DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
03/2 August-November 2003
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
See DEMS 03/1-3
There are, we now discover, three different takes of Harmony in Harlem from 20Sep37.
My 11" shellac test of the "fresh" take "one" would seem to be the true take one given the engineer's hand-written notation in the outer "flash" area (near the rim):
"M650-1P Ellington Orch. Have Some."
(The "P" indicates that the 11" acetate master was to be "processed", or electroplated to produce the original metal master used to press my test.)
Moreover, the master and take numbers stamped in the run-out area are M650-1, while the A.R.C. ledger and engineering logs agree that only two takes were made; the issued take is stamped as being take M650-2.
I am reliably informed that parts for mx. M648-2, M649-2, and M650-1 were destroyed long ago. With the exception of my test of M650-1, which has only just surfaced, actual tests pressed from these masters were unknown to me (and weren't in the collections of Georges Debroe or Jerry Valburn), so the source material used to dub these takes on Raretone 23002 is a mystery to me. If anyone has knowledge of Raretone's sources for these tracks, please contact DEMS with details.
I have never inspected the 78 r.p.m. source material for what Raretone represents as "M650-1" (but which apparently is something else). One possibility: in that the take on Raretone (given its sonic balance, I don't doubt it was also made 20Sep37) is the loosest and most relaxed of the three takes, it may be from an unprocessed, unnumbered acetate recording of an early take which was discarded and somehow escaped the studio to find its way into a collector's hands. Until someone with knowledge of the LP's production reports on the source material for what is represented to be "M650-1" on Raretone 23002, this will remain a mystery; for the time being I propose my unreleased test be designated as take one (it is the only confirmed take one), the released take as take two, and the Raretone take "one" as take "x."
(The only other possibilities are that A.R.C. processed two takes one this would seem to be an impossibility or Raretone misidentified a true take three, which according to both the ledger and engineer's log shouldn't exist, as take one.)
I've found just two other instances where the A.R.C. recording ledger incorrectly reports the number of takes made: two takes of Rexatious mx. B4369 (16Dec36) are known whereas the ledger indicates just a single take; two takes of Peckin' max B21189 (20May37) were reported as made in the ledger and engineer's log, yet three were test-pressed (I hold all three). So as a general rule, the ledgers and logs are almost entirely accurate as to number of takes made, and neither shows a take three of Harmony in Harlem.
My personal experience of dubbing from Decca, Commodore and Savoy safety acetates from the period 1943-49, which discs document the sequence of takes made, has taught me that in the pre-tape days, when performances were all of one take (and not spliced), the band would usually make one "choice" take and one "hold" take, moreover the "choice" take was usually the last take recorded, the "hold" being the next best; 78 rpm masters of first-choice takes were always made (unless a title was rejected outright), masters of "hold" takes were often made, and masters of third-choice takes were seldom made.
That take letters at Brunswick from 1928-31, and take letters and numbers at A.R.C./Brunswick/Master/Variety/Columbia/Vocalion/OKeh from 1932- 40 don't reflect the actual recording sequence is evidenced by the observation that the take "one" or take "A" was the first take to be issued something like 85% of the time. This is far too high to be a coincidence; it suggests that the first choice take was designated as either take "one" or take "A".
Further evidence that take numbers or letters don't reflect the actual recording sequence is suggested by the performances heard on two masters that, according to the ledger, shouldn't exist: Peckin' -3 is a different and arguably earlier arrangement from takes one and two; Harmony in Harlem -x is relaxed and casual compared to takes one and two, as though it were a rehearsal run-thru for the purpose of timing.
Caveat: The ledger tells us that only takes "1" and "1A" were made of Subtle Lament mx. WM998 and Lady in Blue mx. WM999 (20Mar39); the alternate takes, first issued on Smithsonian P2 14273 and Up to Date 2002 respectively, derive from a 16" pressing with these tracks and the master take of Subtle Lament that was apparently created as a safety; only two copies are known to exist.
These performances were never considered for issue as 78 r.p.m. masters (indeed, on the 16" disc, the rehearsal take of Subtle Lament is marked "N.G. too long" [i.e., "No Good"]), so their existence isn't noted in the ledger, which only documents 10" 78 rpm masters suitable for release; the 12" 78 rpm acetate disc containing the rehearsal takes of Echoes of Harlem (19Jan38; DEMS 02/3-18/3) is similarly unmentioned in the ledger.
An afterthought with reference to the hand-written inscription "Background too loud for soprano + clar.solos." found on the label of the shellac test of M650-1 Have Some = Harmony in Harlem (DEMS 03/1-3): Note that there is no clarinet solo on any take of the piece from that date.
In our opinion, the "so called" take -1 on Raretone is a take that had to be destroyed because of its unavoidable skip. Thanks to Steven Lasker, now we have the actual take -1. We arranged the correction-sheet consequently. (See correction-sheet 1051 for the New DESOR)
For those of you who don't yet know, Apple Computer has an on line music store and is selling albums at 99c a track. You also get to download the artwork for the CD release and you also have the right to burn your own CDs. Ellington features, as you would expect. More than 30 albums are currently available and individual tracks can be purchased; so if, for example, you had a copy of "Money Jungle" without the alternate takes you could just buy the ones you don't have.
Go to http://www.apple.com/music click on iTunes and download iTunes4, its free.
Those of you with Windows operating systems will need to upgrade to a Mac but that's hardly a bad thing since as you can then get rid of that uncool box you have ;-)
Duke would have used a Mac.
Seriously though, Windows users will be able to download from the iTunes towards the end of the year.
See DEMS 02/1-7/1
Alt-Klarinette = German; Tenor Clarinet = English.
Two names in two languages for one and the same instrument in F and Es (E-flat).
The preceding instrument was the basset-horn.
Grenser in Dresden gave it the straight clarinet form in 1808; he removed the supplement keys the low ditone and mounted a bent bell and neck. It is not certain whether similar was done in other countries.
The illustration is taken from Real-Lexikon der Musikinstru- mente, C. Sachs, Berlin 1913, 2nd unchanged reprint 1972, Olms Verlag, Hildesheim - New York.
When we try to find the correct name for an instrument, we should pay attention to the fact that there was a tremendous migration of people in the 19th and early 20th century. Thus, languages and different names for the same thing mixed up. For example Alt-Klarinette against tenor clarinet. Dieter Pruess
See DEMS 00/4-11/2
The Real-Lexikon der Musikinstrumente (see note) defines mellophone to be a Waldhorn (English: French horn) surrogate, equivalent to the French Cor alto.
Cor alto is defined to be a cross between Waldhorn and Alt- Kornett, made about 1890 by Couesnon & Cie and F. Besson, both in Paris. It is a Tenorhorn with throughout conical tube in F or Es (E-flat) with 3 or 4 pump valves.
In the 19th and early 20th century a host of new instruments was built, lot of them so exotic to never become common. The Silesian Bl_hmel created the first valve, patent applied 12Apr1818 in Berlin.
Note: see for more information about this book, Dieter's article on top of this page. Dieter has also "The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments" by Anthony Baines, 1992, Oxford University Press. The Real-Lexikon shows more instruments from all over the world. Oxford shows more details of construction. Oxford has three indexes: 1. Manufacturers; 2. A 20 page bibliography; 3. A 4 page selection of catalogues of musical instruments collections from all over the world.
This is becoming the longest tale as well as the saddest! In my country the name of the instrument in question is not at all as Dieter Pruess's note suggests; I covered the ground fairly fully (I thought) in Bulletin 01/3-6/2. Most experienced British clarinet players, and all those with experience of playing in clarinet choirs or concert bands, will know at once what an alto clarinet is. But few will have any idea of what you mean if you talk to them about a 'tenor clarinet'. Maybe that name was in wider use many years ago than it is today. But at the present time an alto clarinet is what we call die Alt-Klarinette in this country, and we have done so for years. The confusion surrounding the instrument on which Harry played his solo chorus in the 1934 recording had to do with the fact that jazz journalists mistook it for the bass clarinet, which Harry took up around ten years later; also with the fact that in the 1947 Hot Corner interview in which Duke corrected his interviewer on the point, he calls it a 'mezzo'. It had nothing to do with the migrations of people in earlier times (I accept the possibility that such migrations might be a reason why alto clarinet came to be the preferred name in the first place, but I've never seen any suggestion to this effect in the literature). Roger Boyes
See DEMS 03/1-28 and Correction sheet 1036
'Obbligato' simply means 'obligatory', i.e. indispensable to the performance. In this literal sense, therefore all obbligatos have prominence. But we usually think of them as subsidiary statements to the main one, most typically those contributed by an instrumentalist complementing a singer. Classic examples of this type of obbligato are Harry Edison's contributions to all those 1950s recordings by Sinatra and others. Others are Lester's work behind Billie on the 1930s recordings and it is on these where I feel Steven's 'judgement call' comes in. On some of them (though not on all) Lester's line is such that he is really creating a thought-through continuing statement alongside Billie's reading of the song in other words a form of duetting, which is what I understand Steven to mean by 'co-solo'. I think all obbligatos should be noted in descriptions, since they are indispensable individual statements. It doesn't really matter whether they are improvised, scored or worked out over time by the individual who plays them; nor does it matter whether or not they add up to co-solos or duets.
Here are a few more examples to consider from the Ellington discography. The paired soloists in Up and Down, Up and Down, who represent the lovers whom Puck has befuddled are clearly duetting, and all good performances of the score take care to bring this out. And I would say that Chorus 1° of In A Jam (29Jul36) features Nanton and Bigard as co-soloists throughout. Tricky tends to have the melodic argument while Barney embroiders and weaves, but the trombone and clarinet lines are equal partners here in my view. It contrasts well with Chorus 2°, in which Hodges and Williams exchange twos. In Chorus 1° of Paducah (1Mar29), I would say that Cootie and Barney are duetting here too. In this case Barney's role is perhaps more of a complementary one to Cootie's; nevertheless I still judge the two to be co-soloists. Just one more example, from Chorus 5° of Portrait of a Lion (21Mar39) where the band cuts out. I don't hear what happens as a Hodges solo with Duke comping. I hear it as duetting.
This is an interesting discussion. Roger Boyes
I checked the examples just mentioned. With the exception of Portrait of a Lion, all have been described in Volume 2 of the New DESOR according Roger's suggestions. SH**
See DEMS 93/1-1; 93/2-6/7
This is a re-print of Jan Bru,r's article in DEMS 94/2-2.
From the first crucial period when both Otto Hardwick and Harry Carney were in the band there are 38 takes, from 6oct27 through 26Mar28. They both played alto sax, baritone sax, clarinet, soprano sax and at least Otto Hardwick also played bass sax. Here are my suggestions concerning who is playing reed solos and obbligatos. I put ensemble work between brackets ( ).
Washington Wobble, 40156 -1 and -2: Rudy Jackson clarinet, Otto Hardwick alto, Rudy Jackson clarinet (alto & tenor & baritone at the beginning, soprano & alto & tenor or baritone after the piano solo, 2 alto's & tenor after the alto solo, 3 clarinets in last chorus, one of them changing to baritone in the end).
Creole Love Call, 39370 -1: Rudy Jackson clarinet (3 clarinets at the beginning and the end, 2 alto's & tenor in the middle).
The Blues I Love To Sing, 39371 -1 and -2: Otto Hardwick soprano (Harry Carney alto, Rudy Jackson tenor).
Black and Tan Fantasy, 40155 -4: Otto Hardwick alto (Harry Carney alto, Rudy Jackson tenor).
Washington Wobble, 40156 -5 as earlier takes of 6oct27.
What Can a Poor Fellow Do, 81775 -A: (Otto Hardwick alto lead) Harry Carney alto solo debut (3 clarinets in first chorus, then 2 alto's & tenor).
Black and Tan Fantasy, 81776 -B and -C: as earlier take of 26oct27.
Chicago Stomp Down, 81777 -C: Rudy Jackson clarinet, Otto Hardwick alto, Rudy Jackson clarinet (Rudy Jackson played also tenor after the vocal chorus. In last chorus Otto Hardwick and Harry Carney played alto and baritone, it is hard to say who played what).
Harlem River Quiver, 41244 -1, -2 and -3: Otto Hardwick baritone (alto & tenor & baritone in intro and first chorus, baritone changes to alto after trombone solo, 2 alto's & tenor again after baritone solo).
East St. Louis Toodle-Oo, 41245 -2: Otto Hardwick baritone, Harry Carney clarinet (alto & tenor & baritone). The baritone solo is not improvised but I think it is Otto Hardwick, because of his sound. In earlier - and later -versions Otto Hardwick played this strain, together with other reed men, on soprano or clarinet. The clarinet solo here might be by Harry Carney because it sounds like tenor & baritone in the background, but it could also be Rudy Jackson on clarinet and alto & baritone in background. The baritone could even be bass sax in this one, at least in the first ensemble).
Blue Bubbles, 41246 -1: Harry Carney alto, Otto Hardwick baritone, Harry Carney alto (alto & tenor & baritone at the beginning, 2 alto's & tenor at the end). This is a most convincing example!
Blue Bubbles, 41246 -2: Harry Carney's first solo is played on soprano, otherwise like take -1.
Red Hot Band, E6824: Harry Carney alto, Harry Carney alto, Rudy Jackson clarinet (2 alto's & tenor at the beginning, 3 clarinets at the end).
Doin' the Frog, E6826: Otto Hardwick alto, Otto Hardwick bass sax, Otto Hardwick bass sax (probably alto & tenor & bass sax in the first chorus, Otto Hardwick changes to alto sax before the trombone solo and then back to bass sax. In the last chorus again 2 altos & tenor).
9Jan28 (Acoustic recording without a bass player):
Sweet Mama, 145488 -3: (Otto Hardwick alto in the intro) Harry Carney baritone obbligato, not improvised, during trumpet solo, (Harry Carney alto after piano interlude), Otto Hardwick soprano, Barney Bigard clarinet (3 clarinets in the end).
Stack O'Lee Blues, 145489 -3: Barney Bigard clarinet (2 alto's & tenor at the beginning and at the end, 2 altos before clarinet solo).
Bugle Call Rag, 145490 -3: Barney Bigard tenor (2 alto's & tenor during Louis Metcalf's solo in the 3° chorus), Otto Hardwick baritone, Harry Carney clarinet, (tenor & bari-tone before piano solo) Otto Hardwick alto, Harry Carney clarinet, (alto & tenor during clarinet solo at the end).
Take It Easy, W400030 -B: Otto Hardwick alto, Barney Bigard clarinet, Otto Hardwick alto, Barney Bigard clarinet (2 alto's & tenor).
Jubilee Stomp, 400031 -A: Otto Hardwick alto, Harry Carney baritone obbligato, not improvised, during Bubber Miley's trumpet solo and Barney Bigard's first clarinet solo, Barney Bigard clarinet, Otto Hardwick alto, Barney Bigard clarinet (2 alto's & tenor at the beginning and the end, before Barney Bigard changes to clarinet in the last seconds). [The baritone sax obbligato is only in this version]
Harlem Twist, 400032 -A: Barney Bigard clarinet, Otto Hardwick baritone , still not improvised compare with East St. Louis Toodle-Oo of 19Dec27! (Alto & tenor & baritone. During clarinet solo, it sounds like alto sax & baritone sax).
East St. Louis Toodle-Oo, 2944 -A and 108079-1: Barney Bigard clarinet (probably alto & tenor & baritone in ensemble, alto & baritone during clarinet solo and 2 clarinets & soprano in last strain before Bubber Miley's ending).
Jubilee Stomp, 2945 -B and 108080 -1: Otto Hardwick alto, Barney Bigard clarinet, Barney Bigard clarinet, Otto Hardwick alto, Barney Bigard clarinet (2 alto's & tenor).
Take It Easy, 2946 -B and 108081-1: as earlier take of 19Jan28 but (2 alto's at the end).
Take It Easy, E27090: as earlier take of 19Jan28 but (Otto Hardwick lead alto & Harry Carney alto at the end).
Jubilee Stomp, E27091: as earlier take of 8?Mar28.
Black Beauty, 27093, 27094: Barney Bigard clarinet (2 alto's & tenor).
Black Beauty, 43502 -2: as earlier take of 21Mar28.
Jubilee Stomp, 43503 -2): as earlier take of 8?Mar28.
Got Everything but You, 43504 -2: Harry Carney baritone, Otto Hardwick alto, Barney Bigard clarinet, Harry Carney baritone.
My suggestion is that Harry Carney played his first real solo on baritone sax in Got Everything but You (26Mar28). His style of phrasing on both alto sax and baritone sax was somewhat different from Otto Hardwick's. Harry Carney improvised with larger interval steps than Otto Hardwick usually did, and Harry Carney usually played more staccato while Otto Hardwick played more legato, "softer" even when his attack is strong. Also, at that time teenager Harry Carney was certainly not so rhythmic as the more experienced Otto Hardwick. Regarding their sounds and vibratos, it is a bit hard to analyse, because both Otto Hardwick and Harry Carney used different kinds of sounds and ways of playing with more or less vibrato.
It is no surprise that both the alto sax solo in What Can a Poor Fellow Do (3Nov27) and the baritone sax solo on I Must Have That Man (15Nov28) are played by the same musician (Harry Carney) considering the style of the solo. Compare this with Got Everything but You (26Mar28) the same style again, and different from the other earlier solos on baritone sax. Just listen to all of Otto Hardwick's excellent baritone sax examples from the spring of 1927 and earlier. It is quite obvious that Otto Hardwick played the baritone sax solos on Song of the Cotton Field, Birmingham Breakdown, Down in Our Alley Blues etc. (Hop Head has no baritone sax-solo, it is tenor sax and Chicago Stomp Down has an alto sax-solo but no baritone sax-solo, only ensemble part). This is confirmed in an interview I did with Harry Carney in November 1969 (published in the Swedish Orkester Journalen, January 1970). " .It is possibly Otto Hardwick (better known as alto player) who played all solos on baritone before Harry Carney. However, Hardwick continued to play baritone after Carney came into the band. Carney played just a few solos, almost exclusively on alto, on Ellington records from 1927 and 1928 the baritone solos are played by Hardwick....". Jan Bru,r
Discrepancies with the descriptions in the New DESOR: 19Dec27, Harlem River Quiver; East St. Louis Toodle-Oo. 9Jan28, three selections about the bass-player. 19Jan28, Harlem Twist. 22Mar27, Hop Head.
I refer to DEMS 03/1-26/5, Forever Music Group 0605:
Dark Dawn; Green; Pink and Plaid; Jane.
The music sounds very much like the Dick Vance tracks......... SH
and DEMS 03/1-21/2, Definitive Records CD 11215:
The four additional titles on the first release were played by the Bobby Freeman Orchestra. The correct title for Janet is Jane......... Jerry Valburn
Who is right? Lance Travis
Undoubtedly Jerry Valburn. I should have corrected my statement or I should at least have made a reference from one article to the other. SH
Track 3 on this LP is Song of the Cotton Field. The title New Orleans Low Down is not on this LP.
The New DESOR claims in session 2702 (3Feb27) that New Orleans Low Down is released on Ace of Hearts AH-47 and that Song of the Cotton Field is not on that LP.
What is right? Dieter Pruess
The New DESOR is right. In the old Desor was this note: New Orleans Low Down on Ace of Hearts has been erroneously mislabelled as Song of the Cotton Field. DEMS
See DEMS 03/1-13/6
Admiration by William H.Tyers was copyrighted in 1915 and recorded by "The Jungle Band" in 1930. Ellington recorded Juan Tizol's composition Admiration on two occasions in 1935. The A.R.C. ledger entries for the sessions of 9Jan35 and 30Apr35, and the label of Brunswick 7440 refer to this last title as Admiration not as Admiration Stomp and one can only wonder who dreamed up the "stomp" designation (apparently not the original record company, which described Admiration as a "Fox- Trot" on the label of Brunswick 7440). Steven Lasker
DEMS Bulletin seldom comments on the sound quality of the releases. We take the view that to a considerable extent this issue is a matter of taste. We make an exception for this report by Bill Saxonis of some very severe criticism by an unknown listener, for the factual report by Steve Voce and for the words of high praise (about another alternate release) by George Avakian. DEMS
I received an e-mail today from Amazon.Com announcing that they now have the new 3 CD Blanton/Webster package, "Never No Lament", for a special price of $ 34.95 with free shipping. (See this Bulletin p22/3) There is one customer review of the new release from someone in Colorado. Interestingly, this person is highly critical of the re-mastering, essentially the same criticism of the earlier RCA CD version of these essential recordings. Here is what he has to say:
"What a shame RCA! Years waiting for this reissue and they completely ruined it. The 're-master' is terrible, I can say is unlistenable. Don't think your copy is defective, they all sound the same. You won't be able to turn up the volume, if you will, you won't listen to the Duke's music but you'll listen your speaker breaking apart in front of you. Can someone somewhere put a stop to these greedy companies like RCA, who try to cash 'repackaging' a product without even bothering to listen to how bad these CDs sound? Save your money, look for an imported version of these recordings and consider twice before buying CDs from RCA."
Of course, that is just one person's opinion. He may or may not be on target. I have not heard the new release and as a result can not comment.
We've mentioned before that the Dreyfus set is 'louder' than the new RCA triple disc.
Last night I included a 20-minute feature on the RCA set in our jazz programme, and we had difficulty raising the level of the music on BBC equipment to normal output. This manifested itself in the fact that my spoken links, left at their normal level, came in as very loud at the end of the music.
This is a symptom that would give problems only in broadcasting, but it does show that the output of the CDs is unusually low.
In the immortal words of Armand J. Piron's "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" ("I may be late but I'll be up to date"), I have just caught up with "Ko-Ko," a collection on Dreyfus Jazz FDM 36717-2 of the 1940 Blanton-Webster band, which started a discussion last month of comparisons of various Ellington reissues of the period.
I have just acquired a copy, and it is indeed the best transfer I have heard yet, from every point of view clarity, liveliness and even proper playback volume (note Steve Voce's posting of today).
Earlier reissues of this material are no competition. Too bad, it is not available in the U.S.
See for Dreyfus Jazz FDM 36717-2 DEMS 01/1-21/1.
A discographically unlisted 45 rpm single: Argentine RCA Victor 41A-0101. Side A issues Perdido, side B I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good. (The common take of each as by DUKE ELLINGTON Y SU ORQUESTA.)
See DEMS 02/2-16/2
I would find it most useful to re-print entirely the corresponding comments made in 79/5-2 and 80/1-3. (I have both Bulletins in my collection, but not all DEMS members have these old issues). Klaus Götting
Reprint of DEMS 79/5-2:
THE SAME WOMAN - BUT DIFFERENT!
Did you know there are two versions of "A DRUM IS A WOMAN" in existence? This has not been mentioned anywhere else, as far as we know. The difference concerns "side 1".
We found the following:
The original Columbia CL-951 issue used, for the first edition, a different version for "Side 1". In the following we refer to "Version 1" and "Version 2".
"Version 1" was probably used by mistake and quickly withdrawn. We believe so because there is only one edition of the printed information on both label and sleeve. This info corresponds with "Version 2", and this version was later the only one used. That is, until "A DRUM IS A WOMAN" was reissued by CBS (CBS (H) 65185). Now "Version 1" of "side 1" astonishingly came to life again. The printed text material however still unchanged.
1. "ZAJJ" "A DRUM IS A WOMAN" This track is the same on both versions.
2. "RHYTHM PUM TE DUM" We have to call this 2a and 2b. On Columbia, Version 2, this track begins with the choir portion "Rhythm Pum Te Dum" (2a) followed by Duke's narration beginning with "Once there was a boy ..." (2b). On CBS, Version 1, 2b comes before 2a!
3. "WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO WITH A DRUM" There are differences, but hardly recognizable.
4. "NEW ORLEANS" The versions are different.
5. "HEY, BUDDY BOLDEN" This selection is missing on "Version 1" (= CBS).
6. "CARRIBEE JOE" This selection is missing on "Version 1" (= CBS).
7. "CONGO SQUARE" There are tiny differences (Duke narration). The musical background is often the same. On "Version 2" this part ends "Side 1". On "Version 1" this part is continued on piano leading into:
8. "ZAJJ" "A DRUM IS A WOMAN", Part 2. This ends "side 1" on Version 1".
Side 2 has no differences. This means however that "ZAJJ" "A DRUM IS A WOMAN", Part 2, is repeated in full on the "Version 1" issue!
(Ove Wilson and Benny Aasland)
Reprint of DEMS 80/1-3 (slightly edited)
A DRUM IS A WOMAN DIFFERENT VERSIONS
Additional information on the Columbia sessions Sept 17, 24, 25, 28, Oct 22, 23 and Dec 6, 1956, for "A DRUM IS A WOMAN" mentioned in DEMS Bulletin 79/5-2: "Version 1" has been issued on Col CL-951 and CBS (H) 65185. "Version 2" has been issued on Col CL-951, CSP JCL-951, Philips B-07253-L, Philips BBL-7179 and CBS/Sony (J) SOPV-90 [and later on CD COL 471320 2]. "Version 2" must be regarded as the final version, since "Version 1" duplicates track 1, Side 2, "ZAJJ" "A DRUM IS A WOMAN", part 2. The information on all sleeves is identical and gives no indication of the differences. The following will help to identify the differences between the two versions.
Track 2: "RHYTHM PUM TE DUM"
Version 1: The track starts with narration by Duke Ellington preceded by a short piano sequence and followed by the music with chorus and orchestra, and ends with the same type of piano chords as the start.
This is the narration of Version 1:
Once there was a boy named Joe, who owned a drum, a primitive drum. And on the head of the drum were inscribed the letters ZAJJ. And this drum wanted Joe to believe that she was the fragile thing that is a woman and with his zeal and her amenability, they could arrive at the point of making beautiful rhythm together. They together should travel and give rhythm into the world. But Joe was in love with the jungle and wanted to stay with the jungle. So the drum disappeared and took all of her rhythms with her saying, "There are other Joe's, but one Joe can make rhythm as good as another"
Version 2: The track starts with drums and maracas as an introduction to the chorus and orchestra, which is the same as in Version 1. The music ends with the drum introduction to the narration by Duke Ellington, which is different from Version 1. Not only are the words different, but there is also some singing ("Carrabee Joe") by Joya Sherrill accompanying Duke Ellington's narration in Version 2. Version 2 of "Rhythm Pum Te Dum" merges directly into the next track, track 3 ("What Else Can You Do With A Drum").
This is the narration of Version 2 (with Joya Sherrill):
Once there was a boy named Carribee Joe (Carrabee Joe). Spoke with the animals in their jungle slang (Carrabee Joe). His heartbeat was like bongos, and he sang every song they sang. One day he found an elaborately fabricated drum (Carrabee Joe), and when he touched it, it actually spoke to him saying, "I'm not a drum, I am a woman. Know me as Madame Zajj, African enchantress. I can make you rich and famous. Together we can travel and make beautiful rhythm through the world. But Joe was in love with the jungle, the virgin jungle, God-made and untouched, and with the jungle he had to stay. The drum beat up a storm screaming "I am the one and only Madame Zajj, but there are many Joe's, and one Joe can make rhythm as well as another." So she hopped a trade wind, and away she went to Barbados in search of another Joe.
Track 4: "NEW ORLEANS"
The versions are very similar, the differences in the musical background almost imperceptible. The differences are easiest distinguished in the narration, spoken by Duke Ellington.
Version 1: After 17 seconds of Duke Ellington talking, his words are "...being sucked up over the horizon into fizzy bundle of grape-colored clouds. We see a boat, or is it a barge, coming into dock? Yes, it is a barge, and on it there's a throne, and on that throne is the King - What King? Why, man, that's the King Of The Zulu's! (Fanfare) - As the barge ties up (narration continues) to one woman, Madame Zajj." (Here the narration is interrupted by marching music for 10 seconds before Duke Ellington continues) "There's something familiar about this woman. It seems we recognize her as someone we've seen before, somewhere, suddenly we realize the parade and the drumbeat had faded away and we look around to find that Madame Zajj also has disappeared." This sequence, including the marching music is entirely missing in Version 2.
Version 2: After 13 seconds of Duke Ellington's narration, his words are " being drawn up over the horizon into a fizzy bunch of grape-colored clouds. There is a boat or is it a barge coming into dock? ____ It is a barge and on it ____ a throne, and on the throne __ a King. What King? Why, man, that's the King Of The Zulu's! And next to the King, a drum. Ah, Madame Zajj again. (Fanfare) As the barge ties up (narration continues) to one woman, Madame Zajj." Here track 4 continues directly into track 5.
Track 5: "HEY, BUDDY BOLDEN" is missing on Version 1.
Track 6: "CARRIBEE JOE" is missing on Version 1.
Track 7: "CONGO SQUARE" There are only a few variations in Duke Ellington's narration. The music is the same.
Version 1: The last sentence of Duke Ellington's narration goes "...and that the sun, a neon-rose lollipop is being sucked up over the horizon into a fizzy bundle of grape- colored clouds." The last track is then continued on piano as an introduction to "Zajj" "A Drum Is A Woman", part 2. This piano introduction (0:12) is not found in the introduction of "Zajj" on track 1 of Side 2 on either version. "Zajj" "A Drum Is A Woman", part 2 is at the end of side 1 in Version 1 as well as at the beginning of side 2 on both Versions.
Version 2: The last sentence of Duke Ellington's narration goes "...and ____ the sun, a neon-rose lollipop is being drawn up over the horizon into a fizzy bunch of grape-colored clouds."
Both pressings (Version 1 and Version 2) exist on the re- issued Columbia Special Products JCL-951. I think it is interesting to give the matrix-numbers for both pressings. Though I do not have the original Columbia, Philips or CBS issues, maybe the matrix-numbers are the same:
So called Version 1 (missing "Hey, Buddy Bolden" and "Carribee Joe") has for Side A of CSP JCL-951: XLP 39156-1AJ
So called Version 2 (Side A ends with "Congo Square") has for side A of the other CSP JCL-951: XLP 39156-2A
To my knowledge differences were first mentioned in "Duke Ellington Story On Records 1951-1957", page 388-390, session 631, where different takes (631b and 631c) were given for "Rhythm Pum Te Dum" on Col CL-951 and CSP JCL-951.
Hans Ulrich Hill
In addition, here are "matrix" numbers for side A for a few
Col CL-951 (Version 2): XLP 39156-1AG (in "wax")
Col CL-951 (Version 2): XLP 39156-1K (in "wax")
CBS 65185 (Version 1): m 65185-A (in "wax")
Philips BBL-7179 (export number B-07253-L)
(Version 2): AA07253 1L=1//420 (in "wax")
Benny Aasland (+SH)
In addition to the LPs mentioned, there has also been issued
an EP from these sessions, COLUMBIA B-9511 (EP), having the
1. Hey, Buddy Bolden
2. What Else Can You Do With A Drum?
3. Ah, You Better Know It
Tracks 1 and 2 are the same as those on LPs.
Track 3 is an alternate take (very similar, differing mainly in the tenor sax part).
Track 4 has not been issued on LP, although belonging to "A Drum Is A Woman". (In the CBS telecast, 1957, this composition was inter-posed between "Rhumbop" and "Carribee Joe" - part 2.)
Since Ove wrote these lines in 1980, it has been established that track 3, "You Better Know It" is identical with the version on the LPs. "Pomegranate" has been issued in the meantime on the LP CBS 26306 without narration and without bongo's at the end. The version on this Columbia EP has also no narration, but it has bongo's at the end. The version used for the telecast has both, narration at the beginning and bongo's at the end. All three versions used the same recording of 7May57. SH (in 2003)
If of interest, here are the "matrix" numbers used for the Columbia EP B-9511: ZEP41568 and ZEP41569.
See DEMS 99/3-18; 99/4-9/4 and 99/4-18/2
The original, mono version of Up and Down, Up and Down, from "Such Sweet Thunder," is now available on CD. Last year Sony released a CD entitled "Ralph Ellison: Living With Music," which contains the version with Clark Terry's "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" The release number is Columbia/Legacy CK 85935. The CD contains a number of jazz recordings referred to in Ralph Ellison's writings, recently collated as "Living With Music: Ralph Ellison's Jazz Writings," compiled and edited by Robert J. O'Meally (Modern Library, 2002). I have not yet seen the book, but the CD is fascinating. Jazz lovers will have most of the items on the CD, but it is interesting to hear them in novel contexts.
Included are Armstrong's Black and Blue, Duke's East St. Louis Toodle-Oo and Black and Tan Fantasy (the OKeh version with Jabbo Smith), and sides by Basie, Billie, Teddy Wilson, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Rushing, Mahalia Jackson, and others. It concludes with an excerpt from a speech Ellison gave at the Library of Congress in 1964. Well worth having.
I have no financial interest in either the Modern Library or Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. In fact, I have a major gripe about the latter. In the liner notes to this CD (as well as other recent Sony releases), for every single track it is stated that it was "Originally Released 19 Sony Music Entertainment Inc". None of these were originally released by Sony Music Entertainment Inc., which did not even exist at the time most of these were recorded. They were released by OKeh, Columbia, Vocalion or Brunswick. I am appalled at Sony's arrogance in making these fraudulent statements.
It's not arrogance. They are the legal holders of the copyright as they have assumed ownership and that is the way it should read legally.
See DEMS 02/2-13/2
I haven't undergone catastrophic memory loss yet, and still retain a clear and distinct recollection of purchasing the 12" aircheck disc of Ellington's 1Jun44 broadcast, with its generic "Audio Devices" label, from a record store in Hollywood in 1986.
After transferring the audio to a cassette tape (the source for the Azure cassette CA-30), I gave the disc to Jerry, whose first reaction, "I have this already," soon changed to "yes, it is new."
The only explanation I can devise that fits the situation: in 1987, when Jerry returned a batch of airchecks discs borrowed from the Timme Rosenkrantz collection, he inadvertently included the 1Jun44 aircheck among them, and has no recollection.
(Jerry received numerous other Ellington acetates from me as gifts, as Jack Towers can attest should Jerry need to be reminded.) Steven Lasker
While listening to the Martin Block WNEW jam session on my first privately released CD (DEMS 02/3-2/5) I note that the title described as Tiger Rag is not Tiger Rag at all!
It's just MC Martin Block who thinks it's Tiger Rag.
It's actually another one of Cootie's features: Chasin' Chippies or Boys from Harlem. Carl Hällström
About Tiger Rag in the new CD DE-1: it's really variations- improvisations on the canvas of Tiger Rag (second theme) in the original key of Ab.
The very interesting thing is that Cootie begins his solo with the original phrase of the tune Boys from Harlem he recorded in the afternoon of the same day, 21Dec38.
Just missing: the superb arrangement with Hardwick on bass sax. Claude Carrière
When we enjoyed listening to the fine quality of the first of the privately released CDs by DEMS member Carl Hällström, we noticed that the selection On the Sunny Side of the Street was complete.
We have on our tapes a version in which 8 bars are missing: the last 2 bars of the 2° chorus and the first 6 bars of the 3° chorus.
Comparison of our tapes with the new CD revealed that by deleting another 8 bars, Hällström has given the impression that his version is complete. This is not the case. Both chorus 2° and chorus 3° contained 32 bars each, which brings the total length of Lawrence's solo to 64 bars. We have on our tapes 56 bars (30 plus 26), but Carl Hällstrouml;m used only 48 (30 plus 18) bars to make us believe that the 3° chorus was not longer than 16 bars, a repeat of the second portion (BA) of the AABA structure.
Both versions (ours on tape and Hällström's on CD) of Jeep Is Jumpin' are not complete at the end. However, on the Hällström version there are 4 bars missing, which we do have on tape: The last 3 bars of 8BT&DE; and the first one of 8BAND in the 3° chorus.
The most complete recording of this session is in the Jerry Valburn collection. He played the three selections for us on 20Jun96 in Toronto during the Duke Ellington Conference and that is how they have been described in the New DESOR, session 3833. SH
See DEMS 03/1-10/3
Duke definitely wrote MIMM in his words. Stanley was more employed as pulling research data. A few writers were assigned but Duke refused to take their advice because he wanted it to be done in his way. Jane Vollmer
I don't want to embark on a spelling discussion any more than Lois does, but I have to say I think it would be most unwise to draw any inference about a writer's nationality from the spelling conventions followed in that writer's published work (manuscripts are of course another matter altogether). Over my lifetime it has become increasingly usual for the American conventions to be retained unaltered in editions published in Britain. This is right. It is far more important to make knowledge and insights widely available than it is to spend time, effort and money tweaking the reporting of them to different countries' spelling conventions. It is particularly true for books aimed at restricted and specialist markets, as all books on Ellington are. In Duke's case, it was already true in 1947. The London (Musicians' Press) edition of Barry Ulanov's book follows American conventions, using for example 'sanitarium', where British orthography would have 'sanatorium', for the type of institution in which poor Jimmy Blanton died (p234).
On a related though quite different issue, I am interested to see the Whetsel/Whetsol spelling issue of a year or so ago arising in Ulanov's book. (See DEMS 02/2-5) While the text and index prefer the spelling to which we have been accustomed over the years, i.e. 'Whetsol', the captions to the two photographs in which the trumpeter appears have 'Whetsel', the spelling for which Steven Lasker argues. Once again, the message has to be, draw no conclusions from the spelling conventions followed in publications. They are not necessarily even consistent within themselves. In any case, the name on Artie's part on the Saddest Tale manuscript reads 'Wetzel'. Roger Boyes
James Blanton wrote his name as "Jimmie", not as "Jimmy". See Comments on Timner's 4th edition page 1, which came with Bulletin 98/2 and see Jimmie's signature in DEMS 99/4-13. DEMS**
DEMS 03/1-16, 851. 3Jul41.
Examination of two master-pressed tests, marked "-1" and "- 2" shows that they derive from different master-cuttings, with very slightly different run-off configurations (neither identical to HMV JO.282), a different run-on configuration, and different volume levels. Playing the two "takes" back simultaneously revealed that both are nonetheless the same take as Sjef was the first to notice; they don't represent a left and right stereo pair. Although two waxes were cut, the recording sheet lists just one, "-1". The second wax, identified as "-2" on the test pressing, should have been identified as -1A instead. I was misled to believe there were two takes of Menelik when there is only one, and as a result, the performance appears twice on the Centennial box. My mistake. Steven Lasker
The first one who detected that both takes were identical was Eddie Lambert, who wrote in DEMS 81/1-3:
"I find Menelik -2 on Blu Disc and RCA (F) aurally identical to -1. Do you agree?" Eddie Lambert
See for different run-off and -on configurations page 5. See for Centennial box CD 12, DEMS 99/3-11. DEMS