DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
03/1 April-July 2003
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
Arvell Shaw, the famous bass-player who stayed so long in Louis Armstrong's groups, died 6 December 2002 in New York. He once replaced Jimmy Woode in the Ellington band for the recording session of 7Mar57. He certainly belonged to the large group of excellent bass-players who accompanied Ellington and his orchestra during Duke's career.
The Ellington and Jazz Community lost a great friend on December 10th with the passing of Peter Tanner.
Peter was a foremost film editor. His many film credits included such classics as KIND HEARTS & CORONETS; THE CRUEL SEA and John Cassavetes' HUSBANDS. He also did the editing on the British series THE AVENGERS.
More in the jazz circle he was a contributor to JAZZ JOURNAL and he wrote many liner notes for LPs. I first met him in the 1980's since we shared much interest in Ellington; classic jazz and the music of Chick Bullock.
I met Chick in California when Peter was working on a film. Bullock told me that one of the many recordings he made was with Duke on Sam and Delilah. He was very proud of that session.
Peter made many trips to our home on Long Island. We were also together at the Ellington conferences at Oldham and most of the conferences in Canada and the United States including the 2000 conference in Los Angeles.
A gentle and warm person with a great sense of humor, he will be missed. He joins his wife Daphne who passed away about six months ago. So with this mention I say goodbye to a very good friend.
- Jerry Valburn
I am Peter's oldest son Giles and I can confirm that my Father died just before midnight on the 10th December at Wexham Park Hospital in Stoke Poges. He was born on the 13th September 1914 in Tilford, Surrey.
Thank you for your kind message and I know how much Duke Ellington meant to him. He tells a funny story of how he first met the Duke, which I shall always treasure.
- Giles Eyre-Tanner
An interesting article about Chick Bullock from Peter's hand is published in DEMS Bulletin 97/3-10.
See DEMS 02/3-2/5
Prompted by the interest shown by DEMS members for my first Special CD offer I am pleased to announce a new, second release, it's another limited edition CD, only offered to DEMS and to DESUK members and it's a delightful but neglected slice of Ellington. The Duke at Frank Dailey's Meadowbrook in June 1951 - "a happy stay" according to Benny Aasland in DEMS 83/2-4.
The CD plays as follows: a) June 6, 1951, the MBS network broadcast and then, as bonus, b) the pre-broadcast portion of June 9, 1951.
Same set-up as last time: a properly pressed CD, thus no cheap CD-R and the "mechanical copyrights" are taken care of the usual way. The CD will be delivered in a plain cover and there will only be one press-run.
The cost of the CD (including Air Mail postage) should be around USD $ 12 - 15, but the price will finally be settled by the level of interest shown by the members. I would like all the prospective purchasers to get in touch with me, via e-mail or snail-mail, and place a non- committal advance order. Each member may order a total of 3 copies of the CD. Within 4 months after the publication date of the DEMS Bulletin which carries this notice, the members will get a message from me, via e-mail only, when the record is ready for shipping, the actual price and how to send payment.
I am pleased to inform you, that for no particular reasons, the release date for my first Duke Ellington Club CD # 1 has been set to April 29, 2003.
Price schedule: USD $15, Euro 15, or BGP 10. The cost of Air Mail postage is included in all prices. All CDs are shipped in protective bubble-bags. Please remit ONLY with bank notes in USD, Euro or BGP currencies. NO personal cheques. All orders shipped on buyer's own risk.
If you require special shipping via Registered Mail, please add USD $ 6. Euro 6, or BGP 4 to the above sum.
- Carl Hällström
In a long letter to me by Bertha Pine, I found this beautiful statement: "At 87, I've slowed down, except when I listen to Duke, then, like his music, I feel ageless."
- Sjef Hoefsmit
Attendees of the Ellington Conference in Leeds may remember the short presentation by Peter Boizot on Saturday 24May97. He planned to raise a statue for Duke Ellington in the Soho district in London. In one of the rooms was a small model of the statue which was created by sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby. Postcards of this statue were available.
Peter Boizot told us that his plans were almost materialised, but that he wanted to give us the opportunity to contribute to the fundraising for this statue. Recently I found an article in the Daily Telegraph about this statue, written by Charlie Methven. Here it is:
A fundraising exploit by Peter Boizot the man behind the Pizza Express restaurant chain has turned out to be of little benefit other than to the colourful tycoon himself.
In 1997, Boizot a noted jazz aficionado launched an appeal to finance a public memorial to jazz legend Duke Ellington. A bronze statue was to be installed in Soho Square, near to Ronnie Scott's, where the "Duke" occasionally performed.
Five years on, the statue built by sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby, younger brother of David and Jonathan remains in one of Boizot's gardens at the Northern Hotel in Peterborough. "Many ordinary people put money into this statue," complains Dimbleby. "It was supposed to be for public display, but now it's ended up in a garden which Boizot owns. This is not what was promised."
Boizot himself remains unapologetic: "I wanted it to go in Soho Square, but there were various problems with the Council," he says. "I decided to bring it back to my home town of Peterborough. It's sort of found a home there." The public appeal for the statue, unveiled by George Melly a couple of years ago, was backed by a heavyweight committee of trustees including John Prescott and Humphrey Lyttelton.
Here ends Methven's article.
There is a picture alongside the article which shows a slightly different statue from the one we know from the postcard we brought with us from Leeds in 1997.
- Dennis Dimmer
As co-ordinator of the committee which brought Ellington'97 to Leeds, I was very interested to read Charles Methven's piece on the Ellington statue project. A few weeks before the conference took place, Peter Boizot very generously offered to underwrite losses we might incur on, to a considerable sum. As it turned out we didn't need to call on his kind offer, since we came out of the event with a surplus. But Peter's underwrite certainly relieved our financial worries in the final run-up.
I suppose the answer to Nicholas Dimbleby's complaint is that, given the Council's reluctance to have his statue in the place for which it was intended, Soho Square, what was Peter to do with it? A statue has to go somewhere and at least a hotel garden is a public place, and you don't even have to be a client at the hotel to visit its garden. It's much better than an attic or loft. Further, by placing it in the garden of a hotel he owns, Peter only needed to negotiate with himself. A successful deal was therefore easy to ensure.
I think I remember it being argued at the time that, since Soho Square is at the heart of London's theatreland as well as its jazzland, Ivor Novello might be an equally appropriate subject for a statue at this location, the more so since Novello was British and Duke was American. My own reflection is that, in addition to jazzland and theatreland, Soho Square is also at the hub of London's film and sex industries.
I cannot think of any other city where these four great fields of human endeavour come together as they do in Soho. Perhaps therefore, Nicholas's statue of Duke should take its place there as intended by Peter, along with one of Ivor, plus two more, of Charlie Chaplin and Mary Magdalen. Taken together the four would make a fine representation of what the square uniquely stands for. Charlie and Ivor would guarantee the British flavour, while Duke and the blessed Mary would add the international dimension so appropriate in a world city.
As for Nicholas's concern about the contributions of ordinary people to Peter's appeal, it does seem a little unfair perhaps that the proceeds of their donations should be enjoyed only by the patrons of a hotel in Peterborough, plus those bold enough to march straight past the receptionist and out into the garden. On the other hand there are sculptures and statues in many obscure places, and some of these must also have been funded by public subscription, or maybe by the Arts Council, to which we have no choice but to contribute, through taxation.
The Ellington Statue Appeal was a Registered Charity, Number 1057052. If the issue of contributions is to be raised, the Charity Commissioners should be able to help. I suppose there must be some mechanism for dealing with charitable donations to causes, the fulfilment of which are frustrated in the way Peter's appeal was.
- Roger Boyes
I am preparing (on CD-Rom and/or Video-CD) a kind of photo-show with the rarer, sometimes private, but quite precisely dated Duke Ellington (+Orch) photographs.
We intensively explore the Duke's music as it evolved over 5 or 6 decades; it must also be very interesting to study the surviving pictures, to observe the maestro's physical transformations and possibly to see how his (their) attitude in front of the camera changed ... as time went by.
This (self-produced) CD will be available to all DEMS members against a modest contribution for manufacturing and shipping costs ... a few USD or Euros; I'll let you know later.
In the meantime, if you have any idea of what could be or should be included, please contact
me through e-mail at
Do not send anything right now, just let me know your opinion and what you possibly would be able and willing to add to the project.
Many thanks in advance.
- Klaus Götting
There have been many reactions on the publication of my plans (DEMS 02/3-3). A great
number of DEMS members with access to Internet have volunteered to adopt one or more fellow
members to supply them with a print of the 2004 Bulletins, to be published on the web-site of
I also received many compliments and regretful messages like this one from Willie Timner: I am sorry to read that you are planning to retire. Can't you just scale down a bit?
That's just what I intend to do. In this modern age it seems appropriate to use the Internet to publish future DEMS Bulletins. DEMS members with access to Internet and having a printer, can make their own favourite lay-out of their choice of articles. I am afraid that more members believe that there will be no Bulletins anymore in 2004. If I can help it, that will not be the case.
- Sjef Hoefsmit
The work and planning for the Ellington Conference in Stockholm continues After the annual meeting of 3Feb03, we now continue to prepare our Conference in May 2004. The main sessions will take place at "Nalen" the famous Jazz Music Hall in Stockholm. The number of seats is approximately 500. This means that delegates to the conference and members of DESS will be given first priority. We thus believe that between 100 and 200 seats will be available for our supporting companies and the general public.
The preliminary time schedule runs as follows:
Get-together-Party Wed 12 18.00 at Hotel Birger Jarl
Day program with speakers Thu 13 09.00-17.00 at Nalen
Day program with speakers Fri 14 09.00-17.00 at Nalen
Evening: surprise concert Fri 14 19.30-22.00 at Nalen
Day program with speakers Sat 15 09.00-17.00 at Nalen
Evening: Closing dinner Sat 15
At the closing dinner there will also be music played by Kustbandet, whom you enjoyed so much in 1994.
The speakers (12-14 in number) will be preliminarily contacted during March this year. We plan to ask 6 speakers from the U.S., 2 from Sweden and 6 from other parts of Europe.
We have already positive reactions from the U.S., Canada, England and Italy concerning participation at the conference.
This time the conference will be kept within a close city centre area, more like Chicago or Hotel Holiday Inn in New York. The Birger Jarl Hotel is situated within five minutes walk from Nalen. There will also be other hotels available close to the conference locations.
If some new ideas come up during our preparations, DESS will be prepared to extend the conference time or content. This means a new opportunity for all Ellington friends to come together after four years. We all look forward to this opportunity and finally, good news for all her friends around the world: Alice Babs has promised to participate with her family at the conference and especially at the evening concert, Friday the 14th.
More information will be available soon.
- Göran Wallén
See DEMS 02/2-3.
The second volume of Ken Vail's Duke's Diary covers the years 1951-1974. It is published by Scarecrow Press exclusively in a hardback edition. The first part (1927-1950) has been transformed (not reprinted) by Scarecrow into hardback, but one can still find the first part in paper back from the first release by Ken Vail himself (DEMS 99/2-2).
The work is based on the Joe Igo Itinerary, which never appeared in print and which also served as backbone for Klaus Stratemann's "Day by Day and Film by Film". Furthermore several of the Ellington discographies have been consulted. The work has been completed by Ken Vail's own research.
What makes his work unique and highly attractive is the fact that he has been able to illustrate his book with an avalanche of pictures and copies from newspaper clippings.
There is still a lot to do to fill up the gaps and correct the mistakes, but it would have been nonsense to wait until the research would have come to an end. That will probably never be the case. A nice review by Ken Steiner of the whole work has been published in TDES' Newsletter of Jan03.
In Europe the books can be ordered from DEMS member Norbert Ruecker's specialised jazz
mailorder bookstore: Postfach 14, D-61382 Schmitten, Germany
Telephone (06082) 688, Fax (06082) 2960
Part 1 in paperback (367 pages) for 53.20
Same part 1 in hardback for 88.00
Part 2 in hardback (452 pages) for 104.00.
From the recording session of 20Sep37 take -1 of Harmony in Harlem is released on the LP Raretone 23002. We read on the jacket: "The short silent section at the end of Hodges' first solo corresponds to the music portion left out due to an unavoidable 'skip' of the original recording."
Harmony in Harlem take -1 is (together with take -2) also on the French CBS LP 88210. Now take -1 seems to be complete. Here we read about this take: "The missing notes are on the original matrix."
What actually happened was this: the first solo by Hodges on take -1 on CBS is edited from take -2. The rest of CBS take -1 is identical with the take -1 on Raretone.
Steven Lasker reports that he has won in a recent auction a shellac test pressing of Harmony in Harlem with on the label the matrix number M 650-1, the title Have Some and the note: "background too loud for soprano + clarinet solos".
This recording is undoubtedly from the same recording session but it is very different from what we have on CBS and Raretone. Comparison reveals that it is the fastest take, which makes me believe that it is not the chronologically first take, but probably the third.
Steven also won in the same auction a shellac test pressing of M 651-1, the unissued take of Dusk in the Desert from the same session also with on the label its subtitle: Jammin' and Jibin'. Take -1 is somewhat slower than take -2 as could be expected.
Dusk on the Desert (this title per the song's 16May38 copyright recordation; ASCAP index; MIMM; 1947's Parlophone (E) R.3041; the New DESOR, page 855; etc.; Dusk in the Desert per the label of Brunswick m8029, released 18Dec37); the title was originally entered in the ledger as Jammin' and Jibin'. Jamin' And Jubin', an alternative title cited in the New DESOR and in Timner, isn't found in the A.R.C. files.
- Steven Lasker