DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
07/1 April 2007 - July 2007
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
See DEMS 06/3-33)
Anita O'Day died on 23Nov06 at the age of 87. She sang with the Ellington Band only once, on 17Jan45 in the selections Wish You Were Waitin' for Me and I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me.
Dave Black died on 4Dec06 at the age of 78 years. He played the drums in the Ellington Band from Fall 1953 until 12Nov54 when he was hospitalised in Portland. He came back on 22Jan55 and stayed until mid Jun55. He was featured in Billy Strayhorn's Gonna Tan Your Hide.
Jimmy died on 12Jan07 at the age of 82 years. He played trombone as a substitute for the ailing Chuck Connors in Sep71 and he replaced Murray McEachern in the Ellington Band during a dance date in Kenosha on 11May73 where he soloed in Mood Indigo.
Barbara McNair performed as a singer in the revival of "Jump for Joy" in 1959 where she performed together with Jimmy Randolph Brown-Skin Gal. She also sang in many of the selections in the Medley in the so called Barbara McNair show of 2Nov66, which is also known as "Calanese Center Stage" by Four Star Productions and from which video recordings circulate.
She was born on 4Mar34 and she died recently on 4Feb07.
Robert Marshall Rosengarden
Bobby Rosengarden was one of the nine percussionists Ellington employed for the recording on 25Feb59 of Tymperturbably Blue and Malletoba Spank. He also met Ellington at the Dick Cavett Shows, where he was the conductor of the studio orchestra. Duke appeared at the Dick Cavett Shows each year in 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971. From the years '69, '70 and '71 audio recordings circulate.
Robert lived from 23Apr24 until 27Feb07, when he died in Sarasota, Florida.
Butch Ballard who attended the Duke Ellington Conference in Ottawa in May90, where he also played for us, has been presented with the Mellon Jazz Community Award for his musical achievements and contributions to jazz education in Philadelphia. George Edward "Butch" Ballard is still going strong at age 88 heading his own trio.
Louie Bellson and Clark Terry
Louie Bellson and Clark Terry were honoured as "Living Jazz Legends" on 3Mar07 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. It was a real pleasure to see them both on screen in the recently telecast Billy Strayhorn documentary "Lush Life".
Shrine Auditorium Los Angeles 9Feb51
In the past summer, I won in an E-Bay auction three 16" transcriptions with the following inscriptions:
Disc 1. Duke at Shrine 2-9-51 with the number 1 on one side and "2" on the other.
Disc 2. Duke at Shrine 2-9-51 with "Part 1 Dub" on one side and nothing on the other.
Disc 3. Duke at Shrine 2-9-51 with the number 3 on one side and "4" on the other.
At that moment I did not have the equipment to play these discs, but since then I have bought myself one. I was very curious to know what was on these discs. I found in Barcelona a good Samaritan who has the required turntable and who made me copies on cassette. The discs were very poor. They were made from aluminium with a very weak cover of vinyl. He washed the discs with distilled water and after three months of suspense the cassettes were ready. It was indeed a concert by Ellington!
Klaus Stratemann mentioned in his "Day by Day" that Duke gave a concert on 9Feb51 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles which was recorded by the AFRS. My first conclusion was that this was an un-issued concert by Duke. Now I am not so sure anymore. Here are the contents of the concert:
1. The National Anthem 1:02
2. The Mooche 5:14
3. Ring dem Bells 2:05
4. Frustration 3:48
6. Rose of the Rio Grande 2:14
7. Love You Madly
VOCAL BY BARBARA WINFIELD!!
8. Take the "A" Train 4:41
9. Harlem 13:22
10. Controversial Suite 10:50
11. Violet Blue 4:40
12. Jeep Is Jumpin' 1:45
13. Monologue 1:01%
The total time is 64:06
This sounds very much like the Metropolitan concert of 21Jan51. I hear distinctly Lawrence Brown, and Johnny Hodges and I believe that I also heard Sonny Greer. If this concert is indeed from the Shrine it must have been one of the last before these musicians left the band. There is no discussion possible about Barbara Winfield being featured in this concert and Yvonne Lanauze at the Metropolitan.
If I send you a copy of this concert I am sure that you will be able to compare it with the Metropolitan and establish if this is the same concert or that we have here a "New FIND".
Jordi Navas Ferrer
I am sure that you have a new discovery in your hands! I will compare each selection with all the probabilities to be sure, but the fact that you have a recording with Barbara Winfield is very interesting and gives me good hope that this is indeed a treasure!
Today I went to the post-office to pick up your CD. When it was presented at my door I wasn't home. I have just finished listening to it. I would very much like to mention it in the next DEMS Bulletin with your permission.
Barbara Winfield existed indeed, see Klaus Stratemann page 323 and see DEMS 05/3-4. You mentioned in your listing of musicians two drummers: Charlie Smith and Bill Clark. I do not believe that there were two drummers. I believe that it was Charlie Smith only. He was a West Coast drummer. Bill Clark played at the East Coast. Tyree Glenn was not in the band.
It is a pity that the sound quality is so poor. Your New FIND has only historical significance. Would it be possible to detect the original owner of the acetates and persuade him to let Steven Lasker make better copies of the originals?
I cannot discover the original owner of the recordings. I believe that what I have are "safety copies". When they arrived they were very wet. We have had a lot of work to clean these discs. We have not been able to make any better copies.
I am very happy to know that this is a "fresh" concert and to have been able to contribute my little grain of sand to the Ellingtonian history.
Are you sure that there was only one drummer? If so it must have been a drummer with an extraordinary solidity. Listen to the "bombs" in Star Spangled Banner. Maybe the two drummers were Charlie Smith and Sonny Greer?
Jordi Navas Ferrer
Rhythm Is Our Business
Jimmie Lunceford and the Harlem Express
On Saturday, July 12, 1947, bandleader Jimmie Lunceford died under mystical circumstances. His death has been the subject of the oddest speculations, but the Dutch author Eddy Determeyer has spent years studying Lunceford´s last days and in this brilliant new book puts an end to all the uncertainties.
Sixty years later, a writer who has spent decades of research on this eminent bandleader finally tells Jimmie Lunceford amazing career and his often overlooked contribution to jazz. And Lunceford´s career was definitely something special; born in the mid-west, educated as a teacher, music came almost accidental on him. He could just as well have become an athlete or aviator, but since teaching music was a part of his occupation we are grateful that he finally chased that path. From his first early attempts in Denver as a sideman in George Morrison’s Orchestra in 1920 thru his leadership of the Chickasaw Syncopators that he finally turned in to the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. And what an orchestra it developed into; it broke all the records regarding dance attendants and also longevity at venues like the Apollo Theatre.
Still, Lunceford´s name is often mentioned en passant when we discuss the great bands of the Swing Era. One obvious reason to this is the fact that Lunceford´s was the African Americans favourite band. Ellington, Basie, Goodman, Dorsey etc became the star bands, for both races, Lunceford preferred the smaller cities, the cotton barns and often drew more than ten thousand dancers to these events.
Determeyer gives a detailed background of the Lunceford family’s life in the Mid-West in the times of segregation and prejudices; something that would follow Jimmie all through his life. In fact, this book is much more than a jazz book. It is a study in American sociology from the end of the Civil War through the black Americans rise in society thanks to better education, health and a gradually accept as a people.
The author has supplied the book with an excellent and informative discography with details of dates and personnel but also lists up recommended CD´s. Also instructive is Determeyer´s short description of many of the recordings. The book’s index and notes are a great source both for researchers or anyone who wants to look further.
Rhythm Is Our Business - Jimmie Lunceford and the Harlem Express
Author: Eddy Determeyer, The University of Michigan Press. 2006
David Gresham Record Company
CD and DVD combination CDDVD 003
"The Legendary Duke Ellington"
Among my Christmas gifts was this DVD + CD combination.
The only clear information on the cover is -Distributed by The David Gresham Record Company. The title credits advertise -Air-Music and media group.
The DVD has Take the "A" Train/ Satin Doll/ Blow by Blow/ Jam with Sam/ Things Ain't What They Used To Be/ VIP Boogie/ Kinda Dukish, from the same session, would it be 'Goodyear'?
Stormy Weather with Ivie Anderson/ Black and Tan Fantasy, from the 1929 film/ An incomplete Rockin' in Rhythm mis-titled I Got Rhythm from a concert/ Rockin' in Rhythm mis-titled Bundle of Blues/ Bugle Call Rag from the picture "Bundle of Blues".
Do you have any information please about this issue?
There is no doubt in my mind that what you have on your DVD is the same as what has been released on ZYX Music DVD 3080, "The Duke Ellington Show", see DEMS Bulletin 05/3-18. I suspect that you have not mentioned the titles in the same order as they are on the DVD.
If you give me the contents of the CD I think we should publish this new re-release in the next Bulletin.
The CD has 23 tracks. It is (for me) impossible to know which one came first, this CD or the CD with the same title "The Legendary Duke Ellington" issued by the label "Going for a Song" with number GFS 242. The same 23 selections were issued on this GFS CD but in another order. It is also very well possible that the original release was the History double CD 20.1901 HI, titled "Caravan", which is described by Anders Asplund in DEMS 02/1-21/5. The first CD of the History double CD contains 20 tracks. They are identical with the tracks 1-20 of the GFS CD and in the same order. The three supplementary tracks on the GFS CD (tracks 21-23) are the same as tracks 1, 3 and 4 on the second CD of the History double CD. Track 2 on the second History CD was a repeat of track 9 of the first CD as pointed out by Anders Asplund. Thanks to Anders I do not have to spell it out. DEMS 02/1 is still accessible on your "depanorama.net" web-site.
Also the DVD doesn't give me much work thanks to Bo Haufman. It is the same as the DVD ZYX Music 3080 "The Duke Ellington Show" as described by Bo in DEMS 05/3-18. I agree with Bo that the quality is very poor, especially of the Goodyear tracks.
A friend of mine wrote to me that he had found a DVD "Duke Ellington, Rare Video Footage" on Legacy LEDVD 5004, manufactured in the UK. Have you heard of it? I would like to know what is on it.
I described the DVD in my catalogue as AIR003DVD, Eur 7.95, 30 min. b&w, hi-fi mono. Collection of film clips. Good Year show and live show. This DVD was produced by AIR Music & Media, first issued with an insert just titled "Duke Ellington". Later a coloured insert was used and it then had the title "Rare Video Footage". Maybe it has been reissued by Legacy. My UK wholesaler has no DVD with the catalogue number Legacy LEDVD 5004 in his data base.
No doubt. This is again the same as the ZYX Music DVD 3080, "The Duke Ellington Show", see DEMS Bulletin 05/3-18. Same producer: AIR Music & Media.
A Duke Named Ellington
This two hour programme is just released on DVD, For more information, go to ellingtondvd.com
This splendid documentary made by Terry Carter was mentioned for the first time in DEMS 88/5-8 where Benny Aasland printed the review in the Washington Times of 18Jul88. In DEMS 89/1-8 was an overview of the contents of the programme. It has been shown on many television stations. If you did not record it on your VCR, this is your chance!
The Music of Harold Arlen
See DEMS 06/3-10
Just saw this pretty amazing clip on YouTube, Duke & the orchestra playing Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKb5k3g71YU
Jimmy Hamilton, Cat Anderson and Lawrence Brown stating the theme, a little Paul Gonsalves, then Louie Bellson and Cat taking it home.
The notes say it's from Video Artist International VAI DVD 4371: Harold Arlen - An All Star Tribute. A quick check on the VAI music web-site tells me it's from the Bell Telephone Hour, 5Dec 65: http://www.vaimusic.com/VIDEO/DVD_4371_Arlen.htm
and there are two more tracks with the Ellington band on that DVD, Stormy Weather and Blues in the Night.
Hans Christian Dörrscheidt
Addition or correction to the Itinerary
See DEMS 06/3-11
How about this for an entirely speculative explanation:
On Friday 10Aug34 Mildred Young goes to an event at the Sandy Beach Park Pavilion, during which she obtains and uses a pass out on the back of which Duke is advertised as the forthcoming attraction for the following Thursday, 16 August. She decides to keep the pass out as a souvenir of the occasion – it was the night she met the love of her life perhaps, or the date when he proposed to her. She writes her name and the date on it to record her association with the occasion.
As for Duke’s Itinerary entry for Thursday 16Aug34: either there is no discrepancy, as the Sandy Beach Park Pavilion was located at Russell’s Point, Indian Lake, Ohio, or there is a discrepancy: he had to pull out at the Sandy Beach Park Pavilion for some reason (the venue went up in flames perhaps; or it went broke), and the Russell’s Point engagement was organised as a last-minute replacement.
Washingtonians in New England, 28Jan – 7Feb 1925
Recent itinerary research reveals intriguing details, new dates, and a complete set-list of tunes from of a brief tour of New England in the winter of 1925. The Washingtonians were between stints at the Hollywood (Cabaret or Cafe or Restaurant), which had been closed since a fire early in the morning of 16Dec24 ("Fire Record," New York Times, 17Dec24, p43), and would not re-open until 19Feb25 as Club Kentucky. (ad, New York Morning Telegraph, 19Feb25, p2)
The only other known date from this tour was a performance at City Hall in Haverhill, MA, 28Jan25, discussed by Mark Tucker in his "Ellington: The Early Years." (p. 185, citing an article in the 27Jan Haverhill Evening Gazette) These dates followed: (ad, Boston Post, 29Jan25, p18)
29Jan25, Elks’ Ballroom, Cambridge, MA.
2Feb25, Odd Fellows’ Hall, Lynn, MA.
3Feb25, Freeman’s Hall, Portsmouth, NH.
4Feb25, Casino, Fall River, MA.
5Feb25, Roseland, Taunton, MA.
6Feb25, City Hall, Haverhill, MA.
7Feb25, Music Box, Boston, MA.
[The image is from the Boston Post, 28Jan25, p20.]
Is this the full tour? These were the only dates advertised in the
Boston Post. A 5Feb25 Haverhill Evening Gazette article
(also cited by Tucker) and a brief 4Feb25 article in Variety
may suggest other dates in Haverhill, or simply refer to the 6Feb
engagement. At some point the Washingtonians headed back to New York
to prepare for a new show. The Club Kentucky was legally incorporated
on 2Feb25. (New York Times, 3Feb25, p35)
New information on the Washingtonians emerges from the Portsmouth Herald, including this preview of their appearance on 3Feb25. Here is the exact text, misspellings included:
WASHINGTONIAN ORCHESTRA CONCERT PROGRAM FOR TUESDAY NIGHT
The following concert program is the same one recently featured by this orchestra as a headline vaudeville act all over the Fox Circuit in New York state:
"Choo-Choo" Written by Duke Ellington pianist and leader. (Choo-Choo
is the latest song hit in New York. Vanand Schenk are signing it on
"Ghost of the Blues" Written by Bert Miley, trumpet player of Washingtonians.
"Non Sense at All" Piano solo, written and played by Duke Ellington.
"What Became of Sally" Song by Sonny Guas [sic], drummer.
"Tea for Two" specially arranged by the Washingtonians.
"Raggerty Ann" [sic] orchestra
"St. Louis Blues" The Washingtonians own version.
"Sam" [sic] special arrangement Orchestra
"Everybody Loves my Baby" sung by entire orchestra
Hear these numbers played by the greatest colored orchestra in America at Freeman’s Hall, Tuesday. Concert 8-8:45 and the dancing to the Hottest Band on Broadway. (Portsmouth Herald, 31Jan25, p8)
A few comments: Duke, who had been leading the Washingtonians for only about a year, was already putting together brilliant programs, by mixing bold original tunes, showcases for his band members, and popular hits, with dramatic shifts of pace and mood. The opener, "Choo-Choo," had been recorded by the Washingtonians two months earlier. Those who arrived early received a copy of the record: "free phonograph records will be given out early in the evening." ("Dancers To-Nite," Portsmouth Herald, 3Feb25, p10) "Ghost of the Blues" is a Tim Byrmn - Sidney Bechet composition. I wonder if its inclusion in the program indicates Bechet was a member of the Washingtonians on this tour, of if the incorrect attribution to Miley indicates just the opposite. Bechet’s exact tenure with Ellington has yet to be determined. Should "Non Sense at All" read as "No Sense at All," an unknown Ellington composition? Other corrected titles are: "(I Wonder) What’s Become of Sally," (written by Ager-Yellen), an Al Jolson hit, here an opportunity for Sonny Greer’s personality and voice; "Raggedy Ann" and "San" were recorded by other jazz bands. This is the first mention I’ve seen of a tour of Fox theatres, which if can be verified, would indicate the Washingtonians may not have been out of work for very long after the Hollywood fire. It is interesting to note a "concert" 18 years prior to Ellington’s debut at Carnegie Hall. Such concerts were fairly common - I have found a number of dances in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s that were preceded by a concert.
The reviewer of the Portsmouth concert and dance noted, "The concert was different from that usually rendered by dance orchestras and greatly pleased the crowd which packed the gallery, while the dance music was of the sort that brought the dancers onto the floor at the first strain of the music, eager to enjoy every bit of each number." ("Dancers Pleased with Orchestra," Portsmouth Herald, 4Feb25, p9)
A check of local newspapers for each of the towns on this 1925 tour might uncover even more information. And who knows how many Blu-Discs could be found by searching attics in the Portsmouth area?