DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
07/2 August - November 2007
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
The last Bulletin (07/1) was just transferred to Peter MacHare on 27Mar07 when a day later Tony Scott died in Rome. Steve Voce has put the obituary he wrote for the Independent of 2Apr on the Duke-LYM list. It is clear that Tony's very short stay with Ellington when he replaced Paul Gonsalves and even played the flute, was only a minor happening during his very productive life as a clarinettist, saxophonist, composer, bandleader and author.
Tony approached in August 2001 DEMS member Donald Wolff. "Dear Mr. Wolff, my name is Tony Scott, modern jazz clarinet player born USA 1921, I was given your e mail address by Dennis Owsley, who I contacted to ask him the following: I saw you are a great collector of Duke Ellington's music, I am looking for some radio and television recordings in which I was playing with his orchestra, I hope you can help me to find some to complete my archive."
Donald was preparing for a trip to Italy and he asked me to take care of this for Tony. I made a cassette with all the recordings, made during the short stay of Tony with the Ellington band. Tony wrote to me:
"Dear friend!!! Thank you very much for your help!! I cannot believe you have all these music! This is fantastic. Don't worry too much for quality, the important for me is to have a sign of that moment……..The best regard, very happy to know you"
This is a reprint of what was published in "Ellingtonia", the Newsletter of The Duke Ellington Society of Washington, of November 2001:
Anecdote of the Month
When Duke had a tenor vacancy, and a chance to add the flute color for the first time, he hired Tony [Scott] who opened with the band at the Apollo Theatre [Feb53]. Another great clarinettist with the band, Jimmy Hamilton, along with Charlie Mingus and a few others, did their best to make him uncomfortable. Duke kept reassuring him, but one day Tony provoked Mingus who was making racial remarks. "Look Mingus," Tony said, "my skin is darker than yours. I'm Sicilian and I have more African blood than you do." Mingus was a big strong guy with a violent temper. He tried to strangle Tony and might have succeeded, if Clark Terry hadn't jumped in and saved him. When the Apollo month was finished, Tony quit the band regretfully, because he worshipped Duke, but unfortunately, he never recorded with the band.
Ted Hudson wrote: We thank Bob Reny for sending this excerpt from "Tony Scott: Some Reminiscences of a Best Friend" by Bill Simon in IAJRC Journal, summer of 1998.
I add: this is a remarkable story since according to our files, Charlie left the band before 4Feb53 and Tony came is after 2Feb53. It must have happened on 3Feb53, but the story suggests a much longer mutual presence in Duke's orchestra of both contenders. Several sources, providing dates, are questionable. Like Variety of 18.3.53p42, stating that Tony joined on 20Feb. There was some discussion on the Duke-LYM list last year, from which I reprint Brian Priestley's contribution.
Everybody is right. The only problem is one of dating (in the discographies too) because Ken Vail's book has a photo (which I showed at the Stockholm conference) of the band with both Mingus and Tony Scott clearly visible [Ken Vail, vol.2 p52]. Vail claims this was taken at the Apollo, where everyone agrees that the fight between Mingus and Tizol took place. BUT he has a listing of dates for the Apollo that show the band to have played there much later during the month of February. Go figure, as our American friends say. Certainly Mingus is audible for a couple of bars on one of the two WMGM broadcasts [4 and 9Feb53] that Sjef copied for me and, since they are from the very start of February, it may be that Mingus was in the band as long as three or four weeks. Any further information from any source would be most welcome.
Louie Bellson awarded again (and rightfully so !)
A message of 10Jul on the Duke-LYM list: "Louie Bellson to receive the Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award at the Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival, Temecula, Calif. on Sat July 14."
We hope that this presentation went well and we congratulate Louie with this Award.
The Newest TIMNER
The 5th ed. of Willie Timner's "Ellingtonia" is expected in the Fall. For details see:
DVD Shanachie 6317
Copyright 2001 NJN Public Television
Produced 2004 by Shanachie Entertainment Corp.
"Willie the Lion"
See DEMS 06/3-4
A pleasant surprise was to see Ellington with Willie "The Lion", interviewed by David Frost in the tracks numbered 1, 7 and 12. Duke is not speaking. In track 9 is a part of the Perdido performance and in track 12 is also a shot of Willie playing alongside Duke at the White House jam session at Duke's birthday party.
Apart from these Ellington segments, the 57 minutes are filled with very nice recordings of Willie's long career. Another pleasant surprise is the participation as "talking heads" of Brooks Kerr and Dick Hyman.
12:25 - You see another part of the interview mentioned at 36:09 in Part 1
16:05 - You see a part of Lotus Blossom, recorded in Copenhagen on 23Jan67 for the telecast of TV Byen
17:56 - You see another part of the interview mentioned at 36:09 in Part 1
21:04 - You see a part of the interview by Timme Rosenkranz at the Grosvernor House in London on 11, 12 or 13Jan63. This interview is according to Nicholson p474, note 104, used for "Faces of Jazz". See also DEMS Bulletin 04/2-17
22:14 - You see a part of Don't Get Around Much Anymore, recorded for the RKO film short "Duke Ellington and His Orchestra" at Long Island on 17 and 19Jun43
28:05 - You see AGRA, recorded for the CBC show "The Duke" on 3 and 4Sep64 at the studio on 354 Jarvis Street in Toronto for the series "Festival"
30:32 - You see another part of Tootie for Cootie, recorded 7Feb63 for the Swedish telecast "Mood Indigo"
31:42 - You see another part of the interview of Duke, recorded for the Swedish telecast "To Duke with Love", on the air 26Apr69
33:05 - You see in combination with the Alvin Ailey interview parts from his conception of The Lake and Stalking Monster
38:54 - You see parts of Come Sunday, recorded 31Jan65 in Copenhagen
42:04 - You see another part of the interview of Duke, recorded for the Swedish telecast "To Duke with Love", on the air 26Apr69
43:41 - You see a part of the interview by Byng Whitteker, recorded on 2 Sep64 at the CBC Studio, 354 Jarvis Street in Toronto for the programme "A Gift for Boxing Day"
46:24 - You see a part of AMAD, recorded for the CBC show "The Duke" on 3 and 4Sep64 at the studio on 354 Jarvis Street in Toronto for the series "Festival"
48:04 - You see a part of Praise God (DESOR 6951 a) and T.G.T.T. from the second Sacred Concert, recorded at the Gustav Vasa Kyrkan in Stockholm on 6Nov69
51:31 - You see Happy Reunion, recorded in Copenhagen on 7Nov71, second concert
54:00 - You see another part of Take the "A" Train, recorded in Copenhagen on 7Nov71, second concert
DVD Musicals 7
Go to <VintageFilmBuf.com>
to find the film "Murder at the Vanities"
Carl Hällström reports the release of this film on DVD.
This is a synopsis of the story, taken from the web-site:
"The Earl Carroll Vanities, a popular Broadway revue of the 1930s and '40s, is the setting for this murder mystery interspersed with an assortment of variety acts, including Duke Ellington performing Ebony Rhapsody and a novelty number called Marijuana.
Victor McLaglen stars as Bill Murdock, a detective investigating a series of murders during the opening night of a new edition of the Vanities. When private detective Sadie Evans (Gail Patrick) is found murdered, Murdock must investigate between musical numbers to find the killer. When Rita Rose (Gertrude Michael) next turns up dead, Murdock concludes young ingenue Ann Ware (Kitty Carlisle) is the next person marked for death. Murdock has to find the murderer before the ending of the show or else he or she could disappear in the departing crowd of theatergoers."
Marijuana (a.k.a. Marahuana) is not performed by Ellington. See for this picture Klaus Stratemann p73.
Jazz Icon DVD Amsterdam 2Nov58
Leland Farley reported on the Duke-LYM list that a new DVD is coming on the market soon with video recordings made in Amsterdam on 2Nov58.
These are the titles:
Black and Tan Fantasy
Creole Love Call
My Funny Valentine
Kinda Dukish & Rockin' In Rhythm
Mr. Gentle and Mr. Cool
Jack The Bear
You Better Know It
All of Me
Things Ain't What They Used To Be
Hi Fi Fo Fum
Medley: Don't Get Around Much Anymore; Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me; Don't You Know I Care?; In a Sentimental Mood; Mood Indigo; I'm Beginning To See the Light; Caravan; I Got It Bad; It Don't Mean a Thing; Solitude; I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart & Don't Get Around Much Anymore.
Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue
That means that we have three totally "fresh" recordings: Harlem Air-Shaft; Jack the Bear and You Better Know It. Sophisticated Lady is not "fresh". There were two recordings made of Sophisticated Lady in the concert. The first one is only known as an audio recording from a radio broadcast. It was with a complete Harry Carney solo between Perdido (also only in audio) and My Funny Valentine (only in video). It seems that this long version of Sophisticated Lady is now for the first time in video. We will have to wait and see, because the version with only Duke on the piano, is no longer included in the Medley but probably misplaced between Hi Fi Fo Fum and the start of the Medley (in Leland Farley's listing that is).
There has been quite some discussion on the Duke-LYM list and for the benefit of those who have no Internet connection or who are not subscribed to the Duke-LYM list I print my answer to a question by Frank Rutherford.
Timner suggests that there were two concerts in Amsterdam and he lists "Tenderly", "Perdido" and "Just Squeeze Me" in the programme. None of these were in the original broadcast and aren't on the new Jazz Icons DVD either. I wonder if the contacts in Holland could find these as well?
There were indeed two concerts. I attended both. And there were two different radio broadcasts, both with recordings of the second concert.
It depends in which edition of Timner you are looking. In the first edition there was no 2Nov58 session, in the second and third edition there was only Hi Fi Fo Fum and the Medley without Just Squeeze Me but with Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue. This came from the second (chronological) of the two radio broadcasts.
The first radio broadcast started with
Take the "A" Train and went on with
Black and Tan Fantasy, Creole Love Call, The Mooch
Medley with Just Squeeze Me and without Solitude.
It took me some time to conclude that the two broadcasts came from the same concert. For some time I assumed that there were two Medley's from the two different concerts, but synchronously listening revealed that both broadcasts had the same Medley although each was missing one (but not the same) selection.
In DEMS 85/4-11, Benny Aasland published that he had a video recording of 40' from the Dutch TV. This Video contained:
Black and Tan Fantasy, Creole Love Call, The Mooch
My Funny Valentine
Mr Gentle and Mr Cool
All of Me
Medley without Just Squeeze Me but with Solitude
In DEMS 91/5-5 the release of the VHS tape VIDJAZZ 31 was announced. The contents were the same as in the Benny Aasland tape.
In DEMS 93/3-2, I revealed the existence of a more complete video recording, which was not (as far as I know) used for a telecast through the Dutch television, but came in the hands of collectors. It was copied from the original tape, given by the radio station to the Dutch commentator Michiel de Ruyter.
This tape was the same as the Benny Aasland tape with the following differences: The opening Take the "A" Train was (partial) included. After My Funny Valentine came first Kinda Dukish & Rockin' in Rhythm, after All of Me came first Things Ain't What They Used to Be, followed by Hi Fi Fo Fum. The Medley was again without Just Squeeze Me but with Solitude and the tape concluded with Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue.
In the fourth edition of Timner is a listing taken from the DEMS cassette CA-13 in which I combined everything that we had on that moment (it was Christmas 1990). That were both radio broadcasts and the Benny Aasland video tape. Timner added to that list two of the selections that were included in the Michiel de Ruyter tape, from which the contents were mentioned in DEMS 93/3-2.
The existence of the De Ruyter tape was confirmed by Jaap Lüdeke in "De Volkskrant" of 7May99 and his letter was printed in DEMS Bulletin 99/3-7.
Now we see that there was even more material hidden somewhere else. It is not difficult to restrain ourselves in complaining about the mess in Dutch television circles as long as new material pops up.
I am looking forward to this new DVD (expected in Aug07), especially because Patricia Willard is writing the liner-notes! She told me that the release will be made zone-free, area code "0".
1933 Sacred Concert?
Ellington’s eight-week tour of Texas and Oklahoma theatres included special midnight shows, after-hours dances and hotel broadcasts, and personal appearances at African American schools and churches. Here’s a report from one of Amarillo’s daily papers.
“Ellington Matinee Red Letter Event for Negroes Here”
Due principally to the efforts of Matthew ‘Bones’ Hooks, old-time negro cowboy and leader in his community, a midnight matinee was arranged at the Paramount Theater for negroes only, at which Duke Ellington and his Harlem Aristocrats entertained 630 patrons in an hour and a half show that proved to be an all-time red letter event for those present. [This was the first time African Americans were permitted entrance to the theatre.]
Ellington also played a sacred concert in one of the negro churches between shows last night for the older members of the colony, and for those who could not attend the midnight show. This, too, was arranged by Bones. (Amarillo Globe, Amarillo, TX, 9Nov33, p2)
Broadcast from the Ritz-Carlton
Duke Ellington over NBC's Blue network on the 1st of August 1939, from Ritz-Carlton in Boston, in a special radio salute to Station KECA in Hollywood, 12.45:43 - 12:52:30 AM EDST, playing:
East St. Louis Toodle-O; Way Low; I´m Checking Out-Goom Bye.
Originally planned to be performed were: East St. Louis Toodle-O; Serenade to Sweden; A Lonely Co-Ed.