DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
06/1 April - July 2006
Our 28th Year of Publication.
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
Lou Rawls, who became famous in a slightly different category of music than that of Ellington, died on 6Jan06. We know him best from the fact that Duke was his guest on one of his shows. Duke's participation was recorded in late 1970 at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto where he played Satin Doll and with Lou Rawls vocal Sophisticated Lady. Duke brought his own rhythm section (Joe Benjamin and Rufus Jones) and was accompanied by a studio orchestra. The show recently appeared on DVD, see DEMS 05/3-19 and 06/1-7.
In the Danish collection is a tape from 12Aug69 with a male vocalist, identified as probably Frankie Laine. This is based on Duke's remark "You start call this time, Frank. Ready?" I believe that Frank was an assistant in the studio because the voice of Lou Rawls is so distinctive that the male singer was later recognised as being Lou Rawls (also for the session of 29Aug69). Although he didn't work a lot with Duke, he certainly deserves to be mentioned in DEMS Bulletin and in Duke's discography.
Especially if you compare it with Bulletin 05/3, this one, 06/1, is rather small. One of the additional advantages of using the web-site instead of the hard copy editions is the fact that there is no limit because of mailing constraints (we tried always to stay below 100 grams) and the consequence of having extra large Bulletins is that there can also be some smaller ones. But in spite of the fact that the Bulletin is so much smaller, there are still some "fresh" addition to Duke's discography. One came from Lance Travis in South Africa, who contributed an audio recording of Duke's appearance on the Johnny Carson's Tonight Show on 2Aug65. Lance received this recording from Bob Roberts, who explained that on this evening, Joey Bishop replaced Johnny Carson as happened often on Monday nights. Richard Minton, who was employed in the American TV industry during this period confirmed that the voice is that of Joey Bishop. The chatter between Duke and Joey Bishop took a bit more than 6 minutes. After that Duke played for 2:35 Single Petal of a Rose. I can confirm that this is a "fresh" recording. It has not been borrowed from elsewhere.
The other one came from Michael Cuscuna. It is an alternate take of Body and Soul, which is on a recently released Mosaic CD and the whole CD is in genuine stereo. See DEMS 06/1-30.
Another memorable fact is that we have reached the start of the year 2001 (for many of us the beginning of the 21st century) in going back with putting DEMS Bulletins on this web-site. There are no plans yet to go any further. If you want to see an older Bulletin than 2001/1, please let us know. All the Bulletins since 1996 are still available as e-mail attachments. From older Bulletins than 1996, we can make you hard-copies. We are especially happy that Bulletin 2001/1 is now on the web, because it shows you the picture of Mark Tucker that we published with his obituary. He was undeniably one of the most important Ellington researchers ever and it is more than appropriate that his picture is available to everybody to see. It is also good that a very thorough study by Hans-Joachim Schmidt about Hank Cinq is on the web-site. If you have missed it, you should read it.
A sad message is that Jerry Valburn's CD column has been discontinued for the time being. Jerry has some health problems and he would love to hear from the friends who know one or more of his addresses. If you send him a message you should congratulate him on his 80th birthday, which was celebrated on 19Dec05.
A good message came from Ted Hudson on 21Jan06: "Today Jack Towers came home from the rehabilitation center. A physical therapist will come to his home several times a week to continue his treatment. I spoke with him and he seemed in good spirits, glad to get home, of course. He is very appreciative of friends who wrote, called, and otherwise encouraged him."
(Jack Towers had to undergo a hip operation.)
Jazz 'Bones: The World of Jazz Trombone
See DEMS 05/2-25
"Jazz 'Bones: The World of Jazz Trombone," (with a nod in the title to Stanley Dance) written by Kurt Dietrich has come to fruition. Advance Music, who published in 1995 "Duke's 'Bones," released the new book in December 2005 with order number 19106 (ISBN 3-89221-069-1). It was "brought out" at the International Association for Jazz Education conference in New York in January, and is creating a nice little "buzz" in the trombone world right now. It is a large project (612 pages) and the first work of this sort in our "community." Some of the material in "Duke's 'Bones" is recycled here, but Kurt discussed several hundred trombonists in his latest book. It is written for the general reader, without musical examples. A good place to see a little bit about it is at: http://www.upbeat.com/caris/saxalt.htm#bones (scroll down towards the bottom of that page). That is at Caris Music Services, a good place to order the book as well -- but for US customers. In Europe you would be best off going directly to the Advance Music site: http://www.advancemusic.com/ The same publicity at the site mentioned above is also at the Advance site.
At the same time that the new book was released, "Duke's 'Bones" went into a second printing. It includes some updating in the discographical section, corrections made in the text, and, unhappily, some new death dates.
Kurt Dietrich is well known among Ellington conference attendees. Kurt made presentations about Lawrence Brown in Washington on 27Apr89, about Tricky Sam Nanton in Ottawa on 18May1990 and about Juan Tizol in New York on 13Aug93. Kurt is currently the Barbara Baldwin DeFrees Professor of Performing Arts at Ripon College in Wisconsin. I must apologise for the fact that his book "Duke's 'Bones" (230 pages) has never been reviewed in DEMS Bulletin. Because I figured that it would be too technical for me, I sent a free copy to a well-known Professor in Music, DEMS member and trombone player himself who accepted my request to review it. Even after several reminders, the review never materialised. Now the book is reprinted and updated and since I have read the first edition, I can recommend it strongly to every Ellington admirer. It contains many musical examples and if you cannot read music you will feel sorry for yourself that you never learned it. Kurt's doctoral dissertation covered mainly Tricky Sam Nanton, Juan Tizol and Lawrence Brown but his book "Duke's 'Bones" covers in detail all the trombonists who played in Ellington's orchestra from John Anderson and his successor Charlie Irvis to Murray McEachern and Art Baron. Even for musical illiterates like myself, this book is a really important addition to one's Ellington library. I have no doubt that his latest book "Jazz 'Bones: The World of Jazz Trombone" is an equally welcome addition to the library of many friends with a more general appreciation of Jazz. I just received my copy from my friend Norbert Ruecker, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The DVD Regions
See DEMS 05/3-20
Reading the last bulletin, I see that you don't know which region is Region 4 on DVDs. South America is Region 4, the same as for Korea, Thailand, China, and other countries from the far orient. But almost all of the DVD players one can buy here [in Argentine], are region free and play all regions and formats (PAL and/or NTSC).
Firstly thanks for e-mail regarding latest DEMS issue. Another superb effort from the team and I wish you all the very best for Xmas and New Year.
Re DEMS 05/2-18 my Panasonic DVD instruction book lists Region 4 as South America, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.
Tasmania is of course a state of Australia, not a separate country.
The Classic Hollywood Years
A friend of mine has given me a copy of this DVD, released on 7Sep04. Have you seen this interesting DVD?
This is the best site with more information on it:
I've not found in DEMS a reference.... I attach the list of the "tracks" written with the help of the inserts on the DVD (some of them with errors). All is OK, checked with DESOR, except for one piece: the "Jungle Interlude", which probably came from another film and is not with the right title:
1937 --------Hit Parade of 1937------------------------------------------
Hollywood Republic Studios, Los Angeles, CA, February 22, 1937
1. I've Got to Be A Rug Cutter (vc IA, RS, HC, HAl) (D. Ellington) [2:08]
2. Jungle Interlude (D. Ellington) [1:02] ??????
And also with, according to DESOR, 3 unissued tracks:
1943 --------An RKO Jamboree #7 ---------------------------------------
Hurricane Restaurant, New York City, NY, June 17, 1943
1. Mood Indigo/ Sophisticated Lady (Ellington-Mills-Bigard/Ellington-Mills-Parish) [2:38]
2. It Don't Mean A Thing (Ellington-Mills) vcRN [2:45]
3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (D. Ellington) [2:46]
Am I right or have I made many mistakes?
Indeed this DVD has not been mentioned earlier in DEMS Bulletin. It contains material previously released on video tapes and other DVDs.
First the two sections you mentioned:
"The Hit Parade " is not complete. Missing are It Don't Mean a Thing; Along Came Pete and Sophisticated Lady. That is a pity because both missing titles have not yet been issued on video or DVD (as far as I can check). Jungle Interlude is a new subtitle for Love Is Good for Anything that Ails You, with the only filmed (2 bars) solo by Fred Guy. This piece was not written by Ellington, but by L. Handman. The film was made in the week from 22 until 26Feb37.
"Duke Ellington and His Orchestra", RKO Jamboree # 7 was not filmed at the Hurricane Restaurant or in Hollywood as the title of the DVD suggests. The music was recorded on 17 and 19Jun43 by Pathé News and the picture was shot at the Movietone Studios in Manhattan on 22 until 27Jun43. These recordings have been previously issued on video (Storyville 6033) and on DVD (Bluebird "The Centennial Collection", see DEMS 04/3-35).
There is more to the DVD than the two sections you describe according to the web-site you mentioned. I found: "Black and Tan" (1929); "A Bundle of Blues" (1933); "Symphony in Black" (1935); "Paramount Pictorial No. 889" (the making of records, 1937) and segments of the longer films "Cheek and Double Cheek" [sic]; "Belle of the Nineties" and "Cabin in the Sky".
The time-length is 80 minutes and it seems to be produced by "ejazzlines.com", a division of Hero Enterprises Inc. The catalogue number is rather long: 8436028690282.
The Ralph J. Gleason recordings on DVD
Eagle Vision EREDV-490.
See DEMS 05/3-20
The recent issue of the DVD containing the Ralph J.Gleason Aug/Sep65 recordings (now also available as DVD zoned "0") confirms the confusion I always felt regarding this title: Love Came, New Desor 6553h.
Sjef's comments in 05/3-20 do not make it perfectly clear: "Love Came ... 20Sep65-6553h ... fresh narration over the playback of the recording by BS on 14Aug65 ... not documented in the New DESOR."
New DESOR page 1001 describes this Love Came from 20Sep65 as 1°BS&DE(tk.);cod4BS, and at the same time states on page 408 that the BS (piano) performance was pre-taped. I would suggest, in order to straighten the record definitively, that we should specify that 6553h from 20Sep65 only concerns Duke's narration over the playback of BS's piano playing Love Came recorded 14Aug65.
I stated that this Billy Strayhorn session of 14Aug65 is not documented in the New DESOR. That the "fresh" narration was documented in the New DESOR is illustrated by the reference number 6533h. I support your suggestion to change the wording of the note in the New DESOR to "The BS performance of Love Came was pre-taped on 14Aug65".
The DVD starts with a repeatedly played version of Take the "A" Train as an introduction to the DVD. We see first Ellington with his white jacket on the stage in Grace Cathedral and after several excerpts taken from the documentary "Love You Madly", we see him at the piano in Basin Street West. The audio part of this introductory sequence is taken from what we later hear in the documentary when the "complete" version of Take the "A" Train is performed.
The first part of the DVD contains the telecast titled "Love You Madly" and not as mentioned in DEMS 05/3-20, "Duke Ellington - We Love You Madly". That title by the way was used for the show, recorded on 10 and 11Jan73 in Los Angeles on the stage of the New Schubert Theatre. What I missed on my video tape and what I found on the DVD is not only the opening In the Beginning God (an incomplete replay at West Coast Recorders' control room) but also the comments spoken by Jon Hendricks in Monterey later in the documentary. Another correction I should make is this: I said that the middle of Take the "A" Train was taken from Monterey. That is not so. It is the section from the Cootie Williams solo until the end of Take the "A" Train which has been taken from Monterey, in spite of what the screen shows you. I have compared the audio tracks. The piano introduction is not from Monterey. I must indeed be from Basin Street West as is suggested by what we see on screen. What I wrote about the 1965 documentary is in other respects correct.
The second part of the DVD, which covers the 16Sep65 Sacred Concert contains exactly the portion that we already had on an audio tape. The DVD is nevertheless very welcome, because now we can see the performance as we saw it at the Pittsburgh Conference on 25May95, when Patricia Willard showed us the NET telecast of the Sacred Concert. That single viewing was not enough to make a reliable description of the concert. We can now make a full report.
The concert started with Come Sunday and Light (a.k.a. Montage). On the DVD we see documentary images of Duke visiting the Cathedral and speaking with several dignitaries. Through the music we hear the comments, probably by Ralph Gleason himself (or by William Triest, who is credited at the end of the telecast) explaining what happened. These comments are (fortunately) missing from the audio recording in the Danish Collection, broadcast in 1994 (bc # 54).
Come Sunday by the Herman McCoy Choir was scheduled next on the programme, but is not on any of the recordings.
This was planned to be followed by a group of traditional spirituals by the same choir. The only recording of this performance has been found in the Danish collection. These were the selections: Come Sunday; Do You Call That Religion?; My Lord, What a Morning; Every Time I Feel the Spirit and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. It seems possible to me that the scheduled Come Sunday was dropped since the group of traditional spirituals started with this very same title. Duke must have planned to alter the programme before it started. He tells us why later in the programme.
Next comes the video recording of Tell Me It's the Truth by Esther Marrow. On the DVD it seems to be uninterrupted connected to In the Beginning God. But according to the programme it should have been followed by what was called "Purvis a la Jazz Hot", according to the programme composed (or arranged) by Richard I. Purvis, orchestrated by Louie Bellson and Ellington and performed by The Grace Cathedral Choir directed by Mr Purvis. The recording has indeed been found in the Danish Collection and broadcast in bc # 54. There were first two false starts (not in the broadcast), followed by the complete We Shall Walk This Lonesome Road and Only Joyful. Both selections are documented in the New DESOR because the band took part in the performance. They are both credited (by the New DESOR) to Ellington.
From this point on, the remaining part of the concert has been released on the Status CD DSTS 1015 (See DEMS 97/2-19). According to the liner-notes by John Bennett the CD presents the selections in the order in which they were performed.
The next title is from the central part of the concert, In the Beginning God, and is evidently on the DVD. Duke and Jon Hendricks both had difficulties playing the melody correctly. This is not surprising in the case of Jon Hendricks. He arrived the same morning and was given the sheet music only shortly before the concert started without any rehearsal (see note). However, Duke was not yet used to playing his own composition, which was probably not yet fully completed at this stage. The marvellous introduction on his baritone by Harry Carney that we hear later in New York at Christmas 1965, had still to be added in spite of the fact that he is mentioned as first soloist in the programme notes. In the Beginning God was the last part in which both choirs participated. The Grace Cathedral Choir left immediately at the end of it. The Herman McCoy Choir however stayed for the remaining part of the concert. This is odd, because when Duke introduced the next number (Will You Be There?), we hear him say on the CD: " Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. As programme our intermission is supposed to be here, but because of the congestion we were late starting and the Herman McCoy Choir, many of them who are school teachers in Southern California, have to catch [a] plane and so if you don't mind we would like to continue with part of the second half and therefor their part and we will switch the programme a little bit so that they can make their plane. And so now, we will go to Will You Be There? Will You Be There? Herman McCoy."
If you look at the original programme (Klaus Stratemann p516) you notice that the original running order was indeed altered. In the Danish collection and on the CD (but not on the DVD) are first Will You Be There? and 99% Won't Do by the Herman McCoy Choir with Jimmy McPhail (and not with Jon Hendricks as is claimed in the credits on the back of the CD case).
This was followed by Ain't But the One also by Jimmy McPhail and the Herman McCoy Choir. This is included in the DVD. It is the last number before the intermission.
The first number after the intermission was (as scheduled) New World a-Comin', to my taste the best of Duke's recorded solos. It was as usual not completely flawless, but it is a real pleasure not only to hear him play but also to see him at the piano.
The next two numbers are explicitly announced by Duke as additional to the programme. They are not on the DVD. The first one was what Duke called "another additional version of In the Beginning God." Both Duke and Jon Hendricks stumbled again through the opening bars as we know them now by heart. The second of the two additional selections was My Mother, My Father by Jimmy McPhail. The note at the back of the CD case shows erroneously "the Speaking Choir" as participating in the first of these two additions as well as Jon Hendricks as the soloist in the second one.
The next selection is in fact also an addition to the programme. Duke didn't give it a title. The CD and also the DVD called it The Lord's Prayer. It has the lyrics based on "Our Father" or "Pater Noster". It was sung by Ester Marrow (and not Merrill as copied from the programme notes to the credits on the back of the CD case). The problem of having two totally different melodies with more or less the same lyrics has been addressed in DEMS Bulletins 83/2-4; 97/2-19 and 97/3-17. My suggestion to reserve the title The Preacher's Song for the version done by Tony Watkins a cappella at the end of several Sacred Concerts (also at the end of this first one in San Francisco) and to free the title The Lord's Prayer to be used for the Esther Marrow version, performed in 1965, 1966 and 1967 and for the Ellington piano solo in the third Sacred Concert at Westminster Abbey has been accepted by several discographers like Timner, Nielsen, Massagli and Volonté. The piano solo from Westminster Abbey is completely different again, but since it appears only once in Duke's discography it doesn't create a great problem and can be treated as in similar cases when the same title exists for two different compositions (which is to give it the # sign in the New DESOR). Anyway the third and last of the three additional selections in the programme was Ester Marrow's version of The Lord's Prayer. It is found on all recordings.
Duke returned to the scheduled programme with Esther Marrow doing Come Sunday. Again found on all recordings.
This is followed by the marvellous rendition of the same melody by Bunny Briggs, re-titled for his special performances (the first of which dates back to 1963 at the "My People" show) into David Danced Before the Lord. Not only did Jon Hendricks take part in this number (as is correctly mentioned on the CD box), but so too did the Herman McCoy Choir, whose members may have missed their plane! This is by its nature the most appropriate recording for a DVD instead of a CD.
This is the end of the DVD. The CD continues with what was scheduled in the programme as The Lord's Prayer and is called on the CD box The Lord's Prayer II, but what we prefer to call The Preacher's Song. Again, Duke did not mention any title when he announced Tony Watkins.
Note: I was very surprised to see that the liner notes of the DVD were not written by Patricia Willard. It seems that Ashley Kahn has been chosen because he is more famous. I must admit that I have never heard of him. Reading his notes makes it clear that he consulted Ralph Gleason's reports in "Celebrating the Duke" and that he does not have much first hand knowledge of the event. We know however that Patricia was very much involved in the preparation of the Sacred Concert and that she assisted the producer of the two documentaries. She is acknowledged in Ralph Gleason's book as the Ellington historian who was especially helpful. She gave an exciting presentation in Pittsburgh together with Louie Bellson about this specific Sacred Concert. She is even seen on screen in the documentary "Love You Madly" when Duke entered what might have been Basin Street West, saw her and shook her hand. Before I wrote this article about the Grace Cathedral Concert, I re-listened and watched my video recording, made on 25May95 in Pittsburgh. Patricia explained why Jon Hendrick had had so much difficulty singing In the Beginning God. She also mentioned that there were about twenty hours of filming done, that it was first cut to five hours and since it was still too long for showing on television, it was further reduced to two programmes of one hour each. That means that there may still be some material left at the Ralph Gleason estate at Jazz Casual Production, Inc. directed by Ralph's son Toby, who also wrote a part of the liner-notes himself. Let's hope that he will decide to release some of it as well, in the not too distant future. For the time being we must be very grateful for having these beautiful DVDs. We are most fortunate to be able to enjoy Duke's very first Sacred Concert under marvellous circumstances. Those who were in the Cathedral may have had the benefit of seeing the band in colour, we have at least the best sound reproduction. We experienced ourselves during the Ellington Conference in 1999 in Washington on Duke's 100th birthday that the sound in a Cathedral (on that occasion the National Cathedral of Washington) can be awful, depending on where you are seated. Ralph Gleason reported of the same "acoustical disaster" on 16Sep65 in Grace Cathedral in his book "Celebrating the Duke" (p215) in "A Ducal Calendar 1952-1974" under the date of 2oct65, which by the way illustrates that Ralph for an unknown reason did not put the actual dates on top of his articles.
I have had some correspondence with Patricia Willard about this concert and she gave me a few additional details when I asked her who directed the choir:
"I just watched the total DVD, and although Tom Whaley was there in San Francisco he was not in the Sacred Concert video/DVD. He's seen frequently in "Love You Madly" and the footage for both was originally all part of what was intended to be one program. I remember Herbie Jones doing the copying of parts for the actual concert. Tom obviously was very involved in the after-concert recording session at the studio, and I see him backstage at Monterey.
There were two choirs on the concert — the Herman McCoy Choir, which was Duke's choice, and the Grace Cathedral choir, which was Grace Cathedral's choice. Both are on the video/DVD. Herman's group was combined with the Grace Cathedral group for what the printed program calls "The Speaking Choir," which must have been pre-planned because I produced the printed program according to Duke's instructions [although I chose the stock (paper), typefaces and dimensions, the latter over the objections of Dean Bartlett who said Grace Cathedral had never had a printed program that large. I argued that they'd never had a performance program that innovative and history-making.]
The "Group of Traditional Spirituals" by the McCoy Choir and "Purvis A La Jazz Hot" were edited out of the television show because it had to be kept to one hour, and those two portions were not really Ellington-specific. Richard Purvis does not appear anywhere in the DVD. The choir director you see repeatedly is Herman McCoy.
And I'm sure that you know that the order of actual performance is per the unauthorized CD issued in Europe from Wally Heider's original tapes. For the television special, there was some editing and re-programming." End quote.
As I pointed out the editing and re-programming did not disturb the actual sequence of selections but there were some alterations to the programme as printed.