DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
09/3 December 2009 - March 2010
Our 31st Year of Publication
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
A French Ellington Conference
Hello Friend (s) of the Duke,
As we had announced, this Saturday, November 14, the goldsmith ès-Ellingtonia Claude Carrière will have the pleasure of opening our music conferences to explore the world of Duke Ellington, with an overview of the work ducal.
Music lovers, musicians, beginners or just being curious, do not hesitate; let’s all get together in the magical setting of l’Entrepot for this “first” of which you will find below the programme, as well of the festivities to come. Let’s celebrate the Duke together!
The president of “La Maison du Duke”, Christian Bonnet
This announcement is a bit too late for this December DEMS Bulletin but a complete programme for the whole year can be downloaded from http://www.laurent-mignard.com/docs/la%20Maison%20du%20Duke_AfficheMC_091105.pdf
The main language used at these conferences will undoubtedly be French, but the music you may hear at the rehearsals and the concerts will be pure Ellington, I can promise you. I had the good fortune to receive a CD from the “Duke Orchestra”, which I described in 09/2-15.
From the Timme Rosenkrantz Vaults
It usually happens just after a DEMS Bulletin goes on line, that I am wondering whether I will have enough material for the next Bulletin. Now that the Duke-LYM list exists, there is much valuable information already passed on via the Internet before I start preparing the following Bulletin. Understand me well. I think that this is a good development. I have stopped publishing important messages from the list in the Bulletin, since almost every former DEMS member now has an Internet connection. I hope that everybody will take part in the discussions on the Duke-LYM list.
(By the way, nothing is more simple than to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the text: subscribe. If you want to leave the list, you write: unsubscribe.)
But from time to time there is great news to share with you, the fanatic collectors of unissued material and the obsessed discographers (like myself), who try to make Duke’s discography as large and as correct as possible.
To save you from losing time and trouble I advise you not to put all the discographical details of the following communication between Frits Schjøtt and myself in your files, but to wait until the end of this article.
This is the exciting e-mail message of 3Sep09 from our dear friend and DEMS member Frits Schjøtt:
“littlebeatrecords (check our homepage <www.littlebeatrecords.dk>) has acquired 9 acetates from an estate with Ellington-material - PROBABLY (but not for sure) from Timme Rosenkrantz originally (Timme used to sell goodies to various collectors when short of cash - which he often was!).
Five of them are of no interest as I have identified them with excerpts from the DETS-series (also checked orally - to be quite sure). The other four are more interesting, which is why I write to you. I cite from the labels (and have checked the content correspondingly):
April 8 & 9 (one date on each side of the acetate) 1944:
Concerto for Cootie (RN) - Three Cent Stomp - No Love No Nothing (AH) - Main Stem.
The flip side, 9Apr44:
Chloe - Johnny Come Lately - Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me - Things Ain't What They Used To Be> (not complete) - WCR 11.30-11.45 - Hurricane Restaurant.
April 14, 1944 (both sides of the acetate) - also from the Hurricane:
Hop Skip and Jump - Main Stem - Sentimental Lady - On the Alamo - My Heart Tells Me (AH)
Flip side: Way Low - San Fernando Valley - Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me (RN) - Suddenly It Jumped
April 28, 1944 (both sides of the acetate) - also from the Hurricane:
Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Rockin’ in Rhythm - I'll Get By (AH) - Perdido
Flip side: San Fernando Valley - So Much To Do - Jumping Frog Jump - Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me
May 28, 1944 (?)(both sides of the acetate) - also from the Hurricane:
Rockin' in Rhythm - Mood To Be Wooed - My Honey's Lovin’ Arms - Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me Flip side: On the Alamo - Main Stem - My Little Brown Book - Hop Skip and Jump
I have checked DESOR and Nielsen and found one or two tunes here and there, but not complete broadcasts. I wonder if you can help me (us) to find out more important details of these very nice (if still very noisy) recordings. The acetates are (mostly) in good condition - have not been played very much, as far as we can judge.
If your next move is to ask me to burn a CD-copy of these, I will certainly accomplish - but be patient - time is a little scarce for the moment here, both in the FS-household and in LBR.”
I mailed back the next day:
“The four titles of 8Apr44 are mentioned in the Timme Rosenkrantz collection on 18Apr44 with number 35-2-B. They are not mentioned in the New DESOR.
The four titles of 9Apr44 are indeed of the following day. But of the day following 18Apr, i.e. 19Apr44 under number 32-2-A. They too are also not mentioned in The New DESOR.
The session of 14Apr44 is also confirmed in the Timme Rosenkrantz collection. Date is OK, number is 35-8-A&B. Not mentioned in The New DESOR.
The first group (of six titles) of the 28Apr44 broadcast are also likewise mentioned in the TR collection. Date OK, number is 35-10-A&B. Not mentioned in The New DESOR.
The second group (of two titles: Jumping Frog Jump and Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me) are also confirmed in the TR collection as on 28Apr44 number 35-10-A, but also under number 35-5-A&B. They are mentioned in The New DESOR under numbers 4413b and 4413c. You should compare Jumping Frog Jump with the LP Caracol 435!
The 28May44 broadcast is also confirmed in the TR collection under number 33-5-A&B and not mentioned in The New DESOR. Date is OK.
I would very much like to have copies on CD or on tape. TR made many times copies of his acetates onto other acetates in different combinations of titles. That means that every single selection has to be checked against all the other recordings of the same title before we can accept the recording for inclusion in The New DESOR. It would be marvelous if we have again a few NEW FINDS!”
The same day I received an answer from Frits: (that is the beauty of e-mail)
Amazing!! I knew that I wouldn't go to you in vain!
"The Timme Rosenkrantz collection" - what does that term cover? Is it publicly accessible, is there a catalogue (and if so: where?) - in other words: The very valuable information you give me, is that available for others too (for instance myself)?
One of the four acetates is broken, but I think a clever sound-man could work wonders electronically, if more serious publication was considered.
Anyhow, I will - as soon as time permits me - make a copy for you, including photographs of the labels (btw the numbers, you mention are the numbers written on the labels! - so the provenance should be certain by now). If fresh material, do you think it would be possible to disseminate it somehow (after all, LBR is a legitimate record company, although on a small scale).”
On the same day I e-mailed back:
“What I know comes from Erik Wiedemann's article describing the Timme Rosenkrantz collection. The numbers point to the acetates, which were copied on tape. These tapes are now in the Danish Jazz Centre.
Which acetate is broken?
I imagine there are no problems about releasing this material. It is old enough.”
Still on the same day this e-mail came from Frits:
“I will track the Wiedemann paper down - and as far as I know the Timme Rosenkrantz-collection from the Jazz Centre is now at the University Library in Odense - not so far from where I am living.
I could not put off the task, so I have put everything else to one side and made the copies of the music from the acetates. They are on two CDs that I will mail to you straight away today - you may well have them early next week.
The sound on the first two acetates is so-so, the third one, alas, is the broken one - you can hear the music, anyhow, and I think that an able sound engineer might do something with the cracks. The last two sides, from record 4 are surprisingly good.
I made the copies without any tinkering with the electronics - straight from the record player to the computer, where I burn the CDs. The sound is pretty weak, but I guess that again a person with the right skills might be able to correct that properly.”
Two days later (6Sep09) this terrific e-mail from Frits arrived:
“A further three acetates turned up. These are 10 inches, and again one is broken, but the crack is almost inaudible. I will forward the latest CD to you immediately, by snail-mail. Included will be photo-copies of the labels.”
I replied on the same day:
“According to the labels of the latest three acetates, I can tell you that all these recordings are mentioned in the Timme Rosenkrantz collection. 2-3 A&B on 4Sep43; 2-2 A&B on 7Sep43 and 2-1 A&B on 10Sep43. I think I will ask Ken Steiner for confirmation of the dates of the broadcasts. Do you allow me to make copies for Luciano Massagli, Steven Lasker and Ken Steiner? I will tell them that you are considering releasing these recordings yourself and ask them not to make any further copies. I will not do this without your consent. Thank you very much for your confidence.”
Frits answered on the same day:
Of course, Sjef - the material is for all Ellington-lovers.
Our considerations as to releasing the material are very preliminary as yet - and much depends, I think, on the judgment from people like you yourself and the rest of the community, so please go on, and thank you for your assistance thus far. All the best to you, and all for the love of DUKE!”
I e-mailed two days later (8Sep):
“This is to let you know that the three CDs have arrived safely. Thank you very, very much.
As soon as the US Open has finished, I will give it my full attention. We in Belgium are hoping that Kim Clijsters will win the tournament.”
Frits replied immediately:
“All right, then - but send a kind thought to Caroline Wozniacky!:-)
Two days later (10Sep) I e-mailed:
I have listened only once to your CDs. I am convinced that everything is "fresh". I also believe that I was wrong and that Jumpin' Frog Jump and Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me are not 4413 b and c. There must have been two different broadcasts. I will ask Ken Steiner to identify the radio stations and the dates.
Apart from the 35-8 A&B acetates [14Apr44], I do not believe you could ‘release’ these recordings and if you take 35-8 you should start with apologies for the terrible sound.
I will compare the recordings with "candidates" with the same or similar structure and let you know. For now I strongly believe that I do not have any of these recordings in my collection.”
My second e-mail of the same day:
“I have today compared with synchronous listening the two selections Jumpin' Frog Jump and Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me. There is no doubt that these are different from 4413. I will mail to you photocopies of the lists of the Timme Rosenkrantz collection which I once (long ago) received from Ole Nielsen. I will make a copy of your CD and combine it with 4413 to let Ken Steiner find out whether there were two broadcasts on 28Apr44. It is certainly not a long broadcast in two parts, because Duke would not have repeated a selection in the same broadcast. There must have been two broadcasts, but are they both from 28Apr? I will send you a copy of that CD.”
Frits’ reply of the same day:
Thank you very much - looking forward to the postman's arrival.
Today ONE more acetate turned up - 10 inch, with DE on one side, Basie (1944) of the other. I enclose a scan of the Ellington label, which I think must be identical to 4356d. I will wait a little before I burn another copy (hoping that a few more items will turn up:-) in the meantime). But I have heard it and the first part is in poor sound, the other half -with Lawrence Brown's solo- somewhat better. I have mailed to you through ‘YouSendit’ an MP3 file of this acetate.
My boss at Littlebeatrecords has told me, that there is a chance that there are more acetates in the crates, which they bought from the estate a few months ago - but the crates are stored in the Copenhaagen area because of lack of space here in Svendborg. We expect the other boss to find time to bring some crates over here for unpacking and sorting. I am looking very much looking forward to that!”
On 12Sep I mailed to Frits:
“You are definitely right. I compared your MP3 file and it is identical. Be aware that the speaker announced at the start Hodges on trombone and Brown on saxophone!
This I think is a dub from another acetate from Timme. The three titles 4356 b, c and d appeared on an acetate numbered T-24-B. This number is not on the list from Ole Nielsen that I sent to you but from Erik Wiedemann's article which I am unable to find.”
At the end of this correspondence between Frits and myself, I give you as promised the checked and double checked contents of the three acetates of 1943 and the four acetates of 1944. It is clear that the lists of the Timme Rosenkrantz collection are made by reading the labels on the acetates and not by listening to them. There are a few supplementary selections on the acetates which are not mentioned in the lists. Here are the contents of the acetates in chronological order. Most of the recordings are “fresh”. Thanks to Luciano Massagli and Giovanni Volonté, a few have been identified as previously being documented in The New DESOR, and I have been saved, just in time, from quite a major embarrassment.
Acetate 2-3-A contains four selections from the 11Sep43 broadcast in the New DESOR 4352:
4352e Cotton Tail
4352f On the Sands of Time (released on the LP Temple M 554)
4352g A Slip of the Lip
4352h Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (is a bit longer than the description in the New DESOR)
In a Mellow Tone
Rockin’ in Rhythm
Tonight I Shall Sleep
West Indian Dance
Tonight I Shall Sleep
Rumpus in Richmond
I Didn’t Know About You
It Don’t Mean a Thing
I Didn’t Know About You
On the Alamo
My Heart Tells Me
San Fernando Valley
Concerto for Cootie
Suddenly It Jumped
Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
Concerto for Cootie
Three Cent Stomp
No Love No Nothin’
Johnny Come Lately
Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me
It Don’t Mean a Thing
Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
San Fernando Valley
And So Little Time
Jumping Frog Jump (fresh!)
Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me (fresh!)
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Rockin’ in Rhythm
I’ll Get By
Rockin’ in Rhythm
Mood To Be Wooed
My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms
Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me
On the Alamo
My Little Brown Book
If anybody is interested in getting copies on CD you are welcome. The 1943 acetates are on one CD and the 1944 acetates (including acetates 35-5-A and B) occupy two CDs. You should know that the sound quality is rather poor. These acetates have little more than a historic value, but the music itself is great.
important message came from the distinguished Luciano Massagli:
"With Giovanni I agree with you about the uncertainty of the dates and we hope that Ken Steiner will be able to check accurately the broadcast dates. If it is not possible for him to do it, we would include the broadcasts in The New DESOR as “early September” for 1943; “April 1944” for 35-2-A/B, 35-8-A/B, 35-10-A/B and May 1944 for 33-5-A/B (because here Al Sears is present).
And now, at first hearing, these are our comments:
Acetate 2-3-A: these titles are identical to the last four titles of DESOR 4352. [This was a grave error on my part. I have corrected my mistake in this article, above. Sjef Hoefsmit]
Acetate 2-3-B: after Tonight I Shall Sleep add Stormy Weather. [I hadn’t noticed this, thanks! Sjef Hoefsmit]
Acetates 2-2-B and 2-1-B: are interesting because the soloist in Caravan is Lawrence Brown instead of Juan Tizol, who was not in the band between 16Aug and 30Sep43.
Acetate 2-1-A: After Honeysuckle Rose there are four bars by DE as intro to Go Away Blues. [It sounds to me more as four attempts of the record player to continue following the groove, Sjef Hoefsmit]
Acetate 35-10-A: So Much To Do is actually And So Little Time. It is not true that Jumping Frog Jump and Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me are identical to the same titles of DESOR 4413; for instance you can listen to the different intro’s to the pieces. [I found my error in the meantime and corrected accordingly, Sjef Hoefsmit]
Acetate 35-8-B: The title after San Fernando Valley is Concerto for Cootie. [Indeed. Corrected, Sjef Hoefsmit]
Acetates 35-5-A/B: It is true that the broadcast you added to the Frits Schjøtt New Finds for comparison with 35-10-A, is the same as DESOR 4413.
This collection is really a great New Find and we agree with you about the freshness of all the selections (with the sole exception of DESOR 4352 and of course 4413).
Duke Ellington did broadcast almost every evening from the Hurricane over local station WOR, the Mutual network. [in 1944]
April 8 (Sat), 11:30-Midnight
April 9 (Sun), 11:30-Midnight
April 14 (Fri), not listed in the logs but probably same time slot as before
April 28 (Fri), 11:30-Midnight
May 28 (Sun), nothing listed, maybe 11:00-11:30.
In the New York Times, I can only confirm that there were these broadcasts listed:
4Sep43 12midnight WABC
7Sep43 12midnight WABC
10Sep43 10pm WHN
There were no broadcasts listed for the 1944 dates.
Note: In case you wish to know more about Timme Rosenkrantz, go to DEMS 07/2-18.
Duke Ellington’s America
It seems that the publication of this book can be expected quite soon, because Harvey Cohen sent the following message to DEMS:
“My publisher is asking for promotional ideas for my book -- which European magazines, websites and radio stations are essential to getting my book known, in your opinion?”
Harvey will be most grateful for any advice. If you have any idea please contact him:
Harvey Cohen’s “Duke Ellington’s America” is announced in Norbert Ruecker’s November supplement as being released in March 2010. The price is already known: hard cover, € 34.00. See DEMS 08/1-7.
Timner’s fifth edition
See DEMS 09/2-4
Willie Timner has sent to DEMS his detailed reaction to Steven Lasker’s review of his latest edition of “Ellingtonia”. If you care to find the subjects in Steven Lasker’s article while you go through Willie Timner’s reactions, you should first number the paragraphs in Steven’s article (if you made yourself a copy). To help you we give you from each of the 26 paragraphs the first word(s). In the meantime the article 09/2-4 in the last Bulletin has been “updated” with the numbers, to allow you to make a “fresh” copy if you wish.
1. The Fifth
3. Timner’s fifth
4. While Timner
5. Timner informs
6. While Timner
7. Looking over
8. Looking further
9. I confess
10. Timner, in his
11. In his fourth
12. In his latest
14. Timner tells
15. Timner’s personnel
16. Recording dates
17. Where known
18. Matrix numbers
19. If I’m skeptical
22. Timner lists
23. Small errors
24. The Feb33
25. In his introduction
26. Timner writes
We are sorry. We should have numbered the paragraphs to begin with. When we edited Steven Lasker’s article, Willie Timner’s reaction was already on our desk and we did not expect a more detailed reaction, which Willie Timner has sent in recently and which follows here together with some comments by Steven Lasker and Hoefsmit: (Timner has given his remarks in chronological order. This makes it easier in case you want to make corrections in your 5th edition).
15. Nov24 — I accept Fred Guy, since I have no proof for George Francis. I remember having read a lengthy and credible article about George Francis’ presence on these sessions either in the Bulletin or in Blue Light, if I am not mistaken. Nobody objected then.
Timner is right. This was published in DEMS Bulletin 99/3-21/1a as one of Timner’s own questions:
“According to both Tucker (109, 110 and 142) and Lambert, George Francis, not Fred Guy, participated in the Blu-Disc sessions of November 1924. (Choo Choo; Rainy Nights; Deacon Jazz; Oh How I Love My Darling.) To me all banjos sound pretty much alike. Can you confirm? In your Comments both you and Lasker seem to be comfortable with my listing of Guy.”
This was Hoefsmit’s (99/3-21/1) answer: “My files have George Francis. As far as I’m concerned I must have overlooked the difference between your listing of personnel and mine. My choice is not based on conviction but on the arguments for George Francis, which seem to me just a bit stronger than those for Fred Guy. Like you I am not able to hear the difference.”
Frank Dutton published this in DEMS Bulletin 99/4-12/1: “I believe Fred Guy did not join the band until about April 1925, whereas the Choo Choo session took place in 1924, c. November. So the banjo would have been George Francis.”
Reviewer Abel Green’s 23Nov23 review in the New York Clipper of the Washingtonians as heard at the Hollywood Café, New York named all the Washingtonians including Elmer Snowden.
The Washingtonians placed an ad in the 22Feb24 Clipper with a reprint of Abel’s review with revised personnel, and it is here that George Francis is named as the banjo player. See Ken Steiner’s “Wild Throng Dances Madly in Cellar Club” page 15.
Guy told interviewer John McDonough (Downbeat, 17Apr69 p16) that he joined the band in Feb24.
Brooks Kerr visited Guy in Chicago in 1969 and played a tape for Guy of the Blu-Disc recordings. Guy confirmed he is the banjoist.
That Guy had joined by the spring of 1924 is established by reference to "International Musician," the publication of record of the American Federation of Musicians. The June 1924 issue lists new members of local no. 802 (New York). Among the new members are the following, who are listed contiguously: "Edward K. Ellington, Fred L. Guy, William Greer, Charles Irvis." "Arthur P. Whetsel" is listed as a transfer member from local 710 (Washington D.C.); his transfer was withdrawn from local 802 according to the August 1924 issue. (Thanks to Larry Gushee who provided this data.)
7. Nov24 — Chick Winters Orchestra will be omitted. (Source was Brian Rust’s “Jazz Records, 1897-1942,” 5th edition, page 472.)
7. 1924/25 ?Plaza Studios. — The information I had received about the recording studio for the Blu-Disc recordings was a bit vague, hence the question marks. Also Lasker seems not to be certain: “Likely cut at the Emerson Recording Labs.” Still a question mark as far as I am concerned. Shouldn’t it rather be Laboratory?
For the evidence behind the conclusion that the Blu-Disc and Up-to-Date sessions were recorded at the Emerson Recording Laboratories (as they billed themselves), see DEMS 04/3-57 part two. Question for Timner: On what basis do you suppose these sessions were recorded at Plaza?
It was just a hunch that these Blu-Disc recordings were made at the Plaza Studios, lacking any other information.
7. Jan25 — I have changed the Florence Bristol recording from Nov/Dec24 to ?Jan1925.
17. Her [Florence Bristol’s] recording was always listed as first released on Blu-Disc. It must have escaped all watchful eyes until now. If the first release was on Up-to-Date, the studio should now be (?) Emerson Recording Lab.
8. 25Sep25 — I agree that the date looks suspicious (together with the Pathé/Perfect recording dates). I agree to change to Sep1925.
8. 26Mar26 — See the above; I change to Mar1926.
14. 22Mar27 — I have changed to DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS WASHINGTONIANS
18. 22Mar27 — I have added the prefix “W” to the matrix numbers.
21. 26oct27 — The first release (take -3) was Washington Wabble.
The consequent pressings, and those of takes -1 and -2, were released as Wobble. My presentation was confusing.
I cannot find take three.
Take three is unreleased, and apparently lost.
The first release of Washington Wabble should be take -5. My mistake. Take -3 does not exist.
8. 28Mar28 — See the above; I changed to Mar1928.
15. 30oct+10Nov+15Nov28+29Jan30 — The explanation that Irving Mills is hiding behind the names Goody Goodwin and Sunny Smith can be found at the bottom of page XXII under the heading “Pseudonyms”. It can also be traced in the section “Index of Artists”.
18. 4Apr+28May29 — I have added the prefix “W” to the matrix numbers.
18. 12-17Aug29+Aug30 — The “matrix” numbers shown for the film Black and Tan and Check and Double Check are not real matrix numbers, however, they were applied by the issuers of the records and they are useful to identify the titles.
The original records were the 16" discs pressed for RKO to accompany the film. The first side bears the number 0806-1 (and contains the titles thru the first version of Black Beauty); the second side (depicted on the front cover of Jerry Valburn's Directory) bears the number 0806-2
The numbers X5258 and X5259 were assigned to selected titles from the film "Black and Tan" in the 1940s by the producers of the French "Anthology du Jazz" label. "X5258" identified one side of the 78 with three titles; "X5259" was the other side, and contained two titles.
I've not been able to trace the origin of the numbers Timner gives for "Check and Double Check": 403 through 407.
17. 10Sep29 — Pathé/Cameo session: Early in 1928 Cameo merged with Pathé, and joined Plaza in 1929, forming the American Record Company. I assumed that since the original releases of the first two titles were on Pathé, and the third title on Cameo (see WaxWorks), the session took place at Pathé. Taking into consideration the entanglement of the companies at this point of time this seems not too far-fetched. See also session 28Mar1928 [Is just changed into Mar1928. SH]. Although the session took place at Pathé, Cameo master numbers were given.
The Cameo master numbers are the originals; Doin' the Voom Voom and Flaming Youth also received Pathe transfer numbers 109031 and 109032 respectively. (Per Record Research 51/52). Pathe had bought Cameo in September 1927, and the ARC was formed in July 1929. The studio address for this session: 114 East 32nd Street, NYC.
15. 25oct29 — Changed vocals following your suggestions. My entries were based on Lasker’s liner notes for the 3CD set of Duke Ellington’s Decca recordings, which obviously need to be revised. [Lasker’s liner notes have been “revised” by himself in DEMS Bulletin 98/1-16/4. SH]
17. 29Jan30+10Jan31 — I correct the location to 114 E 32nd Street, NYC. Was that a designated ARC studio or a studio used by ARC for the occasion? If not ARC, what studio was it?
114 East 32nd Street was originally Cameo's studio; Pathe moved in after the label purchased Cameo, and it became the ARC studio in 1929.
23. Aug30 — It is mentioned in the footnote that the music for Three Little Words was not played by Ellington. I would like to keep the title in, since the band is shown as playing. Laugh and Get Rich has been noted. I will add The Lady Refuses.
18. 11Jun31 — In the liner notes (Lasker’s?) for the centennial edition the prefix is “CRC” (for Church Studio’s?). CD “Hot ‘n Sweet” also has CRC. I do not have the 78rpm any longer to check. CRC is in my book, not CVE as criticized by Lasker. Where does BVE come from?
I was mistaken in citing "BVE"; it should have read "BRC." According to Victor's files, the following masters were recorded this date:
CRC-68231 Creole Rhapsody--Part 1 (Take two was issued)
BRC-68232 Creole Rhapsody--Part 1 (Two takes recorded; both rejected)
CRC-68233 Creole Rhapsody--Part 2 (Take three was issued on Victor 36049, take two on the Centennial edition.)
Note: "BRC" designates a 10-inch master, and "CRC" a 12-inch one.
22. 11Aug31 — Lasker remarks that I list the title It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing) incomplete. The complete title is mentioned as a footnote and further on I took the liberty to use the abbreviated form. (I have taken some shortcuts from time to time.)
Shouldn't the existence of such shortcuts been discussed in the introduction?
I will be more specific in the introduction in the unlikely case that a 6th edition will be printed. One never knows.
24. Feb33 — Lasker is right: It should be EMI instead of BMI.
18. 9Jan35 — C886-2 survived; my mistake. C886-1 has been deleted.
15. 30Apr35 — Greer/Avendorph: Obviously two different opinions and no proof. I will add Greer’s name to the band personnel as an alternative.
Discographies since Delaunay's 1936 "Jazz Hot" have shown Charles Allen and Fred Avendorph replacing Whetsel and Greer on one or more of the band's 1935 recording sessions. Contemporary press references confirm that the replacements, necessitated due to illnesses, were made, but the substitutions occurred during the period between the middle of June 1935 and the first half of August, when the band was away from the recording studios. An entry in the July 1935 International Musician places Whetsel and Greer with the band in Cleveland, thus at an engagement that took place between 22 and 29 March; an item in the 27Apr35 Chicago Defender (national edition) reported that "Charlie Allen, formerly with Earl Hines, has invented a new mouth piece," but makes no reference to an Allen/Ellington connection; both Allen and Avendorph were named as with the band in place of Whetsel and Greer at a 29Jun35 dance date according to the 13Jul35 Chicago Defender; the 10Aug35 Chicago Defender reported Allen's return to Chicago after spending six weeks in Ellington's band; the same issue reported that "Fred Avendorph, drums, is still beating it out with Duke, but this time it's the typewriter, not drums, other words, Duke secretary and press agent." Both Whetsel and Greer are audible on the band's 19Aug35 session (with Whetsel soloing on Accent on Youth).
18. 28Feb36 — Kissin’ My Baby Goodnight. I have changed the take to -2. I believe that I had a French Brunswick with the -1 stamp, hence the confusion.
10. 8May36 — Changed back to 9May36; my mistake.
12. 16=17May36 — I can’t report on the structure and solo routine of the titles. The tape is no longer in my possession.
Do you know where the tape went? Or can you recall from whom you obtained it in the first place? Do you know anyone else who might have a copy--or do you know the whereabouts of the original disc source? Are you absolutely certain that audio of these performances is actually still extant?
11. 23May36 — Changed back to 26May36; my mistake.
I'd still like to know the source of the date you cite.
22. 8Mar37 — I have changed the Whispering Tiger to Tiger Rag.
22. 20May37 — 21188-1 was released on Mosaic; my oversight.
16. Feb1939 — Beer Barrel Polka: Lasker suggests a Nov39 CBS bc which would coincide with a recording session in Chicago at the same date. My tape just said “NYC Feb 1939.” DESOR seems to agree.
I listened to my tape of the 24Nov39 "Young Man with a Band" broadcast, and note that Beer Barrel Polka is announced by Dan Seymour, who is the announcer on the rest of the 24Nov39 broadcast, which leads to the probable conclusion that Beer Barrel Polka was broadcast on 24Nov39, and not at a February 1939 New York City College concert as per the listing in the New DESOR from which Timner took his cue.
Stratemann doesn't list a February 1939 concert at New York City College, but a concert did take place at that venue on January 3, 1939, and the concert program doesn't list Beer Barrel Polka among the selections to be played on that date. Besides which, Beer Barrel Polka would be an unusual choice for an Ellington concert, at which the maestro would be expected to play his own compositions, right?
I think both Timner and the New DESOR need to correct the date of Beer Barrel Polka.
20. 21Mar39 — First release of Portrait of the Lion (-2) on Swing is correct; my mistake. I even had a copy, also on Parlophone.
19. 15Feb40 — I had been assured by a reliable collector friend that a take -B of Dry Long So does exist, however, in the meantime it turned out that he was mistaken. Take -B will be deleted.
18. 15Jan+17Sep+3Dec41 — I have changed the prefix from “PBS” to “PMS”. DESOR has the prefix BS.
6. 21Jan42 — BS-07083-1A: The “C” Jam Blues. I stand corrected.
6. 28Jul42 — BS-07483-1A: A Slip of the Lip. I stand corrected.
2. Original titles — I have tried to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. If a title on the recording card differs from the title on the record and following reissues, I mention the title on the recording card as “originally” or “actually”.
19. Test Pressings — Lasker says: “Not mentioned by Timner is the fact that I have several unreleased shellac tests of which no vinyl copies are known …” How can I possibly know the unreleased shellac tests Lasker is in possession of?
My remark was prompted by Timner's assertion that "the only intact test pressing [of M770-1] is held by Steven Lasker." I wondered how Timner could possibly know that this is the case given that my test pressing is vinyl indicating that the metal part survived into the post-shellac era. For those who are interested, I own the following shellac tests of unreleased takes which have never been reported on vinyl, and which I thus presume are unique: E31372-off (Oklahoma Stomp, 29oct29); B13801B (Jive Stomp, 15Aug33); L0376-2 (Black Butterfly, 21Dec36; two copies of this test exist--I donated the lesser-conditioned copy to the Library of Congress in 2008); M650-1 (Harmony in Harlem, 20Sep37; a different take from "M650-1" found on Raretone 23002, as was discussed in DEMS 03/1-3); M651-1 (Dusk on/in the Desert, 20Sep37).
18. V-Discs — I have mentioned the stamper numbers of the V-Discs, because they are all we have.
Alas, the stamper numbers found on V-Discs tell us nothing pertinent to the original recordings.
Timner’s Fifth revisited
Please find enclosed the sessions listed in Timner’s book, but completely unknown to us:
p.56 — 29May43 — Interview by Kathy Craven
p.58 — 30Jun43 — Hurricane (Blue Skies; Altitude)
p.60 — Aug/Sep43 — Hurricane (Just Plain Lonesome)
p.148 — Jun53 — Blue Note (“A” Train; Mellotone; Warm V.; Things; Louis Bl.; Satin D.; Blue Moon; “A” Train)
p.163 — 1Jan56 — Blue Note (R.I.R.; Prelude; Do Nothin’; Feetbone; Things)
p.167/68 — 10Jul56 — Yale Bowl (V.I.P.; Jam)
p.174 — 23Nov/2Dec56 — Interview by Dorothy Fuldheim
p.181 — 26Apr57 — Birdland (bc?) (“A” Train; Cop Out; Soph. L.; Things; ”A” Train; M. Indigo; What Else?; D. in Blue and W. Interval)
p.202 — 21Dec58 — Interview by Norman Ross
p.219 — 10Jul60 — Interview by Russ Wilson
p.286 — 8Aug64 — Moon Bowl, Freedomland Park (Afro B.; Call Me I.; Hello D.; Opener; I Got; Things; Happy-Go; Satin D.)
p.289 — 30Sep64 — Interview by Irving Jacobs
p.298 — 23Feb65 — City Hall, Newcastle (“A” Train)
p.303 — 7May65 — Interview by Mike Wallace
p.368 — 13Jan68 — Today Show NBC (11 titles plus Interview)
p.394 — 1-5Apr69 — 2 Interviews from Radio Denmark (10’ and 11’30”)
p.400 — 2Jul69 — Ford Auditorium, Detroit, Ron Collier (Song and Dance; Satin D.; Nameless Hour; “A” Train; Aurora Borealis)
p.429 — 3Jun70 —Interview by Louis Panassié
p.431 — Jun70 — Glenville, Zenith commercial (Satin Doll)
p.455 — 14Jun71 — UWIS, Madison (New World a-Comin’)
p.462 — 19oct71 — Southport, Press conference
p.475 — Dec71 — Rainbow Grill (“A” Train; Creole L.C.; M.Indigo; Chinoiserie; Bourbon Street J.J.; Love Y.M.)
p.482 — 10Apr72 — Interview by Sid Paul
p.501 — 4Feb73 — Miami (One More Time for the People; M.Indigo; Trombone Buster; Evil Woman Bl.)
p.505 — 2Jul73 — Private Party, NYC (There’s Something About Me)
p.506 — 8Jul73 — French Consulate, NYC (M.Indigo; Yanie)
p.508 — 11Aug73 — Rainbow Grill (10 titles)
p.511 — 24oct73 — Westminster Abbey: Rehearsals (Tell Me It’s the Truth; Somebody Cares)
Is there anything you can tell us about these recordings?
After I had meticulously checked Timner's third edition, I did not have the energy to do it all over again with his fourth (and now fifth) editions. If it had been checked, several of your queries could have been dealt with after the publication of the fourth edition. I will send a photocopy of your letter to Willie Timner and I will ask him very firmly to send us the recordings that we do not have. He has benefited so much from what you guys have done with The New DESOR that he owes you a serious reply.
The items I do not mention in my answer are totally unknown to me. But these are the items I can say something about:
10Jul56 — These two titles I have, including the end of the Medley, which is missing in The New DESOR 5616. I have made you a copy. I am convinced that this is all genuine.
23Nov/2Dec56 — I think that Timner has simply copied this information from Klaus Stratemann page 369. I do not believe he has a recording.
10Jul60 — The same can be said about this interview. I think the source is Klaus Stratemann page 425.
13Jan68 — I think that Timner simply copied the unconfirmed info from DEMS Bulletin 83/1-2, where the selections were dated 13Jun68. The date of 13Jan68 is confirmed by Klaus Stratemann for a NBC "Today Show". Klaus also has an NBC "Today Show" on 13Jun68. There may have been two different shows. I have never found the selections mentioned in DEMS 83/1-2.
1-5Apr69 — I have these interviews from early Apr69. I have made you a copy. Following the two interviews with Duke, there were interviews with Mercer (±7'), Cat Anderson (±4') and Stanley Dance (±7'). The date for these recordings, given by Erik Wiedemann, is 1Apr69. I can accept that date for the first interview with Duke (±10'). The second (±11'30") seems to have been made after the recording session of 3Apr. The interview with Cat Anderson is certainly made after this 3Apr recording session, because the recording session is discussed. The interview with Stanley Dance is made in the recording studio.
All these interviews seem to have been made for a radio or television programme for Denmark for the occasion of Duke's 70th birthday.
2Jul69 — Timner mentioned this concert in DEMS Bulletin 93/4-6, but I have never found a copy nor a confirmation of the selections. The (two) concerts however are confirmed in Stratemann and in Vail.
Jun70 — Satin Doll was pre-recorded. If you go to www.weirdwildrealm.com/f-duke-ellington4.html you will find the story behind this commercial for Zenith Circle of Sound. Since the review is copyrighted I only quote the third paragraph: “With such gibberish spewing forth from his lips as ‘New dual dimension, circle of sound,’ he's certainly not saying anything personal, but it's nice to hear his voice, watch him put that needle down on his own record.”
14Jun71 — What there is from New World a-Comin' is only a fragment. It was used as background music during the beginning of the documentary "The Good Old Days Are Tomorrow".
When the documentary continues we see the band on stage playing Goutelas and Get-With-Itness (nc). At the end of the documentary Duke does his usual finger-snapping routine and the closing selection is Things Ain’t What They Used To Be. According to Klaus Stratemann (page 635), these three selections were recorded on 21Jul72. If there was only one concert on that day (which is very likely since the concert was quite long), this cannot be true. It is very difficult to identify the recording of Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, but it was not a problem to establish the fact that the selections from “ The Goutelas Suite” are not documented in The New DESOR. That is why I have copied them together with New World a-Comin’ for you. I also added the final selection in the documentary, Things Ain’t What They Used To Be. My best guess is that these selections were recorded on 20Jul72. Maybe they belong to the concert 7235 or they were taken from a second concert the same evening. Anyway 7235 was a rather short concert.
14oct71 — is a wrong date; it should read 19oct71. I have a fragment and I have made you a copy. This fragment of the press conference in Southport after Duke's return from his 5 weeks tour through Russia, is a part of a tape, made by Peter Clayton, in which he also talks with Robert Paterson about Duke's tour through England in the fall of 1971. The quality of the tape is terrible.
Dec71 — The 6 titles were mentioned in a letter to me from Klaus Stratemann of 25Feb90. This session has never been confirmed.
10Apr72 — I have this interview. I have made you a copy.
4Feb73 — The four titles were mentioned on Mercer's listing accompanying the "donation" to the Danish Radio. The date in Mercer's listing has been corrected by hand. First of all it was 4Feb71, but this makes also little sense. We would expect to hear Buster Cooper in Trombone Buster, but he left the band in 1969. This session has never been located in the Danish collection.
2Jul73 — I do not have this. Alice Babs played the tape for us in Toronto in 1987 and in Stockholm in 1994. She asked us not to make copies. I promised her that it would never be included in the Ellington discography! I wonder how Timner got it.
11Aug73 — I have it as Aug72. It is DE7240!!
24oct73 — This was probably heard during a broadcast of the TV news.
Here is Willie Timner’s answer:
I have checked all the items listed by Giovanni and must — much to my regret — declare that, with one exception, none of them was in my collection.
The exception being 24oct73, with the titles Tell Me It’s the Truth and Somebody Cares. I had these titles on a cassette from Radio Denmark. Giovanni should have it too, because it was readily available.
All the other items under discussion were listed in the radio/tv log of Jerry Valburn, who — together with Jack Towers (of Fargo fame) — had compiled a record of Duke’s broadcasts and telecasts, which over the time has proven to be very accurate. The most important of the broad-/telecasts listed in the log have surfaced over the years.
The items in question listed in my book are from a time, when broadcasts were typically kept on acetates and later (1950’s) on tape. Since they were recorded they qualified for my book, even if they are collecting dust in the archives of the radio stations. I have checked with Jerry, and he confirmed that he had most of the acetates/tapes in his collection. Jerry also confirmed that the items he did not have copies of, do indeed exist and are kept for an unlimited time by CBS in their warehouses. Unfortunately I had to shred the copies of the log together with all the other files in 2007, because I could not accommodate the volume in the rather tighter quarters I am now living in. By the way, I had my complete collection (records, tapes, cassettes and supporting documentation etc.) advertised on the Internet — my son-in-law was so kind to do that for me — and I had one lukewarm response, but no bid.
Tell Me It’s the Truth and Somebody Cares from 24oct73 were broadcast by the Danish Radio on 13oct85. This broadcast #34 was made by Bjarne Busk and the two titles were taken from the concert, not from rehearsals. In the same way the titles Praise God and Dance and In the Beginning God were taken from the concert and used for the broadcast #40 by Erik Krustrup on 5Jan86. These have been documented correctly by Timner in the concert as being found in RDB (Radio Denmark Broadcast). Why was not the same done with the so called “rehearsal” takes? Now our collecting friends are looking for a second set with these two titles. They will never find it.
Thank you very much for your CD. We agree with you about all your remarks about Timner’s list. We accepted your arrangement of the “The Good Old Days Are Tomorrow” titles and for the addenda of 10Jul56. We also made new sessions for the “fresh” interviews, except the one from Southport because it isn’t worth it. We didn’t have the soundtrack of “The Good Old Days Are Tomorrow” and now we are able to verify that the music is different from what we previously had.