instruments or maybe he was transposing.
I don't know if this would be of interest to Mr Timner or DEMS but I thought it would interest you as Willie Ruff's only other connection has been with Billy Strayhorn and the Riverside Drive Five, etc.
In my experience transposition is second nature to French horn players.
Where can I find take -2 of Creole Love Call ?
I am trying to find the recording of Creole Love Call from 1Sep49 in the New DESOR 4915f. Can you help me?
I have made a copy for you of my French double LP CBS 88128, "The World of Duke Ellington" side One track 4 and here is my description of the three different takes.
In Creole Love Call, the first chorus has 11 bars for Kay Davis and the last bar is for Johnny Hodges and Duke.
In take 1, Johnny starts before Duke.
In take 2, and in the rehearsal on Up To Date, Duke starts before Johnny.
In every take, Duke makes the connection between the second chorus (by Ray Nance) and the third chorus (by Kay Davis).
In take 1, there are no extra bars in between the second and third choruses.
In take 2, there is one extra bar between second and third choruses, by Duke.
In the rehearsal there is even a coda by Duke and Ray Nance at the end of the second chorus and a short complete silence before Kay Davis starts her chorus (the third).
Your description has given me a lot to listen to and to compare. The New DESOR gives for DE4915f only Co DZ-725. I have looked around and found the French LP CBS 88128 mentioned in DEMS Bulletin 03/2-24 under number 1191 "Still missing". The number 88128 is not mentioned in the New DESOR. In Bruyninckx Swing Discography vol. 4, I found that this double LP is "The World of Duke Ellington Volume 2". This double LP is mentioned in the New DESOR with the label number KG-33341, see item 0251 on page 1336. I have this double LP in my collection. The New DESOR gives for track A4-Creole Love Call 4915e and not 4915f. Tom Lord (The Jazz Discography 7.0) gives (as did Bruyninckx) 33341 for take -1 and 88128 for take -2. After I compared the takes, I found out that KG-33341 also has 4915f and not 4915e.
As early as in DEMS Bulletin 81/4-3 Benny Aasland gave the following survey for 1Sep49 Creole Love Call:
CO 41688 Up to Date 2003
CO 41688-1 Co 38606, 1-369, CL-558
CO 41688-2 CoSw DZ-725, CoUS 33341 (2-LP set),
and possibly CoD DD-555
I believe that you are right and that the New DESOR is wrong. [Tom Lord was right in his 1993 hard copy edition where he put both KG33341 and CBS(F)88128 on one line after take -2].
The rare LP "Serenade to Sweden"
We all know that Alice Babs recorded with Duke in Paris on 28Feb and 1Mar63 for the Reprise album RS 5024 (see DEMS 00/4-5). It seems that this album was only released in Europe and not in the US. It appeared on the "want-list" of many Ellington collectors and may still do. We were upset when it was not included in the Mosaic 5CD box with Reprise recordings (see DEMS 99/4-16/3 and 00/3-16/1).
It seems that the Reprise LP was dubbed onto the LP Telestar TRS 11100, made by Teldec for GRAMMOFON AB ELECTRA, Sweden. A DEMS member has two copies of this LP and he would like to sell one. He asks 25 Euro for mailing it to an address in Europe and 35 USD if he has to mail it to any other part of the world. If you are interested, please let us know. We will give him your name and address.
Casa Mañana from Feb41
See DEMS 06/3-5
The drummer on these 1941 Casa Mañana broadcasts is to my ears someone other than Sonny Greer. I played the various titles over the phone to Brooks Kerr and Jim Berkeley, and both agree it's not Sonny.
According to the "California Eagle" of 23Jan41:
"High School Lad in Duke's Band.
Because of the sudden illness of Duke Ellington's drummer, Sonny Greer, Forrest Hamilton, student at Jefferson High School, was selected to fill his position. Forrest is a former member of Al Adams' band, a local favorite.
School activities recently forced him to decline an offer from Lionel Hampton. He graduates with the class of this semester on Jan. 29."
Forrest Hamilton is no other than Chico Hamilton.
Johnny Hodges Centenary
On the 25th of July, we could have remembered Johnny Hodges on his birthday. The man who was not only a great musician but also a diligent composer of melodies.
One of my favorites is Going Out the Back Way from 1941.
In an attempt to honor Johnny I collected his compositions in a list that comprises 186 melodies and is complete to my knowledge. The New DESOR references are included and also included are the recordings where Duke himself was not present at the session.
The list is now available through this link:
I would be grateful for any additions, corrections or other comments.