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


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


The Auckland Concert of 10Feb70

DEMS 05/1-8

See DEMS 04/3-27

Taken from my journal:
12Feb70. Telephone call received about 10 PM from DE (Buffalo Hilton Hotel):
"I just crossed the equator. I came in directly from New Zealand across the date line. The plane was co-operative, it came in a half hour early. I had the night off and I have been trying to reach you since 9 PM."
As I remember the band flew into NYC then came in by bus the day of the concert and Harry drove his car in. There was a terrible ice storm in Buffalo and from there they travelled to Toronto. I remember that night well. DE had me drive down an icy hill, which I said was a no no on ice, but he insisted and the car skidded sideways, I almost hit the side of the band bus and ended up about 2" from Carney's car. What a back seat driver he was.
Jane Vollmer

Now a follow-up on the New Zealand Ellington visit in 1970.
1. From what I can find out by talking to people that were there in Wellington, the 6.30pm concert was a sound check concert and the 8.30pm recorded.
2. The band left Auckland, New Zealand on the 11th February. There was a one and a half hour gap in LA (ex. Johnny Hodges). A friend of mine interviewed some band members on the 11th (am and early pm) prior to their departure for the States.
3. Another friend of mine, Arthur Pearce (now dead) did meet the band at the Wellington Airport and stayed with the band until they left New Zealand. Arthur wrote the words to Ellington's Black Butterfly. The Duke was very impressed with the knowledge that Arthur had on him and that would explain why Duke replaced Passion Flower with Black Butterfly for the Auckland Concert.
4. The broadcasts in 1999 were from the 8.30pm Wellington Concert and the broadcast was introduced by a lady announcer from the New Zealand Broadcasting Corp. Radio Archives only have the 8.30 Wellington concert and the broadcast was taken from this.
5. The Wellington concert was recorded onto 5 reel to reel tapes, with each reel annotated showing the sequence of tracks.
6. An NZBC employee responsible for "Dance Music on Air" also travelled with the band and recorded the 8.30 Auckland concert but only the 1st half because of the change of Passion Flower. There was no official recording of the Auckland concert.
7. Duke also returned to New Zealand in 1972 but only to Auckland on the 13th February. This was part of an Australian tour brought out by Kym Bonython in association with George Wein.
8. It must be remembered that when flying from New Zealand to the USA you cross the date-line and step back one day.
Dennis Huggard


Frankie and Johnny and Metronome All Out

DEMS 05/1-9

In one of the compilations of Fonit Cetra V-Disc, Adriano Mazzoletti (he is not a John Hammond, but he is one of the best critics in Italy) wrote for the double version of Frankie and Johnny that it was recorded on 26Dec45 instead of 26May45 and he split the recording into two parts: Frankie and Johnny and Metronome All Out.
I don't think that this is because of ignorance of the writer, but that there is another explanation. Can you help me?
Maurizio Bonardo

In Benny Aasland's Waxworks (1954) the V-Disc 626 has two parts of Frankie and Johnny, recorded 26Dec45. Later it was established that the recording was made on 26May45. The second part of Frankie and Johnny has often been performed under the title Metronome All Out. It is more or less an extension of Frankie and Johnny, because it is basically the same theme. The New DESOR discography has it even catalogued under its own name: we find Metronome All Out not only the few times when it was performed separately (from 14Jul45 until and including 17Aug46) but also when it was performed as the second part of Frankie and Johnny. Frankie and Johnny in turn was also initially performed without Metronome All Out (from 29May41 until 16May45). Andriano Mazzoletti must have used a discography which hasn't been updated, so he has separated the work into two distinct pieces, as was done in the old DESOR in 1968. It's interesting to see that Frankie and Johnny is described as 'traditional', whereas Metronome All Out is said to be a composition by Ellington and Strayhorn.
Sjef Hoefsmit


Duke Ellington Sacred Concert from Westminster Abbey on 24oct73

DEMS 05/1-10

Each year BBC Radio 3 holds an "archive week" where various concerts etc. are nominated for re-broadcast. A poll is held and the winners are re-broadcast. This "archive week" is 13th-17th December.
DESUK has succeeded in getting Duke's "Third Sacred Concert" nominated and there have been enough votes cast for this broadcast, which was on the air on the last day, Friday 17Dec04.
Derek Else

The re-broadcast of the first broadcast of this Sacred Concert at New Year 1974 at 4:25 PM through Radio 3 of the BBC has received quite some attention. Many of us hoped and believed that we would hear this Sacred Concert in its entirety for the first time. Radio Times listed an hour and a half for it but the surviving part of the service turned out to be less than an hour long. (The whole broadcast took almost two hours.) The remaining time of the broadcast was filled with the original RCA Take the "A" Train, quite a bit of chat between the host Steven Johnson and guest Geoffrey Smith and the RCA album Far East Suite (without the alternates). The contents of the Westminster Abbey broadcast however were fortunately not fully identical with the contents of the RCA album. There were a few "fresh" sequences. Thanks to a dear friend in the UK, I am able to discuss the broadcast in detail.
To make my points clear let me also mention what was missing on the RCA album:

The LP omitted from Is God a Three-Letter Word for Love? (ABAC34) the portions which we have underlined in the following description of the structure:
On the other hand, the broadcast omitted other parts of this piece (again we have underlined them):
This means that we have the complete performance if we combine the LP with the broadcast. Essentially, the LP omitted Russell Procope's clarinet solo and the broadcast omitted Tony Watkins' narration. It is odd that Russell Procope on alto saxophone (sic) is credited in the annotation for track 6 of CD 20 in the 24 CD RCA box (p97), and yet he is totally edited out of the CD itself and the identical LP.

The situation with Every Man Prays in His Own Language (I ABC24; II ABCD32; III 24; IV 20; V ABAC16) is a bit more complex as is the fact that it contains five different themes.
This is the LP (missing parts underlined):
This was the broadcast (missing parts again underlined):
The sad conclusion must be that the BBC broadcast gives us a bit more music, but that there are still several sections missing. The description in the New DESOR (which I have used) covers the recordings in the collection of the Danish Radio. It may be that we still see one day a complete release of this music based on the Danish Radio source.

The Majesty of God (I AABC16; II 10) is now complete in the broadcast. To make myself clear, I have amended slightly the description in the New DESOR. The New DESOR starts with:
I would start with after the fifth chorus a passage of 8 bars instead of 6, like this:
although I would separate these 8 bars into 7+1 bars, like this:
in order to show my conclusion that the LP omitted the underlined parts:

The broadcast is also omitted (though the LP included): the Introduction by Sir Colin Crowe; Hallelujah ; The Brotherhood.
The LP omits (though the broadcast includes): Praise God and Dance.
Both the LP and the broadcast omit: Tell Me It's the Truth; Somebody Cares; The Preacher's Song; In the Beginning God; The Preamble of the United Nations Charter; The Closing Prayer.
Happily Tell Me It's the Truth and Somebody Cares were included in broadcast #34 by the Danish Radio and In the Beginning God was broadcast in bc #40. Somebody Cares was interrupted as indicated in the New DESOR on p1137.
Sjef Hoefsmit


50th Anniversary promotional record of Field Enterprises Educational Corporation

DEMS 05/1-11

See New DESOR 6658, 18jul66, pages 436 + 1223 + 854

I suggest to check again the different takes of The Shepherd from this session. The issue-infos seem questionable, because the descriptions of 6658a-d on page 1223 show the following:
- 6658a: I do not have; can't compare;
> - 6658b: runs for approximately 5:46 and iis take -1 on LP Fantasy 9462, take -2 on CD Fantasy 98561 and again take -1 on the Danish Radio DR-38;
- 6658c: runs for approximately 6:30 and ccan be found on the LP (as take -2) and on the CD (as take -3);
- 6658d: runs for approximately 4:59 and iis the take used for the FEEC Promo-LP AR 1705: here the bass playing is much more present and consequently Duke's interpretation is very different. The description almost could read 2°/9°IIDE&JL (at least to my ears).
By the way: the spoken intros to Dancers in Love are different on the Danish Radio DR-46 and FEEC Promo-LP; do they belong to 6658n+o? And while DR-46 has 0:35+0:08+1:17 versions of Duke's spoken promos (6658n?), can it be that the passages used on FEEC Promo-LP (6658o?) are excerpts from the Danish broadcast or are they different?
Klaus Götting

You are right. The descriptions of The Shepherd 6658a, b, c and d do not correspond with the claims on page 436. What we hear on the Field Enterprises LP is the same as what we see described for 6658d. The correct chronological sequence of these four takes will probably never be established. The recording which was later released on Field Enterprises was not found in the Danish Collection. That is not so strange. It happened quite often that if a recording was sold, a copy was not made and delivered but the original itself was cut out of the tape. If we could see the original studio tape, we would probably find the spot where the missing take was removed to be sold. But unfortunately the Danish Collection contains mostly copies of original studio tapes made after editing had been done. However the sequence in the New DESOR on page 436 is not unreasonable. After a more or less false start, without a number came on the Danish tape take -2 (it must have been announced in the studio, because it is so documented in the Danish Arkiv), followed by take -3 (also announced). Since the false start did not have a number, it makes sense to give the number -1 to the missing take which was earlier released on Field Enterprises. But one of the two situations needs correcting, either the sequence on page 436 or the sequence on page 1223, because the descriptions do not belong to the actual releases. You are right: take -1 on the LP is the same as take -2 on the CD and was broadcast through the Danish broadcast # 38 (on 8Dec85) as having the working title 6:40 Blues. It was identified as take -1. We could only compare it then with the 1974 LP. (The CD was not released until 1992). But when the CD did appear, the announced take numbers were attributed to the correct recordings. The description 6658b belongs to announced take -2 and the description 6685c belongs to announced take -3. Your conclusions are all correct.
The spoken introductions to Dancers in Love are indeed different. This can be explained by the fact that this piece of tape was similarly sold and removed from the original recording. That in turn means that for the Danish broadcast another piece of the tape was used, probably from a rehearsal. This was said on broadcast # 46:
"Dancers in Love is a tiny little bit of a ditty, played by the piano player, and along about half way through, there are breaks in the melody and we'd like very much to have you join us and snap your fingers in these breaks and the breaks will go like one, two, three, and it's Dancers in Love and I'll tell you when."
This announcement is different from what we hear on the Field Enterprises release which goes like this:
"Dancers in Love is a little bit of a ditty, played by the piano player. That's me. And usually, about half way through, there are breaks in the melody and usually the gentlemen of the orchestra fill these breaks by snapping their fingers, one, two, three. And we like to have you come along now and snap your fingers too. It's one, two, three and I'll tell you when. Dancers in Love." (See also 04/1-31p436.)
Sjef Hoefsmit


Stanley Crouch at the Ellington symposium of 3Aug95 at the IAJRC convention

DEMS 05/1-12

I recently listened to an audio recording of the panel discussion at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis Tennessee about "Ellington, the complexities of race, romance and good times". In his closing statement Stanley Crouch said something that is certainly interesting to all Ellington collectors. "We are all very lucky to be in a period where the technology allows us to maintain the human presence of the kind of art that used to disappear. If we were in 1895 and there was a Duke Ellington who lived in 1799 and died in 1875, we would talk about him like: 'did you ever hear him?' The real wonder of our particular period that we can all be very happy about is that if all of us are gone somebody puts on Lightnin' 150 years from now and it sounds exactly the same as it sounds to us now. – That's the great thing for all of us, gathered here. We are record collectors. Those of us who were lucky enough to see him in person and the new-comers, we can be very sure that our particular individual experience may disappear in the quicksand of history but that the great thing that touched us will also touch other people as long as human beings are interested in the expression of human feelings in this specific frame of art."
Sjef Hoefsmit


When did Ray Nance join the Band?

DEMS 05/1-13

See DEMS 04/3-12

It seems that Ray's many talents had already come to Duke's attention in 1939. After their own gig at the Panther Room in Chicago, the Ellingtonians would go to Joe Hughes' DeLuxe Club on the South Side at East 63rd and South Parkway Boulevard. My source is Patricia Willard's booklet on Jump For Joy (Smithsonian 1988, p5). Ray himself told Stanley Dance that Duke's musicians would come and hear him play (World of Duke Ellington, pages 132-3). He also mentions Freddie Jenkins among the Ellingtonians who came to listen to him, suggesting that his playing was of interest to Duke's musicians, if not to Duke himself, even earlier. For more general information on the DeLuxe Club, see Grove Jazz (one-volume 1994 edition, p 868), and Ray's account in Dance's book (p 133).
None of this answers the question, when did Ray join. But it does suggest he was already 'in mind' in 1939, which in turn would make it easier for Duke to move swiftly to secure his services when the need arose in 1940, and when the Ellington Orchestra was based in and around Chicago for much of the late summer and autumn. I too think it likely that Ray was in the band at Winnipeg on 6 November, and maybe earlier in the week.
Roger Boyes


Duke Ellington - Blues in Orbit

DEMS 05/1-14

See DEMS 04/3-30

On the Blues in Orbit album did anyone notice in the intro to C-Jam Blues we get a brief snippet of Who Knows? from the Capitol piano sessions? I must admit I haven't checked but I'm sure I'm correct.
Wayne Clutton

You are very close. I'm sure that if you had checked you would have found the correct title in the very same Capitol session: B-Sharp Blues. I am not surprised that this was not noticed by anyone, because in most cases when Duke played two choruses as an intro, the second chorus was the same theme as B-Sharp Blues. I have never seen liner-notes in which B-Sharp Blues was mentioned. Nor, if I had ever, would I have expected to find the observation that this was a theme taken from Duke's intro to C-Jam Blues. When he recorded B-Sharp Blues he had only once recorded the same theme previously: in the first four bars of the second chorus of the recording of C- Jam Blues at the Armory in Yakima on 29Apr52. I have not found any trace of it in earlier recordings of C-Jam Blues. We can state that after the recording of B-Sharp Blues on 13Apr53, the theme became a rather permanent part of Duke's intro to C-Jam Blues.
Sjef Hoefsmit

So it's another mischievous Ellington title. In the key-system, only a semitone separates B natural from C natural; thus, B sharp is tonally exactly the same as C natural, so B Sharp Blues = C Blues, the original title of C-Jam Blues.
Roger Boyes


Columbia/Legacy COL 512915 2
Duke Ellington - Blues in Orbit

DEMS 05/1-15

See DEMS 04/3-30

I have a question regarding the various versions of Blues in Orbit. On my CD CO CK 87041 only take -2 is specified, the other version is specified as "alternate take" (not as take -6).
I have take -6 on the EP CO 4-41689 and have compared it with the "alternate" take on CD 87041 and came to the conclusion that they are identical. Could it be that Columbia has taken another take for a rerun? If the alleged "take -6" on the old EP 4-41689 is not take -6, which take could it be? The recording sheet does not yield any information either.
Willie Timner

I do not have the CD CK 87041. This seems to be the American release (see DEMS 04/2-31). I have the European (?) edition of this album Columbia/Legacy COL 512915 2. I believe that the American edition came first and that would mean that if there has been a rerun, that should be the European edition. It is not impossible that there is a difference between both editions, but I doubt it. I have made you a cassette with three different recordings of Blues in Orbit. I copied from my CD 512915 the tracks 10 and 18. (There is a serious error in the third sentence of DEMS 04/3-30, where it is said that Blues in Orbit was on track 7. That should have been track 10.) The third version is taken from my copy of the EP 4-41689. As you will hear these three recordings are very different. I admit that there is some similarity between track 18 of 512915 and the EP release. This indicates that they belong to the same session (in fact the session of 12Feb58), but they are certainly not identical! Will you please compare my cassette with your CK 87041?
The recording sheet did give some information. On the recording sheet of 12Feb58 we see typed "TENDER" Ellington, hand-written changed into Blues in Orbit Billy Strayhorn. The matrix number is typed 40626 REMAKE (Single) and hand-written 4-41689 + CL 1445. This has led to the identification of the LP release (CL 1445) to be from 12Feb58. This claim has been repeated on the Philips LP 847.004 BY and on the Columbia CDs 44051 and 512915 and on the CD Giants of Jazz 53066. They all contain the same recording and they all claim that it was recorded on 12Feb58. There is however another source of information. In the liner-notes of the Columbia/Legacy CD 65566 ("Black, Brown and Beige - Duke Ellington featuring Mahalia Jackson" I found this:
NOTE: This [Blues in Orbit on track 8] is a remake. On 4Feb58 Tender (RHCO 40626-1) was recorded in a single take. Later this tune, retitled Blues in Orbit became the title track of an Ellington album. This 4Feb58 version of Blues in Orbit (aka Tender) (RHCO 40626-1) isthe one that was issued. It is on the mono (CL 1445) and stereo (CS 8241) LPs released in 1960 as well as the current CD (CK 44051) of the album "Blues in Orbit". At the end of the 12Feb58 session, Ellington returned to Blues in Orbit (aka Tender). Take One was a balance test, this Take Two [on this Mahalia Jackson CD on track 8] was the actual first take recorded. And Take Six was slated for issue.
My strongest reason to believe these statements in the liner-notes of the Mahalia Jackson CD is the fact that the indicated takes -2 and -6 are rather similar and very different from the one we all know from the first LP releases. I have compared all the recordings I have of this tune and I can simplify my findings as follows: track 10 of 512915 is identical with track 1 of 44051; track 18 of 512915 is identical with track 8 of 66566 and both these recordings are different from what I have on the EP 41689. The dates (and take numbers) of these three recordings are in my opinion respectively 4Feb58 (take -1), 12Feb58 (take -2) and 12Feb58 (take -6).
Sjef Hoefsmit

After listening to your cassette and comparing its contents with my recordings, it became quite obvious that only takes -1, -2 and -6 of Blues in Orbit have been released.
These are my results:
CBS/Co 84307 (LP) take -1
 Co CK 44051 (CD) take -1
 Co CK 65566 (CD) take -2
 Co CK 87041 (CD) take -6
 Co CK 87041 (CD) take -2
Willie Timner

Your first statement is correct. That may be sufficient for your discography, where you only indicate the name of the releasing company, but it is not enough for discographies which distinguish between different releases from the same company.
I cannot make a statement about your LP, but I presume that it was the first release, which indeed carried take -1 from 4Feb58 and which was re-released on the CD 44051. I believe that track 18 on your 87401 is identical with track 8 on 66566, which is in fact take -2 from 12Feb58. I believe that track 10 of your 87401 is identical with track 1 of 44051, which is in fact take -1 from 4Feb58. The differences between the three takes are so evident, that if you confirm that track 18 of your 87401 is identical with the EP 41689, I must believe you and conclude that there is an important difference between the American and European releases of the most recent Blues in Orbit album.
Sjef Hoefsmit



DEMS 05/1-16

The CBS issue claims to be 7th Dec 1951 (DE5127) but DESOR claims that both takes on that date have a piano intro by Ellington, which certainly isn't the case on Vol 4 of the 1947-1952 CDs. DESOR lists the only take not have a piano intro as being 30th July 1952 (DE5213).
The CD liners say the trumpet solos are Terry and Williams, which seems to make sense with DE5127 notwithstanding the missing intro. Can you shed any light on this for me please? Or did CBS edit out the piano introduction?
Michael Kilpatrick

DE5127h has been released on Up to Date 2004 with the piano-intro. DE5127i has been released on Columbia and Giants of Jazz without the piano intro.


Kendra Shank - Reflections

DEMS 05/1-17

See DEMS 2000/2-21/2

In case you're still curious to know, the lyric is by Marjorie & Milt Raskin, and it fits Duke's music beautifully. My web site, <> has links for buying each of my 3 CDs. Just go to my web site and, in the bio, where it talks about the CDs, click on the highlighted title of the CD and it will take you to the page devoted to that CD. At the bottom of each CD's page, is a link to click on if you want to purchase it. They are also available through <>. All my best wishes to you.
Kendra Shank


Caravan 14May37, DESOR 3709a.

DEMS 05/1-18

The New DESOR shows only one take of Caravan, viz. M470-2. That means of course there was at some point also a take -1 but according to DESOR this is not mentioned and consequently never used. However, I have recently come across the Japanese 78rpm Columbia L 6 which indicates that take -A (which I deem as take -1) has been used. When consulting Jerry Valburn's Directory of DE's Recordings this particular record is mentioned with bold letters and indicating take -1 is used. I have investigated 9 various 78rpms in my collection and according to the imprints in the shellac 7 of them have used the second take whereas two Columbia's (The Japanese mentioned above and the Italian CQ 1423) have used the first take. When consulting Dick Bakker's discography produced in 1974 he mentions both takes and states that take -1 has been used on several LP productions whereas take -2 has only been used for 78rpms.
I have listened to takes -1 and -2 but I can find no differences in them, but this does not necessarily mean there are not two different takes.
Maybe this question has come up earlier for discussion in DEMS and if so maybe you can direct me to the relevant pages. If not, what is your opinion?
Bo Haufman

This matter has indeed been covered in a long discussion in DEMS Bulletin 98/4-7. Since this is rather long ago, it seems appropriate to reprint this article. The conclusion was that take -1 was a dub, made from take -2. The discussion started with an overview of earlier discussions.
82/4-5: Carmack asked: what is correct M470-1 or M470-2 on Columbia C3L-27? DEMS answer: we believe take -2 to be the one used here.
89/4-2: (comments on Timner 3rd edition) Hoefsmit: Timner gives Caravan -1 as unissued. Aasland: both -1 and -2 are issued.
90/1-5: Lasker: take -1 is unissued – Japanese Columbia L5 (I have it) shows take -1 in the wax, but it is a dubbing of take -2. Thus ALL issues are take -2. Aasland: way back I made some investigations with the following results: ALL 78rpm releases used take -2 (there is no doubt!). Columbia CL-558, C3L-27, Philips, CBS-52529, Supraphon have all -1. Columbia B-1819, Historia 621, CBS-88185 have used take -2. Perhaps a misunderstanding at that time judging from Columbia(J) 78rpm issue, which incidentally by me is listed as L6. Your confirmation would be much appreciated.
90/2-6: Lasker: my mistake, you're absolutely correct, the Japanese issue is Columbia L6. Harry Fein lent Frank Driggs his copy of L6 to use for C3L-27, which reissue identified the take as -1 as what is shown (incorrectly) in the wax of L6. Could this have been the start of the phantom '-1" on LPs?
Hoefsmit: the only difference, that we have been able to find is this: CBS-52529 is a little bit faster at the beginning than later in the same recording, as compared to the relationship between the speeds at the beginning and later in the recording on CBS-88185. It is impossible to have both recordings playing in synch from the beginning to the end, without making corrections in the speed.
We have compared all the copies we have. Exactly identical in speed from start to finish are CBS-52529 and C3L-27. But both CBS-52529 and C3L-27 are different from all the others: CBS-88185, Joker SM 3056, the Time Life issue and Parlophone R 3041 (78rpm). It is possible to play these four copies from beginning to end in synch, without any correction in the speed.
This is the only difference between these copies. There is nothing in the music that would indicate that the recordings are different. The Giants of Jazz CD 53046 has not been compared. This is a production of Joker Tonverlag.
In Ottawa, 18May90, Steven Lasker showed me the original pressing and the dubbing, the difference being the last groove for the needle at the very end. On the original pressing this is a double parallel groove, on the dubbing a single groove. The speed differences between the original and the dub are due to the poor dubbing techniques of those days.

I am not saying that any of these explanations is wrong. But there are a few things I have some problems in accepting. If a recording company (Master in this case) has used take -2 for production my logic says there must have been also a take -1. If for some reason somebody decided to make a dub of take -2 why call it take -1 and not take -3 which would seem more logical. This was the case with a record presented on an auction and discussed on LYM some weeks ago (see note). There ought to have existed a genuine take -1 which might have been destroyed at some point in the past. If so the so-called dub of take -2 should not have been named take -1. Do you agree ?
Bo Haufman

Yes. I agree, but the fact is that the dub does carry the take-number -1. That's the number found on some of the releases.
Sjef Hoefsmit

There were actually two records mentioned on LYM in Dec04. One was a Victor test of mx 80145-3 Stompy Jones said to be unissued on 78rpm. The other was a Brunswick test of mx 13801-B Jive Stomp also said to be unissued. According to second hand information from Steven Lasker he said however that Stompy Jones take -3 is a dub from take -2. Jive Stomp take -B however seems to be genuine. These two records were offered on Mark Berresford's auction list in a recent VJM. This VJM auction list is due to close on 24Jan05. By the time you are putting the next DEMS Bulletin on the net the auction list may most probably have been deleted and replaced by a new one.
Bo Haufman


Adolphus J. Alsbrook

DEMS 05/1-19

See DEMS 04/3-17

Oscar Pettiford said (in an interview in Down Beat, 21Mar57p17): "I was impressed by Blanton - and by Adolphus Alsbrook, a Minneapolis bassist I'd known since I was about 16. He was one who was really playing the instrument."
The address of my Oscar Pettiford web-site is
Hans-Joachim Schmidt


Ted Kelly

DEMS 05/1-20

See DEMS 01/3-10/1 (The Hamburg concert was on 29May50)

To Whom It May Concern:
I read an introductory paragraph that was published online as part of a discussion about Duke Ellington's "Blue Serge." Specifically, the writer states that they do not recall a 3rd trombone, and perhaps Ted Kelly was indisposed due to his enjoyment of "European Hospitality."
I recognize the fact that your organization is dedicated to the enjoyment of Duke Ellington's Music. However, in response to that paragraph, I would like to share the following:
1. The late Theodore (Ted) Kelly was a member of Duke Ellington's band during the 1940s and 1950s, and he made many recordings with the band. He was also a member of Dizzy Gillespie's band;
2. Ted played the tenor and bass trombones and recorded with several big bands of that era;
3. While playing the trombone, Mr. Kelly toured Europe, Malaysia, the Caribbean, and the United States;
4. When working in New York City, Ted played his horn in Broadway Show pit bands, classical and jazz concerts, and Greenwich Village jazz clubs;
5. Ted was married 50 years, and he and his wife raised two children (both are professional adults);
6. In addition to being a well respected musician, Ted Kelly was also a chemist by profession; and finally
7. The late Theodore (Ted) Kelly (1921-2000) was my father.
Daughter Of The Late Ted Kelly

DEMS answered:
Ted Kelly has not been mentioned in any of the on-line DEMS Bulletins in relation to "Blue Serge".
The remark about Ted Kelly being "indisposed" as a result of all the North European "hospitality" was made by Olof Syman in DEMS Bulletin 01/3-10/1.
As far as we know Ted Kelly was in the Ellington band from early April to somewhere in May50.
It is possible that he made recordings with Ellington but none has ever surfaced. The only recording he was credited for was the 29May50 concert in Hamburg Germany because he was mentioned in the programme, but he was not seen or heard during that concert.
Thank you for your message which gives us some additional information about the trombonist Ted Kelly. He is not mentioned in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz or in John Chilton's "Who's Who of Jazz".
His name appeared in several of the discussions around Duke Ellington's European tour in 1950 that appeared in DEMS Bulletin. [A survey followed of the articles in 01/3-10/1; 02/1-5/2 and 04/1-21.]
Ted Kelly's name is properly documented in all Ellington discographies. One discography placed him in the band from early April into Jun50 and mentioned that he was born 7Sep21 and died on 6Nov2000.
Respectfully for the Duke Ellington Music Society (DEMS), Sjef Hoefsmit

This answer did not arrive. We received the following message: The original message was received at Wed, 26 Jan 2005 03:04:43 +0100 from []
----- The following addresses had permanennt fatal errors -----
Since Ted Kelly's daughter did not send us a home-address, we couldn't reach her. We hope she reads Sjef's answer from this Internet-Bulletin.


When did Hodges lay down his soprano sax?

DEMS 05/1-21

See DEMS 04/1-14

In the book "Music was not enough" by Bob Wilber (assisted by Derek Webster) (Macmillan, 1987) there is an account of Johnny's visit to the Storyville Club in Boston where Wilber was playing, in 1950. Rab was persuaded to pick up Wilber's straight soprano, and according to the book he "started playing the blues". This account occurs on pages 51 - 52 of my Bayou Press (Wheatley, Oxford) paperback reprint (1989) and there is a photo opposite page 57! (A good one too ….. )
Frank Dutton

It is also on the same pages of the first edition of Bob Wilber's book and the story is very interesting. A good reason for re-printing this paragraph:
"One night at the club stands out in my memory. The Ellington band was in Boston, playing at a local theater. [Duke's Itinerary indicates that Duke played the Scollay Square Theatre in Boston from 22 until 28Nov50 according to Variety 29Nov50 p18. DEMS] One evening after they had finished their last show, some of the boys from the band, including Johnny Hodges, came over to Storyville. They sat at a table in front of the bandstand and, spying my straight soprano, urged Johnny to sit in. He demurred, saying that he hadn't played the instrument for a long time. In fact the last time he'd played soprano had been back in 1940, some ten years earlier. Finally, after much persuasion, Johnny was literally pushed onto the bandstand. He picked up my soprano, looked at the mouthpiece and saw that it had a soprano reed on it. He asked me, "Gotta clarinet reed?" I pointed to an open box of reeds sitting on top of the piano. Without saying a word, he removed the soprano reed, reached into the box and took out one at random. He didn't bother looking at it or wetting it or anything. He simply stuck it on the mouthpiece, tightened the ligature, put the horn to his mouth, and started playing the blues – slow and stately, with that beautiful tone. It didn't have the earthiness of Bechet's blues, but you could hear the influence, the soaring lyricism. I was absolutely amazed, considering that he hadn't played the soprano for so long. What an incredible natural player!"


Duke's last gig.

DEMS 05/1-22

See DEMS 90/2-8

I'm an Ellington fan, and had the privilege of being stage manager for an Ellington concert in, I think, 1973 or '74 at Gaston Hall at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. I was wondering how close to his final performance this was. Might you know?
It was a great night and it was a pleasure to meet him, his band, and his companion. Oddly enough, I bought a white dinner jacket in a thrift shop for the occasion, and it turned out to be a cast-off from Ellington's band from the early 1960's, which the Duke recognized.
Chris Thompson

The date of the concert at Georgetown University was 10Feb74. DEMS member Ken Steiner took part in the preparations for these two concerts.
About Ellington's last concert we can quote an article by Les Airey, which was published in DEMS Bulletin 85/4-8 by Ulf Renberg. Les Airey had found the article in "Storyville 59" (Jun/Jul75) and wrote:
I thought that readers would be interested in the following article which appeared in the Detroit Press of 27oct74 together with two fine photographs of Duke Ellington on his last 'gig'. [The article more specifically appeared in "The Magazine of Michigan's Metropolis" of 27oct74, see DEMS 90/2-8. DEMS]
The article was titled: "The Duke's last gig. A legend says 'So Long' in Sturgis, Michigan" and it went on as follows:
"On 22Mar74, one month before his 75th birthday, Duke Ellington had a concert date to fill because of a cancellation, and Sturgis, Michigan, had an empty auditorium. So the Duke came to Sturgis, population 9,295, for his last gig. But no one knew it at the time.
Carl Alken, who manages the auditorium in the city just North of Indiana in St. Joseph County, was instructed to have a couch ready backstage, and a six-pack of Coke for the jazz-man who had sworn off hard liquor years before.
'When I saw him after the performance, he was a tired old man,' Alken said. 'He looked like he'd been run through a wringer. But he was still gracious, a real gentleman of the old school.'
Duke Ellington, who had played his music on every continent, snapped his lithe fingers on the time for Take the "A" Train, Mood Indigo, Satin Doll and Caravan. Then, after the 20-piece band had played a half-hour encore, the leader came out alone to the piano, and played Lotus Blossom, a Billy Strayhorn composition that floats like soft wind and water, to a hushed audience.
Afterwards, a girl who played trumpet in the high school band, asked for Duke's autograph. As he gave it, he mischievously probed and found her musical interests. 'Well, then,' he jived, 'pack your bags and come along.' One week later, Duke Ellington checked into Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. When he died on 24May, he was suffering from cancer of both lungs and pneumonia."
In DEMS 90/1-6, (the late) Gordon Ewing wrote: "Many people believe that the last public appearance of Duke occurred on 20Mar74 at Northern Illinois University in De Kalb. In fact there is a room, in the Student Center, called the "Duke Ellington Ballroom" and there is a plaque just outside that room declaring that this was the site of Duke's last performance. However no one seems to have read the Mercer-Dance book which in this case correctly states that Duke last played two concerts on 22Mar74 in Sturgis, Michigan. Mercer refers to the auditorium as a "firehouse" kind of place. Actually it is a very fine building. I drove over to Sturgis several months ago, met the present manager and talked to an Ed Smoker, who worked backstage and remembers having to provide a cot for Duke in his dressing room and bringing him a six-pack of Coke. There were two concerts, at 7 and 9 pm. I am going ahead with a plan to have a plaque placed on this building, a project to which the Board of the Auditorium agrees enthusiastically."

The wonders of the internet! Chris Thompson was very important in me becoming an Ellington fan, as he asked me to work on the stage crew for a concert series at Georgetown. Most of the concert series included rock and folk bands, but for one night, the Duke, and my life changed.
I will contact Chris right away. Thanks.
Ken Steiner


Hot Feet

DEMS 05/1-23

See DEMS 04/1-31 p902.

Sjef argues illogically that "if we accept Harry as the tenor player, we will have to credit Barney with the clarinet part, which seems even a bit more unlikely." These are not mutually exclusive propositions, in fact quite the contrary: I believe Carney plays tenor at the beginning of the record (accompanied by brass and rhythm) and alto thereafter while Bigard's clarinet is only heard towards the end of the record.
Perhaps Sjef could relisten to Hot Feet with an open mind and fresh ears?
Steven Lasker

I could and I did. What we have here is obviously a misunderstanding. I see now that my statement was ambiguous. I'm sorry. I did not question Barney Bigard's solo in the 5° chorus, but his playing in the bridge of the 1° chorus which was performed by a tenor together with a clarinet. If the tenor was Carney, the clarinet must have been Bigard and it doesn't sound to me like Bigard. I understand your statement about Carney playing alto later in the piece to mean that he takes part in the ensemble of the 5° chorus and not that he is the soloist in the 3° chorus.
Sjef Hoefsmit

Now we do agree again. It is not Bigard whom you hear in the bridge of the 1° chorus playing alongside the tenor. It is not a clarinet at all. It is Freddie Jenkins on trumpet.
Steven Lasker

I agree. I didn't think of considering a different instrument. The description of Hot Feet on page 902 in the New DESOR does need some corrections indeed. It should read as follows:
Also on page 1449 a correction is called for. The list of instruments played by Harry Carney should be extended with tenor sax.
Sjef Hoefsmit

Oops! Neither did I, in my piece on Hot Feet in Blue Light vol.9 no.2, 2002.
Roger Boyes


Duke's Brass, 1937-38.

DEMS 05/1-24

See DEMS 04/3-13.

Thanks to a clue supplied by George Hoefer (Downbeat, 5Nov52, p18), Michael Kilpatrick's question of when Dusk on the Desert was written can be answered: "Ellington remembered he had written the melody while waiting for a train in Rockford, Illinois." Reference to Klaus Strateman's "Day by Day…" shows that the band played an engagement in Rockford on 29/30Aug37, three weeks before Dusk on the Desert was recorded in New York City.
While I continue to believe that the trumpet soloist on Dusk on the Desert is probably Whetsel, by no means am I certain. My opinion is based on what I hear and the knowledge that Whetsel was in declining health, which might have affected his tone adversely. Alas, the identity of the trumpet soloist on this title will likely remain a controversial topic in years to come.
As for Harold Baker's alleged presence in the band in 1938, and John Chilton's supposition that evidence to this effect might have been supplied by Baker himself to Leonard Feather for his "Encyclopaedia of Jazz," there might be a way to test this hypothesis: It is my understanding that Feather sent biographical questionnaires to many jazz musicians, and that the filled-out forms are today on file at the Institute of Jazz Studies. Can Annie Kuebler tell us if Baker's form notes the year he first joined Ellington?
Steven Lasker


Newly released [?!] 1924 Wilbur Sweatman Recording

DEMS 05/1-25

See DEMS 04/3-21

a. The Gennett 78 was released in 1924, so only reissues are new. (Look for the newly-released 2-CD Wilbur Sweatman set on Jazz Oracle, one of the last reissues remastered by the late great John R. T. Davies.)
b. Ellington's only known engagement with Sweatman was in March 1923.
c. The Gennett files don't show personnel present at the date other than Sweatman.
d. The report that Ellington was on the date originated in the autobiography of Mike Danzi, "American Musician in Germany, 1924-39" (Schmitten, Germany, 1986). Danzi recalled that he played banjo on Battleship Kate and Ellington played piano.
e. As I remarked in DEMS (02/2-17/2), the pianist on the Gennett Battleship Kate sounds to me like someone sight-reading. (I find his playing to be tentative, which suggests he is likely reading.)
f. Judging from the story Ellington tells (MIMM, page 70) about his sale of Blind Man's Buff (copyright claim dated 24oct23) to publisher Fred Fisher, Ellington was then capable of writing a lead sheet in just 30 minutes. It follows that since he was able to write music manuscript in 1923, he also had the skill to read it.
g. Ellington's memory was very good but not necessarily perfect (or, if you prefer, photographic). Accounts given by many of his bandsmen, however, make the case that Ellington's ability to recall melodies and solos was astonishing. (One might call this phonographic memory.) Like Sidney Bechet (who made a point of never learning to read music), Ellington needed to hear a melody only once to learn it. (Indeed, he started out playing piano by ear; see MIMM, page 30.)
h. One doesn't hear very much piano on Choo Choo or Rainy Nights, but enough is heard to tell the pianist was comfortable with the tunes – unlike the pianist on Battleship Kate. On the other Blu-Disc sides with Ellington (recorded as by Alberta Prime, Alberta Prime - Sonny Greer, Jo. Trent and the D C'NS, and Sunny and the D C'NS), a whole lot of piano is heard. This is distinctly Ellington and it is apparent that as early as 1924, he was one of the strongest stride pianists on the Harlem scene.
Thus what I hear on the record leads me to conclude that contrary to Mike Danzi's recollection, the pianist on Sweatman's 10oct24 Battleship Kate isn't Ellington. No way, no how, no sir!
Danzi might instead have recalled an unissued Gennett session, called circa 12Aug24, at which Sweatman recorded a version of Battleship Kate that was never issued.
Steven Lasker

Battleship Kate has been subject of discussions many times. It was brought forward by Ulf Renberg in DEMS 86/2-10 who reported to have found Rainer Lotz' article about the Danzi story in Storyville 67 (Oct/Nov76).
Hoefsmit brought this story again in circulation in DEMS 89/2-8 in his comments on Timner's 3rd edition.
Valburn reacted in DEMS 89/4-2: "In 1960, Len Kundstadt, editor of the Record research, did extensive interviews with Sweatman. He was in excellent health and his mind was as clear as a bell. He told Kundstadt that Duke never recorded for him."
In DEMS 02/1-16 the release of this very rare recording was announced. The news came from Andrew Homzy's e-mail of 19Jan02. DEMS asked the opinion of those who listened to this release. The first one who reacted was Steven Lasker in DEMS 02/2-17/2.
Arne Neegaard (e-mail 27Jan04) came with the same message as Andrew Homzy and suggested that we should consult other ledgers than those of RCA. After I sent him copies of the discussions in previous DEMS Bulletins he answered in an e-mail of the same date (27Jan04): The Red Hot Jazz Archive has 20Sep24, Gennett 5584, but with George Rickson on piano.


Jig Walk

DEMS 05/1-26

See DEMS 04/3-23

According to Laurie Wright (" ' Fats' in Fact," page 296), Jig Walk on Paramount 14027 (released circa 1945) is dubbed from QRS 3565, a piano roll "released in August 1926 and actually played by J. Lawrence Cook." Piano roll authority Mike Montgomery tells me he used to own Jig Walk on a U.S. Music nickelodeon roll which he believes is probably a reissue of the QRS roll (which he has never heard). Montgomery adds that nickelodeon rolls each normally contain 10 different songs, and that Jig Walk was the only Ellington composition on his U.S. Music roll, which doesn't credit artist(s).
Steven Lasker


Another non-Ellington 1920s recording.

DEMS 05/1-27

While on the subject of 1920s recordings that have been attributed to Ellington but are actually by other performers:

THE HOTSY TOTSY BOYS: Irving Mills, k—l/v; Jimmy McHugh, p.
        9 East 37th Street, New York City                 Thursday, 14 May 1925.

9533    Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now -1 (Mills—McHugh)
                                            Gennett "rejected," master destroyed
9533—A  Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now -1 (Mills—McHugh)
                                            LP: B—D T1001 [released c. Aug 79]
9534    Charleston Charlie (Austin—Mills)   Gennett "rejected," master destroyed
9534—A  Charleston Charlie (Austin—Mills)   Gennett "rejected," master destroyed

The recording date has previously been reported as 8 June 1925, however the above date is given on the original Gennett matrix cards. The personnel isn't shown in the files, but the Gennett ledger notes "Piano Acc Vocal" for both titles, whereas the matrix cards note "Accompanied by piano" only for the first title. Neither source notes the presence of a kazoo. Irving Mills is, unmistakably, the vocalist. Jerry Valburn identified the pianist as Ellington, but historical and aural evidence points to Jimmy McHugh.
Billing themselves as "The Hotsy Totsy Boys," Mills and McHugh had visited Chicago in March 1925 to demonstrate songs. (They advertised the trip in Variety, 4 Mar 25p56; a photograph of the two performers appears on the cover of the sheet music of their composition Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now.) Lucille Meyers of Jimmy McHugh Music, who worked for McHugh the last twenty years of his life, told me on 10 March 1994 that McHugh had been a very competent pianist. When I played Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now for her, she "swore" it had to be McHugh. Musicologist Larry Gushee is of the opinion that the pianist isn't Ellington; Mark Tucker believed it is.
The master parts for these titles were destroyed in 1925. Fortunately, a test pressing of the first title was retained at the office of Mills Music, where Jerry Valburn found it many years after the recording. He borrowed, taped, and returned it. Sidney Mills (Irving's son) told me in 1987 that the various office tests were subsequently thrown out.
Steven Lasker


[Not Such] A Small Puzzle

DEMS 05/1-28

See DEMS 04/3-24

According to Victor's files, The Dicty Glide mx. BVE-49767-1 and Sloppy Joe mx. BVE-49769-1 were the first choice "master" takes, yet every commercially issued 78 I have found of these titles is pressed from the second takes, which were marked "hold indefinitely." In the case of Stevedore Stomp, mx. BVE-49770-1 was originally marked "master" and BVE-49770-2 was marked "hold indefinitely"; a subsequent change of mind (noted not on the session sheet but rather on a separate "history card" for Victor V-38053-A) ordered take one destroyed and take two mastered. So far as I know, no test or commercial pressing of BVE-49770-1 exists, and the performance is lost.
I believe that the original issue of BVE-49767-1 is actually RCA(F)741.029 while that of BVE-49769-1 is RCA(E)RD-7331.
Anybody who can prove me wrong is invited to – just produce an actual commercially-issued 78 that contains the take one of any of the three titles in question.
Steven Lasker


Who is going to ask Al McKibbon?

DEMS 05/1-29

See DEMS 04/3-31

On 15Feb02, Al McKibbon told me that he was called to a session of 3Mar61 as a sub for Aaron Bell who was missing. McKibbon says he rehearsed with the band until Bell showed up and took over the bass duties. McKibbon didn't record with the band, but was paid nonetheless.
Steven Lasker

What you wrote calls for corrections in the New DESOR on session 6103 of 3Mar61 on page 297 and/or on Correction-sheet 1023 and on page 1479.


"Duke Ellington, Jo. Trent, Blu-Disc, Up-To-Date and Various Topics of Related Interest."

DEMS 05/1-30

See DEMS 04/3-57

Here is a correction on Part Three:
Blu-Disc T1003-A was not issued as by SUNNY GREER AND THE D C'NS, but rather as by SUNNY AND THE D C'NS.

Here is a correction on Part Five:
The matrix/take numbers were incorrectly expressed in form. T2013-B2 should have read T2013B-2, and so on.
Dixie Dreams is mx. T2020-1 [sic]; June Brought the Roses is mx. T2021B-1, and Openshaw is the only composer shown on the label.
A copy of Up-to-Date 2017, probably the same copy that was once owned by the late Billy Thomas, has been located (thanks to the assistance of Kurt Nauck) in the collection of Gene Scranton of Greenburg, Pennsylvania. [To make this correction go to the second paragraph after the listing. It starts with "Only four issues".]

Here is an addition to Part Five:
Both Blu-Disc T1002 and the various BD&M issues of Rainy Nights, including Pennington 1439, were released in December 1924. While the precise release date of the four Up-to-Date issues isn't known, it would be logical to infer that they were released in February 1925, the month when BD&M released two of Up-to-Date's masters on Pennington 1453 and Pennington 1455. From this deduction and the fact that the song When My Sugar Walks Down the Street was first introduced in December 1924, one might reasonably conclude that Up-to-Date's masters were recorded in December 1924 and/or January 1925, most likely at several different sessions held over the course of those two months. The fact that the Florence Bristol title with Hardwick and Ellington was among the last Up-to-Date masters recorded suggests that the session was held sometime in January 1925 rather than in December 1924 as I proposed in the last DEMS Bulletin [04/3-57, Part Five]
Steven Lasker


How Many Compositions Did Ellington Actually Write?

DEMS 05/1-31

See DEMS 04/3-58

Circa 1972 Brooks Kerr posed this very question to the maestro who estimated that he had written about 5,000 compositions.
Steven Lasker