DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
08/1 April-July 2008
Our 30th Year of Publication
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
Oscar Peterson died in Toronto on 23Dec07. He did not have a prominent place in Duke's discography (he only played with the band on 14Apr and 1Jul67), but he had a very prominent place in the field of good music. A very nice video recording which we can recommend highly, titled "Oscar Peterson: Music in the Key of Oscar" was issued in 1995 on tape and later (in 2004) as a DVD by View Video, Jazz Series 2351. Our copy is for NTSC. We hope that also a PAL version is available. Go to: <http://www.view.com>.
The Treasury broadcasts
See DEMS 6/3-16
Nice to hear from you — hope to see you at the Ellington Conference in May!
I can assure that we will continue the series - we plan to have the next ready for the Conference. I am in touch with Jerry Valburn and we hope to start the production soon.
Best regards and Happy New Year,
Mona Granager for Storyville Records
from a message by Jerry Valburn to Lance Travis:
I know you'll be pleased to know that DETS 9013 is in production (including your liner notes) and should be ready and on sale at the London conference in May.
Goodness me! This is indeed good news, if it is true!
From our Swedish friends
Please note that the Duke Ellington Society of Sweden now has a new website address and its contents are also new throughout, with the ambition to also include some material in English. Therefore, please change the link to ellington.se
The Buryatia stamps
See DEMS 07/3-4
The Buryat stamps are fakes according to Wikipedia: Quoted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buryatia>. Chapter "Miscellaneous"
The Republic uses the postage stamps of Russia, so it does not issue its own postage stamps. Stamps of Buryatia or Buriatia offered on eBay are fakes.
Peter K. Schulz, AICP
The most important New FIND is undoubtedly the latest DVD from the Norman Grantz collection, showing us most of the recording session for the Album "Duke's Big Four".
For a detailed review of this DVD go to DEMS 08/1-9
More New FINDS
Are you aware of the Paul Gonsalves website <www.paulgonsalves.org>? At present there is a lovely article by Art Luby which is worth checking out. Secondly there is a website called 'one night stand with the big bands' which has an archive of interviews with famous big band leaders one of which is Duke <www.goldenage-wtic.org>. The date of the interview is 3Jun71 but I can't find it in the discographies. Could you help?
Thank you for the tip. The Art Luby article is very good. The Ellington interview is indeed not mentioned in Duke's discographies. It must have been recorded on 7May71, backstage, when he played a benefit at the Bushnell Memorial Auditorium in Hartford, CT. The date of broadcast was 3Jun71. The greatest part of the broadcast is filled with commercials and with Ellington recordings. Duke made only a few short statements but it is "fresh". Not mentioned in any discography. Thanks!! If somebody wants to go directly to the interview, you should go to www.goldenage-wtic.org/BB06_Duke_Ellington.mp3
"Duke Ellington's America"
See DEMS 07/3-12
The author of this book, Harvey G. Cohen, is expected to give a presentation in London at the next Ellington Conference (22-26May08). We have spoken to a DEMS member who had the privilege to read Harvey's original dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland, for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 2002. Dr John Hasse was a member of the Advisory Committee. Our spokesman was excited about the book. It gives a clear picture of the overall importance of Ellington for the culture in the United States. Not only as a musician or composer but also as one of the most important figures in the US of the last century. We sincerely hope that the book will be published in time for the next conference. But if that deadline is not met, it will be worthwhile to wait for it until it will be available in the bookstores.
Eagle Vision EREDV 431 (double DVD, 2008)
Duke Ellington at the Côte d'Azur with Ella Fitzgerald and Joan Miró
Duke: The Last Jam Session (see DEMS 08/1-9)
This double DVD is a bargain. It is less expensive than most of my single DVDs. It contains a total of 74 minutes at the Côte d'Azur and even 106 minutes in the studio making the recordings for the album "Duke's Big Four". But it is not only a bargain. It is one of the most sensational documentaries of Ellington on screen.
The Côte d'Azur recordings were released earlier on videotape and on Laser Disc. Since all the old DEMS Bulletins are accessible now I do not have to write a full report of this DVD. I can direct you to the report by Klaus Götting and myself in 00/2-9 and 10. There is only one correction to be made. We have stated that the comments, spoken by Duke during the film are not mentioned in any discography. That is not true. The recording of his comments, made in Paris in Duke's hotel room is mentioned in session 6737, dated as March 1967. We have followed Klaus Stratemann, who mentioned on page 539 that the recording was made in January 1967 and we figured that it must have been some hours before his two evening concerts on 31Jan67 at the Salle Pleyel.
I have however some remarks to make about the liner-notes. Jacques Muyal suggests that Duke improvised The Shepherd at the Maeght Foundation on 27Jul66. That is not true. He recorded it on 18Jul66 in the studio. This recording was later released on the album "The Pianist", Fantasy 98.561, see DEMS 88/1-3. What seems even more untrue is the statement that Ella was informed only hours before the concert that her sister had passed away. One could ask: which concert? Not the one of 27Jul, when she only sang Let's Do It and Satin Doll. The numbers mentioned by Jacques are Something To Live For and So Danço Samba. These two numbers may have been filmed on 29Jul, the audio recording used for the film dates from 28Jul.
This is what we read in Derek Jewell's "A portrait of Duke Ellington" page 128. "….the project was threatened when Ella's sister, Frances, died in America. She cancelled her original booking for the Monday night concert of 25Jul and flew back to the States for the funeral, but returned quickly to pick up her Antibes concerts scheduled for 27, 28 and 29Jul, although plainly still very upset by the bereavement." This report by Jewell raises new questions. We know that Duke and the band were travelling on Monday the 25th. What kind of a concert can Ella have cancelled for the 25th? Maybe a performance without the Ellington band? If she was back for the concert on 27Jul, after the funeral (on the 26th?), she must have heard of Frances death a few days before the 25th. She must have been in Europe before the Ellington band. That can all have been the case, but the statement by Jacques Muyal cannot be true in the same time as the somewhat mystified report by Derek Jewell. Nat Hentoff apparently accepted Muyal's version. I don't. The Jewell report seems more plausible because as he continues about this matter, the facts support his version. He continued as follows:
"… the concert [of 27Jul] finally got under way. Duke and the band were playing well. Ella was not at her best and appeared at times to be crying. Duke cut in early with the band to end the first half, apparently trying to help, and returned for the final set under the impression that Ella probably wouldn't be in state to come back again. He was inspired. As the music built up to climax after climax, the audience lit up too, screaming for more. The more excited they got, the more Ellington played, until Granz was observed scowling up at the stage and calling out to Ellington. He was trying to get Duke to bring Ella back for her final appearance. Either Ellington didn't hear, or he chose not to hear — probably the former at first — but as Granz' voice grew louder, the message must have got through.
Duke's response was to play louder and louder, longer and longer, and
he said afterwards he had been affronted by what he considered to be Granz'
rudeness, as well as his lack of understanding of Ella's distress."
Well the fact is that Ella only did three numbers: Let's Do It, Satin Doll and Cotton Tail at the end of the first set. I wasn't there. But I think that Jacques Muyal wanted to dramatise his story a bit.
At the end of his article about Antibes, Jacques does not mention all the previous releases and the Verve 8 CD box did not feature the complete concerts. See DEMS 98/4-12.
My comment on the article by Claude Carrière is negligible. He wrote: "When the band had come the previous February, there were two drummers, Elvin Jones and Skeets Marsh." Claude should have written "previous January". When the band came back to Paris in February (on 11Feb66). Sam was already back (since 2Feb66 in Basel).
What puzzled me is the spelling of the name of Paul Gonsalves in the film. It is spelled several times as Gonzalves. In the booklet the spelling is right.
The Last Jam Session
The second DVD is the greatest "New Find" since a long time. It contains almost completely the recordings for the album "Duke's Big Four" plus a lot more. One would expect that the recordings of the different selections on this DVD were more complete or at least exactly identical with the recordings on the Pablo album. But that is strangely enough not always the case. To start with the first selection used for the album, Just Squeeze Me, it is difficult to believe but still true: the recording on the DVD is not complete. For unknown and incomprehensible reasons the second half of chorus 3° and the first 8 bars of chorus 4° have been deleted. Maybe the camera fell on the floor, but that must have happened very quietly, because nothing can be heard on the album. If you do not believe me, you should listen to the replay after the recording was made. That replay is identical with the album track 6 with only the last 11 bars of chorus 5° and the only 6 bars of chorus 6° missing because the replay was interrupted in the studio, but choruses 3° and 4° are complete now! The "cut" is rather easy to spot. It is on the moment of the start of Ray Brown's solo. What you have on your CD between 2:48 and 3:40 is gone.
Something strange happens with the next tune, Carnegie Blues. After some rehearsal sounds comes the first and only take. But after that has been shown on screen we have another showing of the end of the recording starting at the 8° chorus (on the audio CD at 3:39). One wonders why the editor has repeated that sequence. It is followed by an audio replay in the studio that starts approximately in the middle of the 4° chorus and runs until the end.
Also with The Hawk Talks some editing was done. The description of the audio track 3 in the New DESOR starts with an intro of 4 bars by Joe Pass, followed by a not complete 1° chorus of 8bars by Joe Pass, 2 bars by Ray Brown and 14 bars by Joe Pass. During the 2 bars by Ray Brown, one can clearly hear Ray Brown's voice. This intro plus the not complete first chorus are missing on the DVD. Probably because of Ray Brown's voice this part of the recording has been deleted. What we have on the DVD starts with an intro of 8 bars by Ellington taken from somewhere else, followed immediately by the 2° chorus as described in the New DESOR. Duke's intro is not on the audio album. It must have been joined in front of the 2° chorus. The joint is hardly noticeable on the DVD. The first 0:30 on the CD have been replaced by 8 bars by Ellington.
There are three rehearsal takes of Prelude to a Kiss, followed by the first rehearsal of Cotton Tail. Now comes the recording of Prelude to a Kiss, which was used for the album. This is again followed by two takes of Cotton Tail from which the first was presented by Patricia Willard in Stockholm on 14May04 and the second was used for the Pablo album. The second was also used for the Philippe Koechlin & Dominique Cazenave documentary about Norman Granz made for Canal+ in 1993.
It seems that Everything But You was recorded in one take, but one cannot be sure since we know that there has been quite some editing done.
From Love You Madly the first part is missing, actually the first 50 bars on the album were deleted from the DVD. The DVD starts when the CD is on 1:30.
In the liner-notes it is suggested that "Duke and Ray Brown recreate[d] for their own pleasure their Fragmented Suite for Piano and Bass which they had invented together and entrusted to the microphones of the same producer one month before…" This is not true. They recorded the fourth movement at the end of this (8Jan73) session. Only the first two bars by Duke are missing on the DVD. This recording at the end of the session is probably the same as what in the old and in the New DESOR is indicated by the title Caravan. There is a slight resemblance between Caravan and the fourth movement.
Patricia Willard gave me a helping hand to identify some of the people in the audience. You see Stanley Dance, Bob and Evelyn Udkoff, Ray Brown's wife, Cecelia Brown. Next to Stanley during the taping of Prelude to a Kiss and following numbers is Joe Morgen, Duke's New York Press representative. Joe falls asleep during the taping and Stanley awakens him. This last occurrence is not on the DVD but it is on Patricia's tape.
I have not mentioned all the rehearsals and alternate takes. I hope that Luciano Massagli and Giovanni Volonté will supply us with a full description of the whole session and that we will be able to make correction-sheets for those friends who want to keep their New DESOR up to date.
I was again upset to see that the sequence of the recordings was disturbed by putting the selections on the CD, but who knows. Maybe we do not know the correct sequence since the material on the DVD has heavily been edited.
The text on my Pablo 2310 721 dates everything on the CD to 5Dec73, which is clearly wrong, and a typo for 1972. It's a straight copy of the LP.
Bear in mind also that the track titled See See Rider is in fact Mr J B Blues.
The title of the third movement of "Fragmented Suite for Piano and Bass" is Pleadin' as on the album "Piano in the Foreground".
The DVD session was filmed at a different location than the "Blanton" session. When I got the LP of the "Blanton" I got a large 12x12 booklet that contained notes and pictures, in black and white, some of the pictures were reproduced in sepia for the CDOJCCD-810-2. Duke was wearing a light colored sweater and Ray a dark. This is of course just the opposite of the clothing for the DVD. In addition Ray is shown at Duke's side, not at Duke's back as in the DVD, and the studio certainly looks different.
These were Duke's words after he finished the fourth movement: "It is a good abstract, ain't it?" One can hear these words just before the recordings ends. In this context it seems that the best "translation" of "abstract" is "summary". So Duke probably wants to say that he thinks that the fourth movement (as it was called later) is a good summary of ….? This can be the "Fragmented Suite", which contained only three movements on that moment, or this can be the whole session with Ray on 5Dec72. It is even possible that he wants to say that this was a good summary of the whole session of 8Jan73. Who knows? I suggest that we ask our English speaking friends what they think it means. It is fascinating!