DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
05/2 August-November 2005
Our 27th Year of Publication.
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
HONORARY MEMBER: FATHER JOHN GARCIA GENSEL
EDITOR: SJEF HOEFSMIT
ASSISTED BY: ROGER BOYES
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
ADDITIONS - CORRECTIONS
Tootsie Hill (from Louisville)
See DEMS 01/2-12/2
Luciano Massagli and Giovanni Volonté have changed their
minds. They have prepared Correction-sheets for the title Tootsie
Hill and for the session 9047of 11Aug31. Both Correction-sheets
have to wait for more additions or corrections.
The Complete Gus Wildi Recordings
See DEMS 05/1-33
I said to believe, that the ten bonus tracks on this CD are Capitol
recordings made on 21, 28, 29Dec53; 1, 2, 17Jan54; 17Jun54 and
18May55. This has been confirmed by Vic Bellerbys review in
Blue Light (Vol. 12, Nr 2, p5) in which he probably copied the wrong
information from the liner notes. The same sloppiness that Klaus
Götting observed in the time indications has now been shown in
some of the personnel listings, the locations and the dates of these
recordings. There is no discography which shows the same errors and
therefor could be held responsible for this mess. It is surprising
that Vic Bellerby did not criticise the liner notes of this CD. He
does however (on p4)blame the liner notes of the DETS Vol. 11 double
CD, written by Willie Timner as being poor, although these were
excellent and with only a very few mistakes.
See DEMS 05/1-25
"Gennett Records Greatest Hits, Volume II
The set continues with this sequel released in 2000. Again, a
variety of jazz tunes, popular songs, and early Americana fill out
the 22 tracks. Items of particular note include a version of Bix
Beiderbecke's "Tiger Rag" taken directly from the test record, giving
the track an exceptionally clean sound; Duke Ellington's first
recording he plays on "Battleship Kate" with Wilbur Sweatman's
band; and a previously unreleased record by Guy Lombardo,
incidentally the first one he ever made!"
This is misleading; it has never been established that Duke Ellington
took part in this recording session. Have someone to check the
recording books / ledgers.
Thank you for contacting the Starr-Gennett Foundation about "Gennett
Records Greatest Hits, Volume II." I agree that the excerpt you
copied is misleading. Had I personally been involved in the
production of these reissue CDs, I would have requested that the CD's
producer indicate that Duke Ellington's first issued
recording could have been this Gennett recording. I do not
believe that enough research has been accomplished to support
or negate this claim. I do, however, very much appreciate the
research and expertise of the members of the Society as well as your
pointing out this possible error.
As a result of this uncertainty, you'll be glad to learn that I'm
changing the description on the Foundation's soon-to-be-launched and
fully re-designed website for the "Volume II" CD. The new site should
be up and running by the end of this month or early in July ,
and I encourage you to visit the new site. The new description for
"Volume II" will state, "Highlights include a test pressing of the
Wolverine's 'Tiger Rag' featuring Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington
(purportedly his earliest issued recording), a previously unreleased
Guy Lombardo side, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Jimmy Durante, King
Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, and Jimmy Blythe and Buddy Burton's 'Block
and Tackle Blues.'" Although I am unable to change the statements in
the CD's accompanying liner notes, I am able to change the misleading
statement you pointed out. I hope that you will agree that this is an
acceptable compromise until more information becomes available.
The Foundation is currently working on compiling a master Gennett
discography with the help of two discographical researchers, and
their research should ultimately settle the question. To complete
their research, they are using original recording cards and the
ledger from the company, among other primary source materials, which
leads me to believe that we should be able to answer the "Battleship
Kate" question in the near future. At least, I hope so!
If you would like to learn more about the Foundation and our efforts
to promote and preserve the Starr-Gennett legacy, I would welcome the
opportunity to send you a packet of information about the Foundation
and our current projects.
Starr-Gennett Foundation, Inc.
33 South 7th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374
phone: (765) 962-1511, ext. 104
fax: (765) 966-0882
Oops! In DEMS 05/1-25 (under h.), I gave a wrong date
for Sweatmans issued Gennett version of Battleship Kate.
The correct date is 18Sep24. The date I mistakenly gave, 10oct24,
is that of an Edison recording session at which Sweatman also
recorded the song. No one, at least to my knowledge, has ever
suggested that Ellington was present at Sweatmans session at
Edison. My apologies for the error.
Steven Lasker mentioned in his article under "a." the newly-released
Wilbur Sweatman 2-CD set on Jazz Oracle, one of the last reissues
remastered by the late great John R. T. Davies. This Canadian release
has number BDW 8046. It is number 46 of a series of
Classic/Vaudeville Jazz CDs. The 44 -page booklet is written by Mark
Berresford, who is hoping to see his biography of Wilbur Sweatman
published this year. His liner-notes are fascinating. The double CD
has 58 selections, recorded between 1916 and 1935. Among these are no
less than five different recordings of Battleship Kate. The
oldest one (on Gennett, label Ge 5584-B, matrix 9083-A) is the one
which has stirred up so many discussions since Mike Danzi stated that
he took part in this recording and that Duke was on the piano. Mark
Berresford is not convinced that Danzi played on this session of
18Sep24. According to his personnel listing he has on banjo Clyde
Johnson or Mike Danzi. On piano were Duke or Walter Hall and not
George Rickson as found by Arne Neegaard in The Red Hot Jazz Archive.
The recording date in The Red Hot Jazz Archive does only differ by
two days (20Sep24).
Mark Berresford lists the remaining musicians: Eugene 'Bud' Aiken,
Leslie (Leonard?) Davis on cornet; Calvin Jones on trombone; Wilbur
Sweatman on clarinet and bass clarinet; Percy Green on alto sax;
Raymond Hernandez on tenor; Jerome 'Romy' Jones on bass; no drums!
The 18Sep24 recording of Battleship Kate was a remake. The
first attempt, one month earlier, was rejected. It is not certain to
which one Mike Danzi was referring. On 10oct24 another recording of
Battleship Kate was made for Edison (label Ed 51438-L. matrix
9781-B). On this occasion only Walter Hall is listed as on piano, on
banjo is Harry Batcheldor and on drums Maceo White. Vocal by Ada
Rives and Wilbur Sweatman. All the other musicians are the same as on
18Sep24. Three later recordings were made: in cMar29 for Grey Gull;
on 29Apr30 for Victor; and on 26Mar35 for Vocalion.
It seems a simple matter to compare the two piano players in the
sessions of 18Sep and 10oct to try to decide whether or not they are
the same. Unfortunately there is hardly any piano to be heard, and no
solo whatsoever; what you can hear does not sound as if it was
Ellington. It is unlikely (although not impossible) that Ellington
took part in one of these recording sessions. He had his own band in
the meantime after Elmer Snowden left the Washingtonians in Feb24.
And if the date of 18Sep24 is wrong and should be early 1923, one
wonders why Otto Hardwick and Sonny Greer did not take part in the
recording session. Even a date such as 18Sep23 would be unlikely.
Elmer Snowden opened on 1Sep23 at the Hollywood with Ellington on the
So I cannot advise you to buy this double CD in order to complete
your Ellington collection. You may on the other hand be interested in
the music as played on the brink of the Jazz era. The liner-notes by
Mark Berresford alone made this investment worthwhile for me
Duke's Brass, 1937-38.
See DEMS 05/1-24
As you know the Institute of Jazz Studies is the repository
of the original Feather forms for his Dictionary of Jazz. Most of the
originals are located in our Rare Items Room and photocopies are
placed in the file. During the course of my own pursuits, I
discovered that some originals remained in the reference files and I
have been methodically placing the random originals where they
belong. The artist reference files are in the general reference
library, while the Rare Items Room is a separate room of our climate
controlled Archives and can only be accessed by staff members. To my
knowledge, Harold Baker, like many other musicians, never completed a
form for Feather. The Feather reference is in his file as are
obituaries containing the same information about Baker being with
Duke ca. 1937 to 1938. These references are probably drawn from the
It seems odd to me that Mary Lou Williams who wrote so many journals
with frequent references to Harold (she never called him anything
else) would not have mentioned that Baker was in the band prior to
the occasion when Duke absconded him from her band in late 1942.
Also, Baker's letters to her after she left as arranger and set up a
household for them in New York never made any reference to it. And
neither of them ever used a description such as returned to the band
when referring to it.
I have gone farther by searching for articles about Baker in the
Music Index but Baker has not mentioned it in later years. I am going
backwards now and in the course of preservation of our duplicate Down
Beats, checking to see if any reference to Baker's presence in
Ellington's band is noted for these years. I also checked the Lord
Discography at this time. I need to check it again because I can't
find my notes but as I recall, gaps in Baker's recordings at that
time would make it a possibility.
All to say, I cannot document but as scientists say, absence of proof
is not proof of absence. If you would like, I would be happy to write
a more cogent paragraph or two for DEMS. I am already writing a small
piece about "Mary and Harold and Duke" for our next Annual Review of
Jazz Studies. It will be the first one devoted to a single artist and
I am both honoured and beleaguered as Guest Editor and contributor.
We might even have to split it into two Volumes due to the influx of
wonderful contributions from our researchers including our friends
Andrew Homzy and David Berger. Of course, I complicated things by
conducting interviews and writing small pieces to fill in some gaps.
In the end, it will be an exciting edition since we are creating a
separate web-site that will display complete documents referenced by
authors and sound clips of unreleased Mary Lou Williams recordings
and interviews with her and the voices of those I interviewed.
In February, I was in Moscow, Idaho at the Lionel Hampton Institute
as a participant in their wonderful annual Jazz Festival speaking
about MLW. The archivist was kind enough to give me a tour of their
small Archives as I had written him specifically to ask if I could
take the chance to check out the Leonard Feather Collection.
Although, Michael was kind enough to show me the Collection
consisting of scrapbooks with Feather's articles in chronological
order, no time was allowed for research. And I understood. This was a
massive festival like IAJE with three to five events going on
throughout the day.
See DEMS 04/2-55
In view of a recent discussion on this topic, the following
comment from T. Larsson (DEMS 83/3-7) may prove of interest:
"The trumpet soloist on Dinah (s in a Jam) from 24Mar38
(air check) and 11Apr38 (Brunswick) is not Rex Stewart [as shown in
the New DESOR] but most certainly FREDDIE JENKINS! These soli have
all the Jenkins trade marks. On the 24Apr38 air check, Rex is
the soloist. This almost fits with Chilton, if Jenkins left sometime
mid-April. Comments please!"
I agree, and can add that after listening closely to the numerous air
checks from 1937-38 that are known to survive, I was unable to find
Freddie Jenkins on any broadcast other than that of 24Mar38, at which
he was present alongside Jones, Williams and Stewart.
Interviewed by Roger Ringo (Storyville 46, Apr-May37, pages
124-33), Jenkins explained why he left Ellington: "Well, the pace
caught up with me. Some people call it the The TOO-SIES
TOO much money, TOO much drinking, TOO many women, while TOO
Young. I wasnt the type of musician who could put his trumpet
back in the case and go home when the show was over. I was still
keyed up from theexcitement and had to have a cooling off period
at least, I thought so. Besides, I was never married when I
was with Duke, so I had no home to go to. So, Id drop in
somewhere for a few drinks. When we were at the [Harlem] Cotton Club,
Cliff Jackson was [in 1928-29] at The Lenox next door, and some of us
would drop in there. Well, a jam session or cutting contest would
start, and wed still be at it in daylight. And, it was the same
on the road. Everywhere we went some guy in the band knew some place
to go. Like in Chicago wed go out on the South Side to Joe
Hughes or somewhere. Thats where we all got acquainted
with Ray Nance when he was just starting out, about five years before
he joined Duke. [See DEMS 05/1-13.] Anyway, the time came when I knew
Id had it, so I stepped down off the bandstand. I didnt
actually quit, and Duke didnt fire me. I dont think Duke
ever fired anybody in his life, I just became inactive, and
thats where it stands today."
The factual basis for the statement that Jenkins played with the band
at the 29May38 Randalls Island Carnival of Swing is a
photograph by Otto Hess captioned "Freddy [sic] Jenkins, Wallace
Jones, 1938" that appears in the booklet to Columbia C3L-39. That the
photo was taken at the Carnival of Swing is evidenced by comparison
with other photos of the event that appear in the booklet of Columbia
C3L-27, on page 155 of Stratemann (misdated to 19May38), and
especially two photos found in a special DEMS photographic supplement
that Benny Aasland produced and published together with Bulletin 89/1
(The 10th Anniversary Issue).
Dusk on the Desert
See DEMS 05/1-24
I have been listening over and over again to try to identify
the trumpeter. Only three are possible: Whetsel, Stewart or Wallace
Jones. This solo is completely different from what was the standard
Wallace Jones: I find it unlikely, he had not that dynamic.
Rex: Could he done that solo without some half-valve routines?
Whetsel: the lyrical timbre and the economic way of phrasing supports
more and more that thought.
I will transcribe it and compare it with a sound-spectrogram, also
with similar solos.
That is a splendid idea. You should also think of Cootie Williams and
Freddie Jenkins in order to cover all the possibilities. Wallace
Jones was not in the band.
An interesting development re Dusk on the Desert.
I [Arne Neegaard] asked David Berger for a transcription of the
trumpet solo and he replied the following:
"Are you talking about the melody in the first chorus? That is Brown.
I can send you that. There are no trumpet solos on this chart. It is
definitely Brown playing the solo. Brown is notated on the score and
when I listen, it is unquestionably Brown in his upper register. No
way is that a trumpet. Sorry."
Carefully listening with renewed insight I agree with David; it is
absolutely a trombone played in the upper register! Would you inform
Steven Lasker about this and please let me have his - and your!
Great discovery! It is undoubtedly Lawrence Brown. Lawrence could
play like a trumpet. Listen to the end of Body and Soul on the
Treasury broadcast of 1Sep45 (On DETS double CD Vol 11, see DEMS
I will send your message to the Italians and to Steven Lasker.
The postman just arrived with DETS 11 and you are absolutely right:
Lawrence Brown's solo on Body and Soul leaves no question re
his solo on Dusk on the Desert.
At first I immediately believed you when you told me the discovery on
the phone, but after renewed listening I have a problem to believe
that it is Lawrence Brown. The end of his solo seems too difficult
for a slide trombone in my opinion.
I made copies of Dusk on the Desert on a tape and have sent it
to Kurt Dietrich, the author of "Duke's 'Bones Ellington's
Great Trombonists". This book is based on his dissertation for his
doctors degree and has been published by Advance Music,
Maieräckerstrasse 18, D-72108 Rottenburg Germany.
Of course I remember you, and much more than vaguely.
Your question about this recording is fascinating. I'm afraid that I
will not clear things up. I was not previously familiar with this
selection, and on first hearing, my reaction was that there is no way
that the solo you are referring to is a trombone solo. I am not so
sure after listening several times, but I still don't believe it is
Lawrence Brown. I will say, however, that he had the technical
capability to play this solo. Let me give my reasons for thinking it
is not him, however. The range of the line is extreme for trombone.
There are numerous high E-flats, with several high Fs. We know that
Brown could play a high F from way back in his earliest days with
Ellington, on Slippery Horn. However, playing with this much
control, at this dynamic level would severely tax even the virtuosic
Brown. I don't believe that he could play this line twice like this,
given the demands of the rest of the arrangement (loud playing in the
last chorus with repeated high B-flats, for example). [Kurt Dietrich
listened to both takes of Dusk on the Desert.] I have not
looked up what else was recorded that day, but this is tremendously
demanding for trombone. Plus, there are no other examples that I am
aware of in which Ellington wrote a line of this type in this range
for Brown, or any other trombonist. When I first listened, it also
sounded like a valved instrument to me, rather than slide. I will
have to admit that a few of the melodic inflections certainly could
be Brown, but I still have my doubts. I also feel that the timbre of
the solo instrument, while rich and full for a trumpet (or cornet),
is rather thin for Lawrence Brown's trombone. If it were he, in this
range perhaps he would thin out his sound; but it doesn't sound like
his tone quality to me a quality I feel pretty comfortable in
identifying. There are a couple of other things that lead me to
believe it is trumpet (cornet). In the introduction, there is a
trumpet figure. All of the trumpets are muted except for the bottom
one, which is not muted. I would speculate that the unmuted player
then goes on to play the solo line. Furthermore, behind this solo
there is muted brass. It sounds to me like there are three trombones
in that mix, although it is very difficult to hear. I am certain that
there are three muted trombones in the next chorus, answering figures
from the muted trumpets. Brown could have made a quick shift to mute
to play those figures, but again, it seems doubtful to me.
If I had to guess, the quality of the sound would suggest Rex Stewart
to me. But I don't pretend to be an expert on the trumpets. I'm sorry
I couldn't agree with your (and David Berger's) opinion on this. But
being as objective as I can, this is what I think.
I have a little bit of news that you might be interested in. For the
better part of the last five years, when not attending to my teaching
(and other duties), I have been writing a history of jazz trombone. I
have just sent the proofs back to Germany to Advance Music (which
published Duke's 'Bones). The plan is to "bring the book out" at the
International Association of Jazz Educators conference in New York in
January. It's a pretty large work, approximately 600 pages. There are
no musical examples (as in Duke's 'Bones), but much musical
discussion. In part in tribute to Stanley Dance, the title will be
Jazz 'Bones: The World of Jazz Trombone. I'm pretty excited about
At about the same time, a new edition of Duke's 'Bones will also
appear. It will be very little changed from the original. A fewsmall
errors have been corrected, and the discography has been updated,
although it will be out of date by the time it is printed.
I appreciate your getting in touch with me and hope that my
contribution will be of value to the discussion. Thanks, too, for the
Sincerely, Kurt Dietrich**
We read the very interesting suggestion that Arne Neegaard did about
the first chorus of Dusk on the Desert. We listened again and
again to this solo but we don't believe that it is played by the
trombone of Lawrence Brown. In our opinion the soloist is very
probably Freddie Jenkins (not Arthur Whetsel as we previously
thought). You can listen, for instance, to Happy As the Day Is
Long to compare the sound of his trumpet.
Blues in Orbit
See DEMS 05/1-15
I am sending you audio copies of my versions of Blues in
Orbit, because I have a feeling that maybe some confusion has
been creeping in. I have copied the tracks 10 and 18 of
Columbia/Legacy CK 87041 "Blues in Orbit". The liner-notes (p3) say
that track 10 has take -6 and that track 18 has take -2. I have
copied as third example track 1 of the CD Columbia Jazz Masterpieces
CK 44051 "Blues in Orbit", from which the liner-notes say that the
date of the recording was 12Feb58. The fourth selection is a copy of
track 8 from the Columbia/Legacy CD CK 65566 "Black, Brown and
Beige". The liner-notes (p7) say that this was take -2. I have added
three takes from my chronological "archival" tape. They should be
correct and beyond any doubt (Studio tapes etc.) My "archival"
recordings are identical with your three takes, which you had
numbered respectively as take -1 from 4Feb58 and takes -2 and -6 from
The open question is now, are the sleeve notes correct in every
respect (I have one doubt), but I may be wrong.
It was a good idea to copy the two tracks from your recent
Columbia/Legacy release CK 87041. I have compared these two tracks
with the tracks on my Columbia/Legacy release 512915. They are
As I stated before: most of the sleeve notes are mistaken. The
following overview is correct.
Take -1 was recorded on 4Feb58 and was according to the New
DESOR released for the first time on track 5 of side B of the LP
Columbia CL-1445; on the LP Philips 847004 (according to Jerry
Valburn's Directory identical with the LP Columbia CS 8241); on track
1 of Columbia CD CK 44051; on track 14 of the CD Giants of Jazz
53066; on track 10 of your CK 87041 and of my 512915.
Take -2 was recorded on 12Feb58 and was released on track 8 of
Columbia CD CK 65566 and on track 18 of your CK 87041 and of my
Take -6 was recorded on 12Feb58 and was only released (until
now) on a Columbia 45 rpm NP 4 41689.
DETS double CD # 10.
See DEMS 04/2-42
I wonder whether other people complained about the sound
quality of the DETS Vol.10 CD release and mainly the 11Aug45
broadcast on disc one. As it seems, in Jazz Journal of Jan05 Vic
Bellerby found that "...the sound quality of CD one is acceptable, if
not outstanding...", but to my ears there is a serious problem
compared to the original LP release.
During What Am I Here For for instance I hear important
distortions, a kind of "fading in/fading out" between the different
sections of the orchestra. I hardly can explain it but I hear a sort
of "pumping" effect as if a sound treatment had been used intending
to equalise the sound levels: enhancing the lower parts, dimming the
louder passages. To my ears the original LP sounds much better, has
much more presence and brilliance...
Did you notice something unusual while listening to the CD?
You are right. I also couldn't resist buying these CDs (also to
support the Storyville undertaking of re-issuing this beautiful
material) but I also am happy that I have the terrific LPs still in
my collection, because something must have gone wrong with the
transfer and not only with the start of the 11Aug45 broadcast.
In Jul04 Geff Ratcheson wrote : "I can hear a compressor breathing
pretty strongly. It says it was mastered by Jørgen Vad. Does
he know what he's doing? I don't remember hearing this severe
compression on any previous issues."
Bill Morton wrote in the same month: "I just this morning played
portions of DETS CD 10, in comparison with vol 18 of the LP series
that I got from Jerry. I am afraid the comparison, even by these
70ish ears is very revealing. The LP is much clearer and there aren't
the drops that appear in the CD set, particularly on the first
selection. I know that Jack Towers worked on the sound for the LPs
and I assumed that Storyville would have simply digitalized that
great work. When I got Vol 1 of the CD series, I compared it with Vol
1 of the LP set, I thought that the sound was very similar and the CD
convenience of course convinced me to continue to get the CD sets
without comparing them to the LPs.
Vol 10 of the CD set is a disappointment, sound wise."
So we are not alone in being critical, as you see.
Jack Towers sends the DAT tapes to Storyville and they take them to a
mastering studio of their choice. Burnt CD copies are then sent to
Jack and myself for approval. Doug Pomeroy was doing some of these. I
do know that Jack was upset on one of the DETS releases because the
mastering studio added echo. Almost all of the responses of people in
touch with me have been very positive. I think you should ask Jack
for his opinion.
Yes, I was aware of the volume shifts on the August 11 show on DETS
10, but the high and low frequencies were handled well and the band
sounded good, so I guess I didn't react properly. On a few of the
early issues we had quality problems. Jerry and I had the Storyville
staff re-do some of the digital masters, and it cost Karl Emil
Knudsen quite a bit. So I was a bit wary of asking for a re-do of the
digital master for DETS 10.
We were very reluctant to publish the critical reception of DETS # 10
in DEMS Bulletin. The last thing we want is to be responsible for
discouraging people from buying these fantastic CDs. For those who
have not been able to lay their hands on the series of LPs which was
released between 1981 and 1989, Storyvilles DETS CDs are a
must. These recordings contain many unique and fabulous recordings of
the band at the top of its form (and including Fred Guy on guitar!).
To those of you who already have the LPs, we urge you to invest in
this set of CDs. By doing this you help Storyville with its
undertaking, the continuation of which is so important for younger
Ellington collectors. This may become even more important now that
Storyville was taken over by Edition Wilhelm Hansen (see 05/2-11). On
the other hand, it is reasonable to expect whoever is responsible for
producing these CDs will give them maximum care in order to obtain
for the best possible results. The sound quality of the CDs is a
matter for discussion. But the quality and the importance of the
music itself over the entire series is beyond criticism.
DETS double CD # 11.
See DEMS 04/2-43
I am happy to be able to report that the double CD DETS # 11
marks a return to the highest possible sound quality. Some passages
in Caravan from 1Sep45 seem to be a bit over-recorded, but
that is exactly as it was on the LP issue, so I guess it comes from
the original recording. There are a few corrections to be made to our
overview in DEMS 04/2-43. After All on CD 1 is on track 15.
Track 14 is a Bond Promo. The liner-notes are correct on this point.
Between tracks 18 and 19 on CD 2 is the opening theme of the 18oct45
broadcast, Take the "A" Train. This is not mentioned in the
liner-notes. The 7oct45 broadcast was by MBS, not NBC as we claimed
in DEMS 04/2-43. Of little importance are the different playing times
given in the liner-notes, 70:55 and 71:12 respectively. Both differ
slightly from the ones we published.
The personnel listing in the liner-notes for the 25Aug45 broadcast is
correct but Rex Stewart was not present on the 1Sep45 broadcast.
This double CD is a must for every Ellington collector, whether you
have the DETS LPs or not. The two additional broadcasts have never
been issued before. The sound is impeccable.
Special mention should be made of track 8 of the second CD. This is
one of the very few times that one can hear Lawrence Brown take an
improvised solo. The whole performance of this number, Body and
Soul, is amazing.
The fine liner-notes are by Willie Timner.
The date of the original recording of In a Jam was 29Jul36 and
not 29Jul38. This is obviously a typo, but there are a total of five
recordings known and issued (and mentioned in Timners
Ellingtonia), not only two. Johnny Hodges is not "duelling" with Rex
Stewart but with Taft Jordan.
Another typo is in the (correct) title of Dont You Know I
Care? It has become, wrongly, Did You Know I Care?
In Suddenly It Jumped I hear Taft Jordan and Jimmy Hamilton
alternate in their solo work, not Cat Anderson.
Under the title Sugar Hill Penthouse, Timner claims that a
complete version of Black, Brown and Beige was recorded for the last
time on 18May and 14Jun65. The recording of 14Jun65 was made during a
White House concert in Washington; it was of Black and it has never
been released. The recordings found on the Private Collection Volume
10 were made on 4Mar, 31Mar and 18May65 and on 5May71. Taken
together, these recordings do almost add up to a complete latter-day
version of Black, Brown and Beige. But not quite. Finale, the
last part of all of Beige, was never recorded again after the two
concerts of Jan43 at Carnegie Hall and in Boston. Also, while A
View from Central Park was recorded on the 18May65 session
devoted to Beige (though regrettably it wasnt issued with the
rest of the music on the Saja CD), the Ellington piano solo, also
called Bitches Ball was missing. Thus we have no performance
of these passages after Jan43.
Flamingo did not stay in the bands book until 1972. The
recordings listed in the discographies as made after 2Jun66 were
Ellington piano versions, either solo, or with bass, or with bass and
drums. And the 2Jun66 version featured only Lawrence Brown (famous
for his memory of melodies), in addition to piano, bass and drums.
The last recording that we have with the band involved was made on
Lily Belle. I hear Cat Anderson at the very end of this
recording, not Rex Stewart as claimed by Timner.
Waiting for the Train To Come In. The first recording was not
from 21Sep45 but from 21oct45, which makes this recording of 18oct45
the first and not the second one (see my comments on Timners
After having thoroughly checked Willie Timners liner notes and
made these corrections, I must express my admiration for his work. It
is so much easier to make remarks than it is to create something,
like he has done. He must by now be used to my comments. It is a
pleasure to know that he accepts them in the same spirit as they have
been written, with the very best intentions and in the name of