DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
10/1 April - July 2010
Our 32nd Year of Publication
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
I regret to report that the drummer Ed Thigpen passed away on 13 January 2010. It has been stated on the website http://www.edthigpen.com/, where condolences can be delivered.
The drummer was for a period member of the Oscar Peterson trio, and recorded the LP “Night Train”. Later he also played with Ella Fitzgerald. Already in the sixties he made some recordings in Europe, and in 1972 he settled in Copenhagen, where he made a comprehensive number of recordings.
Ed Thigpen was excellent with brushes and it was a delight to hear his elegant and discreet playing on many recordings. He has also written a book on drumming.
Ed Thigpen joined the Ellington Orchestra on several occasions when he accompanied Ella Fitzgerald. On one of these, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles (23 and 24Sep66), he also played the drums in Tap Dancer's Blues with the full orchestra.
A great jazz man has died.
John Norris, founder of CODA, Canada's Jazz Magazine, and co-founder with Bill Smith of Sackville Records, died this evening, January 31...heart-related. He had just passed his 76th birthday in early January.
His wife Sandy says there'll be no traditional service, but later a memorial service, and I'm sure there'll be Jazz! Though not a musician, he lived a Jazz Life, dedicating his life and knowledge and resources to the music.
from Gwenn Terry
14Dec09. Thank you for the links for your Bulletin.
I just wanted you to know that Clark is receiving one of the 2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards at the upcoming ceremony on January 30, 2010!
Here's one of the links: http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/the-blender/the-blender/2009/12/clark-terry-getting-recording-academy-lifetime-achievement-award/
We're still doing preliminary work with a publisher for Clark's autobiography. We'll keep you updated. Gwen Terry
Check out this page
One who is not too young to receive the honors... good news!
Khuld Hall in Baghdad
I found a concert recording on YouTube called "Le Roi du Jazz Americaine, Duke Ellington et son Orchestre", with the following content:
Intro*Afro-Bossa; Stompin' at the Savoy; *Guitar Amour; Perdido; Honeysuckle Rose;
Tootie for Cootie; Kinda Dukish & Rockin' in Rhythm; I Got It Bad;
Things Ain't What They Used To Be; The Eighth Veil; Medley; *Diminuendo in Blue & Wailing Interval; *Lush Life into *Take the "A" Train (Billy Strayhorn) & close.
The Medley consists of *Satin Doll, *Solitude, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Mood Indigo,
I'm Beginning To See the Light, Sophisticated Lady, Caravan, Do Nothin 'Till You Hear from Me,
I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart & Don't Get Around Much Anymore.
I am convinced this is from the Middle East tour in 1963, and by comparing the programme with those of other venues, I believe it must be from November. Also, Ray Nance is not present in the trumpet section.
I haven't seen any reference to this particular event in DESOR. New Timner has a note on a similar event said to be in either Beiruth or Karachi.
I hope you have better info on this event. If you want to check on YouTube, the easiest way is to search for "Duke Ellington et son Orchestre".
Anders agreed that we should publish this terrific New Find on the Duke-LYM list and not wait until the April Bulletin came out.
The selections with an asterisk have been used for a French documentary "La Légende du Duke". Klaus Götting reported about this documentary in DEMS 01/2-11 and referred to it later in 08/3-20.
After Honeysuckle Rose is a splice; after Things Ain't What They Used To Be Duke asked, "Time again?"; after The Eighth Veil is again a splice. It is obvious that these splices were made in the recording to get rid of the commercials in between and that Duke wanted to know when to interrupt his concert again to wait for the commercials being aired. This must have been a live telecast. There were two live telecasts according to Klaus Stratemann page 680. One on 5Nov63 from Teheran and one on 14Nov at the Khuld Hall in Baghdad. Ken Vail helps us out. He writes on page 230 of the second volume of his "Duke's Diary" that the 5Nov63 live telecast came from the ballroom of the Royal Teheran Hotel. He does not give details of the second live telecast on 14Nov63. It is obvious that it was not played in a ballroom but on the stage of a large theatre. That makes us conclude that the date was 14Nov63. Will we ever see the 5Nov63 telecast? It was probably not even recorded.
Thanks very much for this, and I look forward to learning more of its source. It might be worth mentioning in the Bulletin that the whole concert plays back slightly too slow - only slightly, no worse than what we became used to on live LPs from the 1970s onwards.
This is easier
Salle Pleyel (and two other venues) in Paris
If you go to http://boutique.ina.fr you arrive at a page where you can fill in "Duke Ellington" on the spot where you found "Rechercher sur Ina Boutique". If you push on "OK" it will show three interesting Ellington recordings on video: 1. Saint Sulpice (1'42"); 2. Stephane (Grappelli) (4'11") and the most important one: 3. Duke Ellington et son Orchestre (31'48").
(Ina stands for Institut National de l'Audiovisuel.)
1. Is taken from the rehearsals at the church Saint Sulpice in Paris before the subsequent tele recording of the complete Sacred Concert. The recordings were made on 16Nov69 and the complete concert was telecast on 25Dec69. From the rehearsals we hear parts of Praise God and Something 'bout Believing.
2. Is a short medley, played by Stephane Grappelli and Duke Ellington for an ORTF telecast, recorded on 4Jan73 and telecast on 27Jan73. We hear a Medley with Solitude; Don't Get Around Much Anymore & Let a Song Go Out of My Heart; It Don't Mean a Thing.
3. Will give you the following 6 selections taken from the middle of the 20Nov58 concert at the Salle Pleyel in Paris: Such Sweet Thunder; Caravan; Newport Up; Violet Blue; El Gato plus Take the "A" Train in two parts. This concert has been released in its entirety (in audio) on the two CDs Magic DAWE 39 and 40 (see DEMS 90/4-5).
You can ask for downloading these recordings but you can also order a DVD with your wants. I choose the DVD. The DVD you will receive has region code 0, which means that you can play it everywhere.
More films on the Internet
The Pathé Newsreel from 1930 showing Harlem and more importantly Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club can be found at http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=50945
This is the source of many clips in Ellington documentaries. See Stratemann p57 and DEMS 01/1-18.
Luciano Massagli received from a friend a very good audio recording of the Swiss broadcast of the second half of the 9oct59 Zürich concert (DE5934). This is the concert from which several selections were telecast in Switzerland through two different stations, one German language, one French. The intermission was just after All of Me. The first selection after the intermission was a "fresh" Take the "A" Train. V.I.P. Boogie and Jam with Sam were also in the German language telecast. The following Lil Greenwood "portion" is "fresh". It consisted of St. Louis Blues; Bill Bailey and Walkin' and Singin' the Blues. The following Medley has no "fresh" selections. It was previously in collectors' hands on audiotape of mediocre quality. The French telecast with two of the selections in the Medley was released on the DVD Impro Jazz 510 (see DEMS 06/2-12). The first and third encores Basin Street Blues and Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue were also in this French telecast. The second encore was the "fresh" Happy Reunion. The first, second and third are based on the sequence in the broadcast. The correction-sheet 1096 shows the sequence of the actual performance.
Luciano gave me permission to make copies for DEMS members. I happen to have a reasonable recording of the first part of the concert. I am considering making a double CD with the complete concert for those who are interested.
Duke Ellington’s America
See DEMS 09/3-3.
The book is available now. It has already shipped from UCP. I cannot wait to have a copy in my hands!
This is the link: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=8169884
Duke in Spain
See DEMS 09/3-9
I have read in the last Bulletin the dates and location of Duke's concerts in Spain. I can confirm all of the concerts that were mentioned. I have proof.
I can add:
24Feb66 -"Noches del Sabado" Telecast recording at TVE studios. Prado del Rey. Madrid
22Nov69 - One concert. Auditorium. Palma de Mallorca
24Nov69 - Sacred Concert at 10:45. Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar. Barcelona
Jordi Navas Ferrer
The Disney Strikers
Another addition to (or detailed confirmation of) Duke's Itinerary was sent to DEMS by Andrew Homzy. The auction might be over, but the information is interesting:
"Up for auction is this VERY RARE mimeograph document sent to the striking Disney artists from their union, 'The Screen Cartoon Guild'.
The strike started on May 29, 1941 after Disney fired animator Art Babbitt. It ended about 5 weeks later. The fight over the employee's choice to join the union was bitterly fought on both sides. At the time, Duke Ellington had a show at the MAYAN theater in Los Angeles. On July 15, 1941 he did a performance with a dinner party for the benefit of the striking Disney artists. This was how the union members were notified about the show.
My guess is that there are fewer then 3 of these memos that still exist and in this case it is entirely PROBABLE that this is the ONLY one! The document is complete in one page and is in NEAR MINT condition."
Too many sessions on 7Sep43.
See DEMS 09/3-2
We have already two broadcasts on 7Sep43: a CBS broadcast documented in The New DESOR as 4348 and a WHN broadcast, 4349. To accept the date of 7Sep43 also for the recordings on the Timme Rosenkrantz acetates 2-2-A and 2-2-B is a bit too much. Since we hear (between Day Dream and West Indian Dance) that Duke had had a nice Labor Day weekend, I suggest that we date this session (acetates 2-2-A and -B) to 8Sep43. Labor Day (the first Monday in September) was in 1943 on the 7th.
While what you suggest makes good sense, the question raises other niggling issues. Stratemann (p242) states that Mondays were the Ellington Orchestra’s night off at the Hurricane. A few lines further on he says that the first band to sub for them on their night off, a Coleman Hawkins group, began on 3 April. 3 April was a Saturday in 1943. The first Monday of the Ellington residency at the Hurricane was 5 April. Had the arrangement for the Ellington Orchestra’s night off changed by September?
DISCUSSIONS - ADDITIONS - CORRECTIONS
Personnel of J.S. Trotter's Orchestra on the Three 1941 Kraft Music Hall Broadcasts that Featured Ellington and Blanton
In 1941, Duke Ellington and Jimmie Blanton appeared as guests on three broadcasts of the Kraft Music Hall, which Bing Crosby hosted, on 16Jun, 29May and 9oct. Ellington and Blanton were accompanied on each occasion by John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra. Just in case anyone is curious as to the identities of the members of Trotter's orchestra, they were revealed in the union steward's report filed with Musicians Mutual Protective Association Local 47, A. F. of M., Los Angeles, and preserved in their files. The reports also contain details of rehearsal and broadcast times. (Ellington and Blanton didn't necessarily attend all of the rehearsals.)
FIRST BROADCAST (16Jan41)
12 Men — 1/15/41 — From 9:30pm to 11:00pm
6 Men — 1/15/41 — From 9:30pm to 11:30pm
12 Men — 1/16/41 — From 11:00am to 2:00pm
6 Men — 1/16/41 — From 11:00am to 2:30pm
[18Men???] — From 4:00pm to 6:00pm
The broadcast took place from 6pm to 7pm 16Jan41 over NBC (station KFI in Los Angeles).
The personnel is listed as:
E. Ehlert, C. Green, A. Secrest, trumpets;
G. Gloyde, A. Lincoln, trombones;
D. Clark, M. Friedman, J. Krechter, J. Mayhew, saxes;
H. Castleton, S. Freed, G. Joyce, M. Sobolewsky, violins;
C. LaVere, piano; P. Botkin, guitar; F. Whiting, bass; L. Jones, drums.
T. Duncan is listed as the arranger, J. Trotter as the conductor, Z. Snyder as the copyist, S. Freed as the librarian and W. Marks as the Steward.
SECOND BROADCAST (29May41)
5/28/41 — From 10:00 to 11:30
5/29/41 — From 10:30 to 1:30 and from 2:30 to 5:00
The broadcast took place from 5pm to 6pm 29May41 over NBC. The personnel is the same as on 16Jan, but with K. Jackson, trombone, added.
THIRD BROADCAST (9oct41)
10/8/41 — From 10:30
10/9/41 — From 11:00 to 2:00 and from 4:00 to 6:00.
The broadcast took place from 6pm to 7pm 9oct41 over NBC. The personnel is the same as on 29May41, but E. Kuczborski, trombone, replaced A. Lincoln, and Geo Hill, sax, substituted for J. Mayhew who was absent due to illness.
Several Corrections for The New DESOR and for DEMS Bulletin
1. I recently purchased a copy of the 24CD RCA box set.
The CD #22, track #8 version of Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me appears to be a truncated version of DE6643d (track #14 on the same CD) instead of DE6645b (e.g. "The Popular Duke Ellington" CD version, track #8).
2. Also, CD #23, track #13, Blood Count, is DE6781aj instead of the unreleased DE6781ai.
3. Also, on Disk 24 of the RCA 24CD box, tracks 2 and 3 have swapped info, that is, X02 is Lotus Blossom (6782z) (not 6785d) and X03 is Lotus Blossom (6785d) (not 6782z).
4. I purchased "Alternative Takes Vol. 3" [Neatwork RP-2023] and compared the tracks and takes against those I already have.
Blue Ramble, track 8, is listed as Take B (DE3208c) per 02/1 DEMS 18/4.
"The Best of Duke Ellington" [Sony&BMG 88697302362 (4CD box)] Disk 1, New DESOR Disk 0919, track A10, is also listed as DE3208c. But both tracks cannot be the same recording, as they differ. "Alternative Takes Vol. 3" track 8 has a banjo flourish at 1:31. There is no corresponding banjo flourish on track A10 of Disk 0919 [Correction-sheet 3030]. Is track A10 actually DE3208b, take A?
1. You are right. What is on track #8 of CD #22 is not the same as what is on "The Popular Duke Ellington" CD (RCA 09026-68705-2) on track #8. I do however not agree with you that track #8 on CD #22 is a truncated version of track #14 of the same CD. They are different from each other from beginning to end.
Because of the fact that Duke's piano introduction on "The Popular Duke Ellington" CD is so different from both the introductions as played on 9 and 11May66, I started to suspect the version on "The Popular Duke Ellington" CD and compared every release that I have of the 11May66 recording with tracks #8 and #14 on the RCA CD #22.
It turned out that all my releases with the exception of "The Popular Duke Ellington" CD are identical to track #8 of the RCA CD #22.
I compared the LP LSP-3576 "The Popular Duke Ellington"; the CD PD 89565 "In the Sixties" (87/3-2); the CD B&C Records 74082-2 "1940's Swing Back with Duke Ellington" (90/1-5); the CD That's Jazz TJ 032 (93/2-4) and the CD Success 16139 (00/3-13/1).
It sounds to me as though track #8 of "The Popular Duke Ellington" CD, RCA 09026-68705-2, is taken from a Medley. The number of recordings of the Medleys is so great that it would take several months to make all the comparisons and find out if this is indeed a "fresh" recording. It is in any case different from what it was supposed to be in DEMS 97/4-10.
2. You are right. On Correction-sheet 3004, item W01 track W13, Blood Count should read (6718aj).
3. You are right again. Correction-sheet 3004 is mistaken. Item X01 track 2 is Lotus Blossom 6782z, the earliest released and shorter version without Harry Carney. Track 3 is 6785d, the long version with Harry Carney. The mistake is explicable because it was already mixed up in the book of the 24CD RCA box set (page 119) and on the "jacket" of CD #24.
4. Yes. This is an inexplicable and inexcusable error, made by me. The Correction-sheet should be corrected and I will also correct my report in DEMS 08/3-30, so as not to mislead future readers, as I have done with my Italian friends.
Who is the trumpet soloist?
See DEMS 09/3-13
We have again listened very carefully to all the trumpet solos indicated by Graham Colombé. We confirm our identifications of the soloists, with three exceptions:
4559e Stomp, Look and Listen. The attribution to Cat Anderson of the last 4 bars is accurate. The correction has already been made, see DEMS 05/3-57 p. 1159.
5221c, 5405c How High the Moon. The sequence suggested by Graham Colombé could be the correct one (the phrasing of the last 4 bars recalls Clark Terry). At any rate, further investigations are needed, mainly on the remaining versions of the title.
6534f Mood Indigo. The soloist is Cootie Williams without any doubt. We do not know how we came to make so glaring a mistake; we apologize to the readers and we make the correction. (See 10/1-28 page 1030.)
Concerning the phrasing of Ray Nance, we would suggest to Graham Colombé: do not mislead yourself by the use of the mutes! Moreover Ray Nance, in the forties, builds solos very differently one from another, even in the same title; the phrasing often recalls that of Rex Stewart. Above all, you must pay attention to the sound of the soloist.
Giovanni Volonté and Luciano Massagli, Milano 5Feb10.
I have no intention of venturing into the minefield of identifying Ellington trumpeters, least of all in the middle 1940s. But I would add one general point to what Michael Kilpatrick has to say [in DEMS 09/3-13], which is already implicit in Giovanni’s and Luciano’s response. The Ellington trumpeters were famously skilled at adopting one another’s musical personae, chameleon-like. In 1945, for example, there were five players in the section and during the Zanzibar residency in the autumn one or other of them was often absent from a Treasury Show. It happened frequently that one was covering for an absent other. When Ray Nance left to try his luck on 52nd Street he was not replaced, and the section reverted to four. A replacement was of course required, and found, when Rex left, after the end of the Zanzibar residency.
Who subbed for Louie ?
See DEMS 09/3-20
Steven Harris mentioned three hitherto unknown appearances of the Duke.
I'm surprised not to find any comment on your part (so far).
- COLDWATER LAKE, Michigan late Nov/early DDec '52: source?
- FAIRFIELD Stadium Bowl 28jul55 must certaainly read 28Jul56.
- HAMILTON (Ontario) The Forum 12Dec55 is nnot impossible but very unlikely, because the trip to the next day's date in Dodge City (Kansas) on 13Dec55 would have been a VERY tough one, exceeding by far the "usual" trips of as much as approx 500 miles.
The source for the first item is known: it was Jerry McKenzie in a 1994 interview with Steven Harris. What we should like to know is the correct date, because that also gives us some information about the whereabouts of Louie Bellson.
The second item is obviously a typing error (from Steven Harris). The third is indeed rather unlikely.
The Harlem Footwarmers
As was discussed in DEMS 01/2-18/1 and 01/3-13-1, all 78s of the OKeh Mood Indigo and the Odeon/Parlophone Three Little Words are pressed from dubbed master parts, and bear master numbers W480023B and W480028E respectively. These were dubbed from masters W404481 and W404520. In the two DEMS bulletins just referenced, I surmised that the dubbed masters were copied from the "A" takes of both titles. I am happy to report that it is now confirmed that the OKeh Mood Indigo was indeed dubbed from W404481A, the evidence being found in Columbia's "Rerecording book," which I am told was in the Sony archives in the early 1990s but has since disappeared. A collector of Greek and Turkish 78s photocopied some--but not all--of the book before it disappeared, and made copies of his copies for Harry Coster, who tells me that W480023 A and B (-B was issued) were rerecorded on 30oct30 from a "W.L.[white label?] test" of W404481A. There is also a note "inc. volume" which I suppose means that the master was rerecorded in order to increase volume. The collector of Greek and Turkish 78 didn't copy the entire book, but only the portions with information relating to his field of interest. Alas, he didn't copy the sheet with W480028, Three Little Words.
Ain't the Gravy Good?
I have two versions of this 28Feb39 title, track 24 on Neatwork's Alternate Takes Vol. 9 and track 17, disk 2, of Columbia's The Duke's Men Vol. 2.
DEMS 1993-2, page 3, states Track 17 is take 1.
DEMS 2003-1, page 16/3 (at very end) states Track 24 is take 2.
Yet both tracks appear to be the same take, right down to the timing of each of Sonny Greer's drum tricks. Is one or the other of the DEMS notations incorrect?
Yes. But it depends on your starting point which statement that is. We have assumed that all the texts on the jackets of the French CBS double LPs were correct. In this case the double LP CBS 88518, released in 1981. On the second LP on tracks 1 and 2 are both takes of Ain't the Gravy Good?. If it is true that take -1 was on track 1 ad take -2 was on track 2, the conclusion must be that what we find on the double CD Columbia 472994 on track 17 of the second CD is take -2 and not take -1 as was (wrongly?) claimed in the liner notes in the booklet of the double CD. If French CBS was wrong and Columbia was right, the Blue Disc LP T-1003 also carried take -1 and not take -2, which would contradict Jerry Valburn's liner notes.
There is still another source. See DEMS 06/2-39 and 07/1-39. On the Mosaic 7 CD set the two takes of Ain't the Gravy Good? are on CD 6 tracks 3 and 4. First the alternate take (according to the liner-notes the same as Blue Disc), followed by take -1 (according to the liner-notes the same as the 78 rpm Vocalion 4726). You should believe whatever you want to. Benny Aasland believed that the liner-notes of the Columbia double CD were right. In his note (5) he mentioned the CBS double LP as number 88451. That was wrong. That number was 88518.
Discoveries, Rarities, "Uniques"
The recent Bulletin 09/3 has a reaction from Danish DEMS member Frits Schjřtt that I think is very worth being singled out and heavily underlined!
In 09/3-2 we read the following question by Sjef
"... may I make a copy for... ?"
and Frits' answer was:
of course, Sjef - the material is for all Ellington-lovers
This is exactly the way I understand being an Ellington follower: S H A R E !
Share the pleasure of listening to this wonderful music, of discovering undocumented trials and approaches, of helping appreciate unusual treatments of musical matters. In short: pure Ellington.
Why single out so positively this DEMS member's attitude? Because too frequently in DEMS-Bulletins and similar communications we learn about this or that new find or rare recording surviving, sometimes going back to the twenties and thirties which will never appear anywhere and thus remain unavailable. What do the lucky owners expect? What are they waiting for? Being one of the happy few able to listen to such antiquities "in one hundred years from now" can hardly be a serious motivation.... So why not share and make them available right now?
The era of million-selling jazz records will never come back, but modern technologies certainly make it possible to find ways to share these treasures with contemporary Ellington lovers. Most of them would logically accept spending a reasonable amount of money (not only donations), and appropriate procedures - why not similar to what DEMS did in the ppast with the Azure cassettes - could be found... Everybody would accept "restrictions"; there may indeed be good reasons, but again, why not " s h a r e "? - at least make efforts to share?
I know you, Klaus, as a fanatic collector (like myself). But I have three remarks to make:
1. The material from the twenties and the thirties, mostly exists on test pressings. The one who has brought almost exclusively these test pressings to our attention is Steven Lasker. Steven has always tried to make this rare material available on legitimate releases. Steven wrote to me: "I'd love to copy and share my rare material, but most of my oldest rarities are of studio recordings, the rights to which are controlled by the major labels and protected by U.S. copyright law. I would gladly copy and share this material with everyone but for one thing: I DON'T WANT TO BE SUED!
I've copied my rare "office" test of Oklahoma Stomp for the rights holder, Universal-Vivendi. It is in their vaults. If Klaus wants to approach them to license this recording, they now have it, and he's welcome to make a deal. As for the rights to the rare recordings I have from the Sony catalog, it is my hope that these will appear on a Mosaic box in due course."
2. The more recent material mostly exists on tapes from broadcasts or from portable recorded concerts. The quality is mostly such that with a few exceptions (we the fanatic collectors) nobody is interested in these poor recordings.
3. Since the DEMS Bulletins are on line, there is no formal membership of DEMS anymore. The exclusive distribution among DEMS members, which was in the past the excuse for "releasing" copyrighted material, gladly accepted by the copyright holder Karl Emil Knudsen, does no longer exist. Also Karl Emil is no longer with us. DEMS was threatened by a well-known member of the Ellington community not to continue selling cassettes. Since then we have made available on demand rare material on CD (sometimes of poor quality!), not for sale. But like Benny Aasland always said: "Sponsors are welcomed".
Ellington's 1929-31 Victor recording contract
On 4Jan29, the boards of directors of the Victor Talking Machine Company and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) voted to allow RCA to purchase the record company. At about this same time, Ellington signed a contact with the company which called on "Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club" to record exclusively for their company, at least under that name, as they continued to record for other companies but using pseudonyms. Not having seen the original contract I can't tell you its exact terms or even its duration, but we may suppose it was terminated in the spring of 1931 given the following news item from that time...
From Variety, 25Mar31, p67:
RCA VICTOR UNLOADING STARS
MUST BUY UP FAT CONTRACTS
Phonograph Co., in Disc Sale Slump, Ordered by RCA to Effect Speedy Cancellation of High-Salaried Artists--Millions Involved
BIG NAMES LISTED
Chicago, March 24.
RCA-Victor has been ordered by its holding company, Radio Corporation of America, to proceed to unload its talent obligations.
Instructions are in line with a general move on part of phonograph recording companies to meet huge slump in disc sales with preliminary campaign of strict retrenchment.
Execs of Victor Co. were called into conference by the parent corporation and informed it is to summon the big money artists under contract, or their managers, and submit a proposition of buying up the balance of recording obligations.
Among the first contracted artists called in by Victor was a operatic star who had two years to go at $50,000 a year. The artist rejected anything less than 100% for the free contracted term.
Some of the big money talent under contract are John McCormack, Chaliapin, Rachmaninoff, Sir Harry Lauder, Gigli, Galli Curci, Mischa Elman, Walter Damrosch, Maurice Chevalier, besides a host of ace bandsmen, most of whom have annual guarantees.
Imogena Records IGCD 155
Stockholm Swing All Stars play Duke Ellington
Göran Wallén has sent us this CD, recorded at the SAMI studio in Stockholm on 5-7Aug08 (track 5 was recorded at Ringen studios in the same year).
The small group has Karl Olandersson on trumpet and vocals; Klas Lindquist an alto sax and clarinet; Fredrik Lindborg on tenor and baritone sax and clarinet; Magnus Wiklund on trombone; Daniel Tilling on piano, Gustav Lundgren on guitar; Göran Lind on bass and Mattias Puttonen on drums.
The selections are: The Mooch; In a Mellow Tone; Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me; Main Stem; Mood Indigo; Kinda Dukish; Jeep's Blues; It Don't Mean a Thing; Lotus Blossom.
Göran Wallén writes: "This CD is by a group of young Swedish musician. They are really great and popular in Sweden. They would be happy to travel and play outside Sweden. They all live in Stockholm and are all around 30 years old. I gave an award to the alto saxophone player two years ago. He is good."
I can add, also the others are fine musicians. They play Duke's music with enough respect for the melody and with a lot of imagination. Kinda Dukish has been nicely arranged into a piece for the complete group.
Alice Babs — splendid documentary
There is a new DVD coming out about Alice Babs. Her life story. Of course a lot of Ellington is included. Film clips from 7Feb63, 19Jan1968, 6 and 24Nov69, 10Nov73 and from Duke's funeral on 27May74.
You can have the DVD [subtitled] in English or in eight other languages. Alice also tells a lot about her life in interviews between pictures and the film clips. She was interviewed last year in her home in Stockholm.
On 26 January, Alice celebrated her 86th birthday. Her husband Nils-Ivar is now 90 years old.
If you need more information tell me or make contact as said below.
All the best from Stockholm.
Göran Wallén (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alice Babs is one of Sweden’s foremost vocalists of the twentieth century. In “Alice Babs – Swing it” she openly discusses her life and career after 70 years in the public eye. The film also provides a societal journey with its beginnings in the infectious rhythms of African American swing music, which would turn her into a teen idol and “danger to society”.
At the age of 15 Alice Babs had already proved her versatility within jazz and yodeling, and classical genres of music, which she further developed to significant art forms. Throughout her career, she would work with a number of prominent musicians of which her 11 years collaboration with Duke Ellington was the peak.
The film contains a variety of unique quotes from movies and singing activities. The production was made possible by the contribution of Nordic public service broadcasters DR, NRK, SVT, YLE/FST & RUV. Digital release is prepared and published by Vax Records and Ebbe Preisler Production in cooperation with The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research and with financial support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
A portrait documentary by Lasse Zackrisson. 80 min. Swedish dialogue. NTSC.
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian.
The film has consistently received excellent reviews: An in-depth film about Ellington's favourite. Dagens Nyheter, Sweden
BONUS A complete discography of all Alice Babs recordings 1939-2002
“Alice Babs – Swing it”
Vax Records DVD 1011
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Many of us have met Alice Babs at one or more of the Duke Ellington Conferences. In 1985 she came for the first time, invited by Eddie Lambert, under the strict condition that she should not be begged to sing. Starting at that conference she has sung at every one she has attended. For us, who know her as one of us, as a dear friend without the slightest tendency to play to her stardom, it is a real revelation to see how terrifically famous she was in the Scandinavian countries and even in the U.S.A. It explains why it was not a miracle that she could completely fill the Konserhuset in Stockholm at the first Swedish Ellington Conference in May 1994. Her participation on the second Swedish Conference in May 2004 made that conference also a huge success.
This is a beautiful document and the accompanying CD gives us a complete discography in colour. It is obvious that this was done with the greatest respect and love for Alice, feelings that we share with Lasse Zackrisson, the producer of this marvelous documentary.
AB Fable ABCD1-024
Stuff Smith and his Lucidin Orchestra
My dear friend Anthony Barnett has sent me his latest production in the series "AB Fable Violin Improvisation Studies". It features several musicians, well-known in our Ellington circles: Ella Fitzgerald, Sandy Williams, Edgar Sampson and Ben Webster. It contains previously unreleased broadcasts from Jan37 and probably Feb73. This is again an extremely well presented release. "Lucidin" was a new eye lotion, according to the speaker in the programme, good "for dust, overwork and the morning after".
The sound quality is mostly surprisingly good. The
music is just fine and brings back memories of the pre (second) war years. The
signature tune of the Lucidin Orchestra is heavily influenced by Duke
Ellington. This is a must for Ben Webster collectors. I haven't found any of
these broadcasts in the Ben Webster discography by Langhorn & Sjřgren, but
they were mentioned in Heinz Baumeister's Sessionography (DEMS 06/2-33 and
The title of track 22 is misspelled on page 3 of the booklet; on page 8 it is correct.
According to Anthony Barnett the beginning of the 22Jan37 broadcast is missing. Since it is also missing in Ken Vail's "Swing Era Scrapbook: The Teenage Diaries & Radio Logs of Bob Inman 1936-1938", Anthony suggests that it could have been occupied by commercials, since this broadcast is the first following the availability of Lucidin eye lotion in stores (on Thursday, 21Jan37).
I have played the CD several times, during which time I was reading the nice little booklet with my magnifying glass. I enjoyed the music very much. It was interesting to hear how in the broadcasts the anticipation was being built up for the introduction of the Lucidin eye lotion. It was not yet available but everybody should be looking forward to its introduction on 21Jan37. Likewise this CD has not yet hit the market. It will be released on 1May10.
I can recommend this very nice CD to everybody who is interested in good music from long ago. It certainly belongs in every collection of Ben Webster recordings.
By the way, this is a "full" CD: 76:18!!
Longhorn Music LHM2010003 ⓒ1000
Duke Ellington's Queenie Pie
Since Bill Saxonis wrote his review of the Duke Ellington Conference in Austin, Texas, last year (DEMS 09/2-3), we have been eagerly waiting for the release of the CD of the music from the show, performed at the end of the conference. The CD has now been released at the end of March. Bill Saxonis mentioned 21 selections for a show lasting 75 minutes. The CD has 18 selections and lasts 56 minutes.
2. New York, New York
3. Queenie Pie
4. Bon Voyage Queenie Pie
5. Sure Do Miss New York
7. Second Line
9. Café au Lait
10. Creole Love Call
11. Commercial A
12. Commercial Medley
13. My Father's Island
14. Don't Need Nobody Now
16. Full Moon at Midnight
17. Won't You Come into My Boudoir
18. Oh, Gee
I fully agree with Bill Saxonis who wrote: "I am not a professional music critic, but I do know what I like. I liked Queenie Pie." The band sounded very good, the soloists were impeccable and what impressed me most was the fact that I could understand every word of the lyrics. The CD is terrific but what we would have preferred is a DVD of the complete show. Everybody who saw the show and wrote a review marvels about the beautiful choreography and the gorgeous presentation, shown by the pictures in the liner-notes. Please, dear Texan friends, make us a DVD and if you do, make it with region-code 0!
If one wants to know more about "Queenie Pie", one should read what John Franceschina wrote about it in his book "Duke Ellington's Music for the Theatre" (DEMS 01/2-12/3). I still believe that Duke's private recording on a newly bought tape recorder in Dec58 contained the libretto for "Queenie Pie" (see The New DESOR DE5858 and the correction for page 267 in DEMS 02/3-25).
For my copy of the CD, I wrote to the address, given by Bill Saxonis, at the end of his report.
Johnny Hodges re-issued on CD
5Dec09. Just a line to let you know that my pal the sound engineer Dave Bennett has remastered all the 1950-55 Clef Verve Hodges tracks and that they will be appearing on the English Avid label in the near future.
Since most Ellington fans will also be Hodges fans I thought this information might of interest.
The Johnny Hodges Verve recordings have until now not been reissued completely on CD. Mosaic did a complete 1951-1955 but on LP only.
Hodges on Classics includes the recordings up to and including July 2, 1954. The Blue Moon 'The Complete 1941-1954 Small Group Sessions' series reached the August 5, 1954 session. Neither includes the alternate take of Jeep Is Jumpin'.
The second Johnny Hodges Mosaic set covered the small band recordings 1956-1961. This set thus misses the big band sessions from 'Ellingtonia 1956' ,'The Big Sound' and 'With Billy Strayhorn and The Orchestra'. The last one has been reissued separately. This means to the best of my knowledge that the alternate take of Jeep Is Jumpin' the LPs 'Perdido' and 'Creamy' and the big band sessions from 'Ellingtonia 1956' and 'The Big Sound' have never yet made it to CD.
Avid and Fresh Sound have now announced a number of CD's which remedy this.
Avid will issue a 2 CD set 'Four Classic Albums': 'Castle Rock', 'In a Mellow Tone', 'Perdido' and 'Creamy'. This includes the 4 LPs and the alternate take of Jeep Is Jumpin'.
Fresh Sound has announced: 'Perdido', which includes the LPs 'Perdido' and 'Creamy', and the 2 CD set 'The Ellington Men 1956-1957', which includes: 'Ellingtonia 1956', 'Duke's in Bed' and 'The Big Sound'.
'Not So Dukish' (2 CD set) includes 'Blues-a-Plenty' (not the alternate takes), 'Side by Side' (14Aug58 session), 'Not So Dukish' and as bonus tracks the sessions of 22Jul52, 11Dec52 and 9Apr54.
'Back to Back', which includes the sessions of 20 and 26Feb59. That means the original LP 'Back to Back' and 3 tracks from 'Side by Side'.
Not a completely satisfactory situation in my view, but it is great that these recordings are available again.
The World of Duke Ellington
WDR (West German Radio) The Cologne Broadcasts
This is a series of three CDs, recorded in May and Jun94 by the WDR Big Band Köln, recently brought to my attention by my friend Milo van den Assem. These CDs were released in 2008, but have not been mentioned in DEMS Bulletin, though I think they should have been.
It is fortunate that these three broadcasts have been recorded and released on CD. Some selections have been arranged extensively with a surprisingly fresh result. Some other selections, especially those on Volume 3 from the Far East Suite were so close to Duke's interpretations that they made me leave my desk and sit down to listen (and enjoy). Many years ago I would even have stood up, like I did for Duke's own recordings.
The band consisted of Andy Haderer, Rob Bruynen, Klaus Osterloh, Rick Kiefer and John Marshall on trumpet; Dave Horler, Henning Berg, Bern Laukamp and Roy Deuvall on trombone; Heiner Wiberny, Harald Rosenstein, Olivier Peters, Rolf Römer and Jens Neufang on reeds; Frank Chastenier on piano and Milan Lulič guitar, plus bass and drums (see below).
Volume 1 track 3 was recorded 11May94 at WDR Studio 4, Cologne. The rest of volume 1 was recorded with an audience on 16May94 at the Kölner Philharmonie. The conductor was Jerry van Rooyen. Guests were Freda Payne and Milt Grayson, vocal and Jimmy Woode and Grady Tate on their own instruments.
Selections: Take the "A" Train; Rockin' in Rhythm; Creole Love Call; It Don't Mean a Thing;
Black and Tan Fantasy; I Like the Sunrise; Don't Get Around Much Anymore; East St. Louis Toodle-O; Sophisticated Lady; The Blues; Jump for Joy and Meditation.
The numbers of the releases in Europe: BHM 1022-2; USA and Canada: BHH-CD-10275.
Volume 2 track 8 was recorded on 1Jun94 and track 11 on 3Jun94 at WDR Studio 4, Cologne. The rest of volume 2 was recorded with an audience on 5Jun94 at the Kölner Philharmonie. The conductor was John Clayton. Guests were Dianne Reeves, vocals; Benny Green, piano; the late Ray Brown and Jeff Hamilton on their own instruments.
Selections: Battle Royal; Brown Skin Gal; Mood Indigo; Don't Get Around Much Anymore;
Sentimental Lady (with Frank Chastenier on Hammond organ), Come Sunday; Satin Doll (with Frank Chastenier on Hammond organ); Five O'Clock Whistle (with John Clayton and Ray Brown on bass);
A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing; Caravan; Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me (with Frank Chastenier on Hammond organ); Jack the Bear (with both John Clayton and Ray Brown) and Cotton Tail (with Benny Green on piano).
The numbers of the releases in Europe: BHM 1023-2; USA and Canada: BHH-CD-10280.
Volume 3 was recorded with an audience on 18Jun94 at the Kölner Philharmonie. The conductor was Bill Dobbins, Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media. The band was augmented with John Goldsby on bass and Megumi Teshima Kálmŕn, violin. Guests were Phil Woods on alto sax and John Riley on drums.
Selections: Take the Coltrane; Blue Bird of Delhi; Amad; Agra; Depk; Isfahan; Caravan;
Such Sweet Thunder; Lady Mac; The Star-Crossed Lovers; Up and Down; Blood Count;
Ellington Medley: Love You Madly, Come Sunday, It Don't Mean a Thing.
The numbers of the releases in Europe: BHM 1024-2; USA and Canada: BHH-CD-10283.
I found the complete 3 CD box advertised on
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.
Pages 376 and 1359. 20May64. The last selection in the Medley 6439n was also released on
the LP Foxy 9001. It was not mentioned on the jacket, but it is on the record.
Speaking of the jacket: Prelude to a Kiss was not played. It was In a
Sentimental Mood instead. This is correctly spelled out in The New DESOR.
There are more errors on the label on the jacket of Foxy, which didn't make it
into The New DESOR.
Page 1466. Jake Hanna died on 12Feb10 of complications due to a blood disease.
Page 1474. Claude Jones came into the band on 20Apr44, see page 82.
We can infer from New DESOR p82 that Claude Jones came into the band during the week between 13 April and 20 April, but not, unless there is corroborating evidence, that he joined on 20th.
Page 1487. Birth/death places/dates are given in the New DESOR. While I don't have data for Alberta Pryme's birth date or place of birth, or of her place of death, she died in January 1968 according to Howard Rye, who noted this recently on the Jazz Research list (an internet chat group). He added this fact came from her late husband, the trombonist Bernard F. Archer.
There has been a "small correction" in DEMS Bulletin 09/2, stating that the date of her death was Oct 17, 1984. (The date of birth was given as Apr 1, 1895). DESOR does not mention the places. Trying to find an answer through Google learned that your spelling of het name as "Pryme" seems to be better than the one in DESOR, which is "Prime".
Page 1502. Start dates for Blanton and Webster are still a little murky. Sonny Greer (not the most reliable authority) recalled Blanton on stage with the band at the Coronado Hotel in St. Louis, 20oct39-2Nov39. A telegram from Blanton to his mom dated 2Nov39 at 11:23 pm says "am joining Duke Ellington's orchestra tomorrow."
Webster probably joined a little later than the 8Jan40 date mentioned in The New DESOR - he was finishing up a gig with Teddy Wilson; best I can figure he joined around 21Jan40.
Have you changed your mind? This is what you wrote in DEMS Bulletin 04/2-22 [In the first part of the chapter "The Blanton/Webster Era" of your booklet "On the Road and on the Air with Duke Ellington"]:
"Although Ben Webster is not heard on the air check from 9Jan, it is generally recognized that he joined the band during the Southland engagement [8Jan to 20Jan40]. Boston papers do not indicate when (Boston Globe, Boston Post, Boston News, Guardian, Chronicle), but two different New York papers give a clue. "Ben Webster denies plans to switch from Teddy Wilson to Duke Ellington, but the grapevine has him making the change at the end of the Golden Gate [ballroom in New York] run." (Nell Dodson, "This is Harlem," New York Amsterdam News, 20Jan40, p24) "Teddy Wilson leaves for the road on January 11." (Bill Chase, "All Ears," New York Amsterdam News, 13Jan40)"
The date for Blanton has been corrected in DEMS 04/3-51. Correction of Ben Webster's start would require a fixed date and more confirmation. You suggested a correction earlier in DEMS 04/2-50 page 46 to 12Jan40.
Blanton: Since writing the "On the Air and On the Road" booklet for the Stockholm 2004 conference, the Blanton family has kindly shared with me a copy of the telegram from Jimmie to his mother. The telegram is date-stamped for 11:23 p.m. of 2Nov39 (closing night of the 20oct-2Nov engagement at the Coronado Hotel); Jimmie said he was "joining Duke Ellington's band tomorrow." I presume that this means he was leaving with the band when it went back on the road 3Nov. Blanton most likely worked with the band prior to officially joining, but the exact date is probably unknowable. There are numerous versions, with slight variations, of the "discovery" of Blanton; a number of them indicate that Blanton did indeed play with the orchestra at the Coronado. The one that rings true can be found in the Oct-Dec. 1996 issue of "Blue Light," the DESUK newsletter. John Chilton interviewed Ralph Porter, who had been a member of the Jeter-Pillars Band along with Blanton. Chilton quotes Porter recalling listening to Fate Marable with Blanton, when Duke, alerted by some of his men, walked in:
"Duke didn't listen for a few seconds. The number ended and Duke asked Marable if he could sit in - they knew one another well. Duke and Blanton began playing together and still hadn't exchanged a word. Duke kept changing key and Blanton was on to every move. The tune ended and Marable called out 'How do you like my bass player?' Duke coyly said 'I was just going to ask you the same question.' Then he laughed and said 'He's my bass player now.'
Duke already had a bass player but he added Jimmie Blanton to the band, bought him a white suit, and next night stood him out front of the band and featured him."
Webster: I still think the span in which Webster joined the band was after 18Jan40 (when Webster recorded with Teddy Wilson's big band) and before 22Jan (the date of the byline for the article in "Jazz Information"). Ellington was finishing up at the Southland in Boston on 19 and 20Jan, at the RKO Boston Theatre on 21Jan, then one nighters in New England 22-25Jan (as mentioned in the "Jazz Information" article; two dates that I have are 22Jan in Portland, ME; and 24Jan in Manchester, NH) then back in Boston on 26Jan at the Roseland State Ballroom. I have not been able to pinpoint the date. 21Jan is my guess, although Stratemann has Webster at Southland. Frank Buchmann-Moeller in his Ben Webster bio suggests 26Jan (at Roseland State).
Correction sheet 1048 for session 9033 [Salle Pleyel, 20Sep59 first concert] lists the concert medley as 9033q. [9034 is second concert, on correction-sheet 1049]
Correction sheet 3015 for disk 0732 [CD The "Jazz" Collection JCD-05], track 002, lists the concert medley as 9033r.
Correction sheet 3016 for disk 0166 [LP BYG XY-2036], track B01, lists the concert medley as 9033r also, again contradicting 9033q in correction sheet 1048.
Correction sheet 3016, disk 0692 [CD Sarpe Top Jazz SJ-1013], track 007, lists the concert medley as 9034q but correction sheet 1049 has the medley as 9034r.
Bill Bailey is 9034n on Sheet 1049, but 9034m on Sheet 3016.
Walkin' and Singin' the Blues is 9034o on Sheet 1049, but 9034n on Sheet 3016.
V.I.P. Boogie is 9034p on Sheet 1049, but 9034o on Sheet 3016.
Jam With Sam is 9034q on Sheet 1049, but 9034p on Sheet 3016.
Diminuendo In Blue/Wailing Interval/Crescendo In Blue is 9034stu on Sheet 1049, but 9034rst on Sheet 3016.
C-Jam Blues is 9033o on Sheet 1048, but 9033p on Sheet 3016
V.I.P. Boogie is 9033p on Sheet 1048, but 9033q on Sheet 3016
Correction-sheet 3030 for DVD 0921, Passion Flower (6233c) is incomplete, missing the first half.
You are right. It should be mentioned in a note as was done on sheet 3029 DVD 0915. I wonder however if this selection was complete on the previous release Toshiba EMI TOLW-3162, see page 1423 LD 0740.
Passion Flower is presumably complete on the rare Toshiba LD, since that disc also had Kinda Dukish, which is absent on the Quantum Leap DVD.
The DVD has abysmal sound quality. Only the most dire bootleg CD would sound that poor.
No the Laser Disc Toshiba does not have Kinda Dukish, see the corrections mentioned in DEMS 05/3, based on a remark in DEMS 05/2-15.
Oops, then if the song titles are identical and the Toshiba entry is video, then it would appear that the laser disc is made from the same truncated and low quality video as the Quantum Leap DVD.
Here is an interesting "insider" comment on the film edited from footage of the 1962 Newport Festival, posted on Amazon.com:
"I hate what happened to this film of mine. Disgusting. I spent weeks working on the film and even shot Close Ups myself for 3 full days with my cameramen - and meticulously directed it as well as produced it and then began to edit it - BUT in the middle of editing I got 2 big TV Specials to produce and direct in Paris - and the jazz festival was left in the hands of a non-musical editor who had only edited stuff that was not as musical as what this was - and being the musician I also am besides being a producer and director, it was ruined. I left notes on exactly how to finish the Show but what could I expect - I wasn't there but on to bigger and better things - The Roland Petit Ballet TV Specials with Eve St. Laurent costumes and me producing and directing in Paris - now how could I pass that up? I couldn't! I am so sorry to have it pop up as a 'proper' TV Special - it is sickening - and I also just wasted a bit under $20 for it myself - so sorry!"
signed: Producer/Director for NBC Newport Jazz Festival During the America's Cup races - Buddy Bregman
The New DESOR correction-sheets
Here are the latest additions to the Correction-sheets:
1096 5934 Zürich 9oct59 10/1-7
1097 9082 Baghdad 14Nov63 10/1-4
DESOR small corrections
These corrections are authorised by Luciano Massagli and Giovanni Volonté.
DESOR small corrections 5014
Volume 1 (Corrections April 2010)
IX - Add: IRQ … Iraq (10/1-4)
17 - Session 3105, 11Jun31. 3105b: BRC instead of CRC. (09/3-4 ad 18)
27 - Session 3605, 28Feb36. 3605b: -2
instead of -1.
(09/3-4 ad 18)
41 - Session 3907, 21Mar39. 3907h: first edition on Swing SW-307 instead of Parlophone DP-288. (09/3-4 ad 20)
176 - Session 5124, 19Aug51: add Gotham's Studio;
June 28, 1951 instead of August 19, 1951 (09/3-26)
281 - Session 5934, 7oct59, Add 5 titles.
Correction-sheet 1096 (10/1-7)
359 - Session 9082, 14Nov63. Make a note:
Correction-sheet 1097 (10/1-4)
700 - Session 7355, 16Nov73. Cine Marni instead of Palais des Beaux Arts (09/3-36)
Volume 2 (Corrections April 2010)
1030 - Mood Indigo, 6534f: CW instead of CA. (10/1-14)
1069 - Perdido, 5618q: delete: 5°11BAND,%; add:
9°14BAND&CA,% (DEMS CD 01)
1461 - Gaber, George. Feb 24, 1916 - Nov 21, 2007
Correction-sheet 1036: make the same correction as the one you just made on page 176
Correction-sheet 3015, CD 0732,
track 002: 9033q instead of 9033r (10/1-26)
Correction-sheet 3016, LP 0165,
track B04: 9034n instead of 9034m
track B05: 9034o instead of 9034n (10/1-26)
Correction-sheet 3016, LP 0166,
track A01: 9034p instead of 9034o
track A02: 9034q instead of 9034p
track B01: 9033q instead of 9033r (10/1-26)
Correction-sheet 3016, CD 0692,
track 005: 9033o instead of 9033p
track 006: 9033p instead of 9033q
track 007: 9034r instead of 9034q
track 008: 9034s,t,u instead of 9034r,s,t (10/1-26)