05/1 April - July 2005
27th Year of Publication


Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83



Mariam Ewing

DEMS 05/1-1

Many of the DEMS Bulletin readers will remember Mariam Ewing, Gordon Ewing's widow. She accompanied her husband Gordon Ewing to every Ellington Conference. She died suddenly of an aneurysm in her brain on 7 March when she was travelling through Arizona. She knew that this could happen any time, but she did not let it influence her schedule. She was 83 years old. Gordon died in 1996 during his preparations to go to Toronto for the Ellington Conference. Mariam helped her friend Josie Childs to organise the Ellington Conference in Chicago in 1998. It was a huge success. Those among us who have known Mariam will remember her as a charming, witty and highly intelligent lady. I personally owe a lot to Gordon and Mariam. Mariam kept Gordon's ashes in the wine-cellar with the intention of joining him after her own cremation. By now their ashes will have been scattered together.
Gordon and Mariam leave a daughter, a son and two grandsons.
Sjef Hoefsmit**

Bobby Short

DEMS 05/1-2

Bobby Short died of leukaemia on 21Mar05. In the New DESOR his date of birth is given as 15Sep26. His name is documented in the New DESOR because he played with the band as a guest on 8Jul72 at Carnegie Hall at the so-called Newport Jazz Festival, though not many people will consider him an Ellingtonian. Duke mentioned him briefly in MIMM on page 244 as being too young (and still in Los Angeles) to be expected to play at one of the clubs on 52nd Street when Duke came there almost every night after he finished work at the Hurricane on Broadway. Bobby knew Duke well and he told several nice stories about him to Brooks Kerr. In the mid fifties, Bobby Short met Billy Strayhorn at the Mars Club in Paris. Bobby was apparently interviewed by David Hajdu ("Lush Life" page 145.)
Two of Bobby Short's LP albums have recently been reissued on CD Collectables 7655. (Worlds Records item code 55499). The two Atlantic LPs were titled "On the Eastside" (1959) and "Moments Like This" (1982).


DEMS Domesticities

DEMS 05/1-3

This Bulletin is somewhat smaller than 04/2 and 04/3. The freedom to have different sizes of Bulletins is an additional advantage of the fact that we are on-line now. With the hard-copy Bulletins, we had to worry about the maximum weight (of 100 grams). The swift from hard copy to Peter MacHare's web-site was a great success. We owe Peter a lot for his hospitality.
This time there are a multitude of additions of Duke's Itinerary by Ken Steiner (05/1-7).
A discussion I had with Roger Boyes about Jig Walk inspired him to write a long article about this piece. (05/1-42)
There has been some interest lately on the Duke-LYM list for the article, written by Professor Jack Chambers about Duke's Shakespearean Suite. After he had given his highly interesting talk for the Toronto Chapter of the Duke Ellington Society, he wrote this article for publication in CODA Magazine. (See "Harry Rasky Interview" in 04/2-15).
We asked Jack Chambers and Daryl Angier of CODA Magazine permission to "print" Jack's article in this Bulletin (05/1-43). They both generously agreed. We think that it is right to say a few words to promote CODA Magazine. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious magazines dedicated to the music that means so much to us.
The e-mail address of the editor is
The land address is 161 Frederick Street, Toronto ON M5A 4P3 Canada.
Fax numbers are 416-596-1520 and 416-596-9793.
Sjef Hoefsmit**



NEW (and older) BOOKS

Florence Mills: Harlem Jazz Queen

DEMS 05/1-4

DEMS member Bill Egan, Master of Science (London University), has written this interesting book which was published by Scarecrow Press in October 2004 in the Series Studies in Jazz # 48.
This biography reveals the lost history of the life of Florence Mills, a truly remarkable African American entertainer who was very famous during the 1920s. It traces her story from childhood to her untimely death at age 31. Mills was the first black female international superstar, lionized by crowned heads in Europe and described by English show business impresario C.B. Cochran as "one of the greatest artists that ever walked on to a stage." Her record-breaking achievements opened doors for generations of black female stars from Lena Horne to Diana Ross. Although her career and shows changed the nature of black entertainment, and thereby the wider American popular culture, she was largely forgotten in later years.
An additional theme of the book is the important but little-known associations Florence Mills had in the early world of jazz and ragtime, and her innovative influence on important aspects of jazz singing. It explores the connections between her and Duke Ellington, who dedicated his outstanding composition Black Beauty to her. It also records her little-known associations with classical music through the composers William Grant Still and Constant Lambert.


Claire Gordon, "My Unforgettable Jazz Friends".

DEMS 05/1-5

See DEMS 04/3-5

After it became known that there would be a second edition of Claire's book, some DEMS members asked us when it would be published and how to find a copy. We asked Claire and this is her reply:
The revised books arrived about a month ago. The book is basically the same text with typos removed, misspellings corrected and similar information noted from one chapter to another. It is only printed in hard cover, and this is a much better quality book with a paper dust cover. Instead of costing more than the original ($35), this one is less ($32.50, at present exchange about 26 Euros).
Currently, the book is available on the West Coast:
Arthur Newman, a member of the Ellington Society, a man many of us have been bought books from in the past.
8247 Crater Lake Ct., Fountain Valley, CA 92708-5916; phone: 714 / 968-3706; fax: 714 / 968-3921; email:; web site: http:/
On the East Coast:
Fred Cohen; Jazz Record Center, 236 West 26 Street, #804, New York, NY 10001; email:
In Europe:
Norbert Ruecker; Postfach 14, D-61382 Schmitten, Germany; phone 06082/688; fax: 06082/2960; email:
All the books are already autographed. I am also exploring the possibility of placing books with a larger book seller, on the order of Amazon and will let you know if this goes through.
Claire Gordon (12Jan05)

Mon, 21 Feb 2005 18:56:33. My web site was just activated about an hour ago. It is
From it, readers can order the new, revised book from any country using any currency.
Claire Gordon



Newport Jazz Festival 1962

DEMS 05/1-6

See Meeker 2289, Stratemann p463, New DESOR 6233 from 8Jul62

This Buddy Bregman film can be found on DVD as BACH FILMS EDV 1508. Low-priced (I found it at 6 Eur), zone-coded 2 in PAL, CEE-made, running for 53 min. It is of mediocre audio and video quality, as seem to be all existing copies. Duke's 6-min contribution is the only film account of his nine appearances at Newport: %1:09 of Rockin' in Rhythm; %1:57 of Passion Flower and 2:52 of Things Ain't What They Used To Be. The other sequences include Count Basie and Oscar Peterson.
Klaus Götting

The same film has been released on a Toshiba Laser Disc TOLW-3162, copyrighted and produced by Storyville Records in 1993. According to DESOR also Kinda Dukish was included. We have not been able to watch the Laser Disc. We wonder if Kinda Dukish is on the DVD. It is not on the video recordings that we have seen. Klaus Stratemann gives 1:54 for Rockin' in Rhythm (in progress), 1:56 for Passion Flower and a total of about 7 minutes for the whole Ellington sequence.