DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
07/3 December 2007 - March 2008
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
DISCUSSIONS - ADDITIONS - CORRECTIONS
See DEMS 07/1-44
In all the enthusiasm recently expressed about this album [Mosaic MCD 1014], has no one noticed the deliberate mistake made by Mosaic (except I understand it wasn't deliberate and they are embarrassed by it).
They show the trumpet section as containing Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Shorty Baker and Ray Nance plus Cootie Williams! According to Timner, it was Francis (France) Williams who filled this role at Newport - not on the studio session - and he notes Bill Graham as a sixth reedman on the studio date. Why was Graham there - did he replace Hodges on some tracks - if so, which? Certainly not in Multicolored Blue...
Are you sure it was Francis Williams? Jimmy Maxwell told me that he subbed at the last minute at Newport in 1956, but it turned out (when we saw a picture) that it was someone else. So maybe it was him in 1958. It was definitely him one year.
I am just repeating what Timner's 4th edition says, so you could possibly be right. I do not suppose there are many people around now who would remember for sure.
The New DESOR for 3Jul58 Newport, DE5824a-r, shows Francis Williams, Shorty Baker, Ray Nance, Clark Terry and Cat Anderson in the trumpet section.
For 21Jul58 Studio session, DE5826a-i, Francis Williams is listed as out and Bill Graham (as) is shown as "added" to the section which of course consisted of the usual 5 reed players. Thus, Graham may not have replaced anyone, but simply been added to the section sound?
Another thing, I see where Mosaic lists the session as being "Mono", but to my ears, from the original LP CS 8072, even excluding the added applause, the sound of the orchestra definitely is in stereo. Can anyone who has the Mosaic set say whether it is mono or stereo?
The notes to the Mosaic explain they couldn't use the stereo masters of the studio set, because they'd had the endings (and openings) chopped up on tape to accommodate the fake applause. Therefore, they went with the mono masters, which had not been mutilated, as the only way of presenting the studio session without the added intrusions.
There can be no doubt about Francis Williams being in the band as fifth trumpeter in the 1958 Newport concerts.
1. Giovanni Volonté wrote in a letter of 31Jan93: "A word about the 18Jul58 concert: we believe, as you do, that Oscar Pettiford is present during the whole concert; on the contrary, the presence of Francis Williams is not confirmed neither in this concert, nor in the studio three days later: we maintain this soloist only on the 3Jul58 Newport concert, because Francis Williams himself claimed his presence at Newport on 3Jul58, as he told us."
2. Francis Williams is in the text of Duke's Diary by Ken Vail Volume 2 on page 122, and on page 123 clearly visible as fifth trumpet-player in a photograph of the band on stage, playing El Gato.
3. The double CD Columbia C2K-53584 has on track 1 Willis Conover introducing the musicians and mentioning in the trumpet section from left to right: Clark Terry, Shorty Baker, Cat Anderson, Francis Williams and Ray Nance.
There is something odd about the start of this double CD.
On track 2 is the full Take the "A" Train, almost a complete chorus of 28 bars, anyway longer than the 16 bars on the LPs CBS 65113 (Stereo) and Philips B 07367 L (Mono). It is strange that after that signature tune Duke thanked Mitch Miller for his announcement, causing the author of the liner-notes for the double CD (John Ephland) to observe in his notes, written in Match 1994, apparently for Down Beat: "and [Duke] operating with his tongue firmly in cheek (listen, after his being introduced, to his calling emcee Willis Conover "Mitch Miller", ....).." (page 6 right column).
What happened? Prior to the concert, which not started with Princess Blue as claimed by John Ephland (page 9 at the end of the left column,), there was a radio performance by the Ellington orchestra (including Princess Blue and Duke's Place according to the text on the backside of the double CD box) followed by the Dave Brubeck quartet. This broadcast, an audio copy of which is in the DEMS collection, starts with Mitch Miller announcing "Duke Ellington and his famous orchestra playing his theme and Newport Up." Mitch Miller said at bar 14 of the first and only chorus of Take the "A" Train something like "O.K. Duke?..Newport Up?". Duke said at bar 21 "Thank you very much, Mitch Miller..." Duke and Mitch must have used different mikes, because the recording on the double CD has Duke's word of thanks but not the announcement and the remark made by Mitch Miller. The recording of the music is identical.
Duke announced Princess Blue and after the performance of that number, the broadcast continued with Mitch Miller mentioning the title Princess Blue and announcing a certain Michael Lemon, former New York editor of Down Beat, who narrated a commercial titled "Notes on Jazz", promoting Virginia Dair Wine, red, white or pink, which was claimed to enhance your pleasure when listening to Jazz. See also DEMS 06/2-28. I believe it was the same Michael who continued after the commercial with: "For more Jazz from the festival, back to the stage and Mitch Miller." Mitch Miller made a long speech resulting in the announcement of Duke's Place. After the performance of that number Mitch announced again Michael Lemon for another "Notes on Jazz". Here the audio recording of the broadcast is interrupted. What follows is the announcement by Mitch Miller of the appearance of Dave Brubeck. This is also aborted and our tape continues with the announcement by Mitch Miller of a group of eight former Ellington sidemen, during which the first selection, East St. Louis Toodle-O is already playing. Mitch announced that number as East St. Louis and announced at the same time the following number Rockin' in Rhythm. After Rockin' in Rhythm Mitch announced another "Jazz Notes" by Michael Lemon, also skipped from our tape, continuing with the announcement of New Concerto for Cootie, after which Mitch announced Jeep Is Jumpin'. This selection is not on our tape. Our tape continues with the announcement of C-Jam Blues, not by Mitch Miller but by Rex Stewart (and not by Oscar Pettiford). At the end of C-Jam Blues, Mitch Miller announced the next one-hour broadcast, "tomorrow". During the announcements by Mitch the names were mentioned of the eight musicians: Rex Stewart, Cootie Williams, Tyree Glenn, Hilton Jefferson, Ben Webster, Billy Strayhorn, Oscar Pettiford and Sonny Greer. These names were confirmed by Willis Conover who apparently not only emceed the Ellington concert that evening but also the performance of the Ellington alumni earlier in the day. The Conover introduction of the alumni concert came with a more complete copy of their stage performance that was generously given to DEMS by Hans-Joachim Schmidt.
In the short Ellington performance (theme and two selections) used for the broadcast as well as in the recording of the concert by the Ellington alumni, from which only the theme and three selections were used for the same broadcast, the announcer was Mitch Miller. But the introduction on stage for the alumni concert and for Duke's concert later that day starting with Scratchin' the Surface (and not with Princess Blue) the MC was Willis Conover (John Ephland should have read Irving Townsend's liner-notes of the original LP album to find out about the opening number of the concert). There are several possibilities for explaining why we hear Duke thanking Mitch Miller, which he actually did during his opening Take the "A" Train for the broadcast, and why we do not hear Mitch Miller himself. The fact is that track 1 of the double CD (the introduction by Willis Conover) was recorded at the start of the whole concert with Scratchin' the Surface. The New DESOR is also wrong in placing the opening theme on track 2 of the double CD at the end of the studio recording of 21Jul58 and giving it the number 5826i. The opening theme on both my LPs is also from 3Jul and not from 21Jul58. It would not make sense for Duke to thank Mitch Miller at bar 21, and that is why on both my LPs the opening theme ends at bar 16 and applause is dubbed in. We see on the recording report of 3Jul58 "(tape from Newport Festival)" as the first selection Take the "A" Train with the hand written remark: Canc Not used. That is not correct. The theme of the broadcast recording was used for both my LPs and for my double CD. The piece is long enough to convince me through synchronous comparison.
Another obvious error in the title list on the back of the double CD is the claim that Willis Conover introduced Mahalia Jackson. Willis introduced Frankie Laine and Frankie introduced Mahalia. Also, the claim that Just Scratchin' the Surface, Feetbone, Prima Bara Dubla and El Gato were previously unissued is wrong.
There are more errors in the liner-notes: on page 4 only four trumpet players are mentioned, and one of them is Francis "Cootie" Williams. The real Charles Melvin "Cootie" Williams had not been in the band since 1940, and he would not return to it until 1962. He did however play with the alumni on the same day at Newport 1958.
On page 6 left column John Ephland made the condescending remark about the Ellington scholars who did not know what they were talking about when they reviewed Newport 1958 [these scholars in 1958 were not aware of the fact that a great part came from the studio and John Ephland himself was not aware of the many errors he made in 1994].
All this criticism is about the liner-notes by John Ephland for the double CD. One would expect that Michael Cuscuna in the new 2007 liner-notes would make the appropriate corrections, but instead he makes a few errors of his own. Track 13 of his new single CD was previously issued on LP CBS 88653 in 1984 and on CD Giants of Jazz 53066 in 1990. The confusion about the subtitles of Multicolored Blue continues. Multicolored Blue is the same as Violet Blue and was composed by Billy Strayhorn. It is a 12 bar blues. Ultra Blue is the same as Ultra Violet and the same as How Blue Can You Get. It was composed by Jimmy Hamilton and has the 32 bar structure AABA. It should not be confused with How Blue Can You Get, the 12 bar blues composed by Leonard Feather and recorded with Chubby Kemp on 21Sep50 (see DEMS 03/1-28, p1255).
For the release itself, I have only the greatest praise. It is a real pleasure to hear the music without the stupid applause even if that music is in Mono.
To answer the second question at the start of this debate, how do we know that Bill Graham was in the studio on 21Jul58? Well William H. Graham is mentioned as sixth saxophone player on the recording report of the American Federation of Musicians for the session on 21Jul58 which ran from 2:30 until 6:30 and resulted in the recording of 8 selections, numbered from CO 61280 until and including CO 61287.
It was a good idea to look in Timner's fourth edition. The personnel listings of 3 and 21Jul58 are now correct. Only the one of 18Jul is wrong. There is no proof of Bill Graham playing in Stoney Brook that day. I bet that this will be corrected in the fifth edition to come (see DEMS 07/2-3), and that Oscar Pettiford will be shown as taking part in that whole concert.
Mosaic Capitol 5 CD box out of print
See DEMS 06/3-31
Your tailpiece to the details of titles released on Definitive's 4 CD set of Capitols regretted that 9 had been omitted since they were "unique and unissued". In fact, the first 3 listed appear on Chronological Classics (1953) and the next 3 on (1953 vol 2). Presumably, when they get to 1954 CC will issue Discontented Blues and Neatwork will issue the alternate Harlem Air Shaft.
You are right, but in our defence we must say that the 1953 vol 2 Chronological Classics had not yet come out at the time of writing. Also, we did not say that all, but that almost all, the missing selections were unique and unissued. We admit that we overlooked CC 1953 vol 1 which was not announced until the catalogue of Worlds Records of Nov06. See in this Bulletin 07/3-40/41/42.
Cotton Club Stomp of 22Apr30
May I add a tailpiece: this recording appeared as Keep Your Temper on Hot'n Sweet CD 152242. That was issued in 1993 and presumably the renaming followed the announcement in DEMS Bulletin 83/3-3. May I suggest, in addition, that this recording should simply be known as Cotton Club Stomp No. 2 ? It doesn't seem to be any other tune!
A similar remark was made by Bo Sherman in DEMS Bulletin 83/4-1. He wrote:
"There are a few errors. I have listened to four different recordings:
Blue Rhythm Orchestra (c 29oct25, Clarence Williams(!), VJM VLP-5);
Gulf Coast 7, (5Nov25, Sound of Harlem, Col. C3L-33);
Gulf Coast 7, Original Jazz Hounds (VJM VLP-45);
Willie "The Lion" Smith - Jo Jones (Jazz Odyssey 006) and
Ralph Sutton (Chez Jazz CJ-107).
It is not the same composition as the Brunswick version Cotton Club Stomp (22Apr30). Both are based on the same short melodic figure ("riff") in variations, but the melodic structure is different. The Cotton Club Stomp version includes 32 bars and "stick" release, contrary to Keep Your Temper which has 32 bars without a bridge. There are more differences.
The Brunswick 6Jun39 Cotton Club Stomp version is the same composition as the Victor 12Apr29 ("A Nite at the Cotton Club") and 3May29 versions. You may compare the Freddie Jenkins chorus in the Victor versions against the melody presentation in the later 1939 version."
The oldest mention of the title Cotton Club Stomp that we have been able to trace in discographies was Charles Delaunay (1948). After Bo Sherman's contribution, the 22Apr30 recording was named as "Unknown Title" or it was made clear in a note that this was a different composition.
The wrong title Keep Your Temper originates from an article by Jacques Lubin in "Point du Jazz" No 18 (Nov82)
Credits for Cotton Club Stomp
See DEMS 07/1-15
Your suggestion that Benny looked on the wrong line and took the credits from Shout 'Em, Aunt Tillie. I do not believe he consulted the ASCAP listing but that he (as I do for my forthcoming The Standard Groove Index), looked at the credits on the record labels. There are even three differentcredits for Cotton Club Stomp on various labels.
On the labels on my 78 rpm records with the 3May29 recording I found 'Rodgers-Carney-Ellington', which is evidently an error and should read 'Hodges-Carney-Ellington'.
On the labels on my 78 rpm records with the 22Apr30 recording I found (as Benny did) the credits 'Mills-Ellington'. Benny changed the sequence into 'Ellington-Mills' and also used these credits for the 3May29 recording. In the meantime we all know that the recordings of 3May29 and 22Apr30 are different compositions. I suggest that the New DESOR on page 811 accepts these credits for Cotton Club Stomp #.
On the labels on my 78 rpm records with the 6Jun39 recording I found (as Benny did) 'Ellington-Hodges-Mills'. This recording is again the same composition as the one from 3May29.
The Greek Theatre, Los
The distribution of the recorded selections between the two different dates is based on two presumptions: The constant chat from the audience on the tape makes us believe that the portable recording was made from one single concert. We also believe that the much more elaborated version of Tap Dancer's Blues in the portable recording as well as the differences in Duke's remarks in the introductions to the two versions of Tap Dancer's Blues indicate that the portable recording of that selection is younger than the version on the CD. In the first concert, we hear only Duke's piano in Tap Dancer's Blues. In the second concert there is also a simple melody line played by the band.
Tap Dancer's Blues is a well known title. Listen to the recording of 18Jul66 on the Fantasy album "Duke Ellington - The Pianist". There is no reason to name this selection Tap Routine.
We are not sure that the title I Got a Guy is the correct one.
Alun Morgan wrote in the liner-notes about Take the "A" Train: "After a brief version of the tune Ellington brings on the trumpeter Cootie Williams to take the featured solo on a longer version of the tune, an unusual choice of soloist in some respects. Cootie plays the trumpet solo first placed on record 25 years earlier when Ray Nance improvised this passage on the earliest studio-made version of Take the "A" Train."
We wonder whether this passage was indeed an improvisation by Ray Nance in 1941. As far as Cootie Williams is concerned: Cootie took over the "solo responsibility" after Ray left in Sep63. Prior to the stay at the Greek Theatre, he played the same solo many times from which 19 recordings survived, the best known being the RCA recording from 9May66, issued on the LP "The Popular Duke Ellington" and later on the CD "In the Sixties Duke Ellington".
On the "cover" of the CD, the credits for all the musicians are scrupulously divided into 5 categories. It could be a matter for discussion how far we would like to see our discographers go in this direction. One could find DESOR being too strict by excluding every recording in which Duke himself was not participating. There are examples of performances, recorded on video, where we can see Duke leaving the stage (probably to smoke a cigarette). These recordings are (rightly) not excluded. Why wouldn't we accept the selections with Ella, accompanied by the band? We are not even sure if and when Duke returned on stage during Ella's "portion." We only know that he is replaced on the piano. We accept the recordings with Billy Strayhorn when he replaced Duke and that is very wise, because many times we simply do not know whether Billy or Duke is playing. We also include in the discography the recordings with Jimmy Jones for the albums "Jazz Party" in Feb59 and "My People" in Aug63.
Art Pilkington's Tapes
Check and Double Check
NEW MOSAIC RECORDS WEBSITE
Maybe I Should Change My
Ella's version of I'm
Beginning To See the
And Russia Is Her
American Hot Wax 78 rpm
I have recently come across a what
I deem a rare
78rpm record. The label is "AMERICAN HOT WAX". The
the label implies that it was made for the Juke Box
On one side (#8) is Take the "A" Train by Duke Ellington. On the flip side (#7) is In the Still of the Night by The Five Satins.
"A Train" is a live recording by the Ellington Orchestra with a fairly long introduction by Duke and then followed by a solo by Ray Nance. I am unable to tell from which date this recording was made. Have you possibly any knowledge about this record ?
I can only confirm its existence, but I have never seen a copy. According to Jerry Valburn's files (which I was allowedto consult) your statements are correct. I can only add that the record was made in England, that it is one of a series of 15 vinyl records pressed for Juke Box use and that it is not a master pressing but a copy. Jerry does not have details of the recording other than: unidentified broadcast or concert performance. If you send me an audio copy I will be happy to identify the recording.
Included is a tape with Take the "A" Train from the 78rpm American Hot Wax and a photocopy of the label. I am very interested to learn from which date this recording is emanating. I can find no description in the New DESOR that fits.
The recording of Take the "A"
from Newport 7Jul56. It is documented in the New DESOR
5613-d which is (as DESOR says) the same as 5407-m.
Check it. The
description is flawless. The arrangement of this
number was played
for quite a long period until the end of 1961.