08/2 August-November 2008
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Lazy Rhapsody

DEMS 08/2-14

There are two takes of Lazy Rhapsody from 2Feb32. DESOR 3201c and 3201d.
All 78s issued (there are quite a few) are 3201c with matrix no. B11205-A except Columbia 35834 said to be take -B. It is shown like that in Rust, Bakker and DESOR [and in Benny Aasland's Waxworks]. However, when I take a look at my Columbia 35834 the wax clearly shows B11205-A. Have you any sort of explanation for this?
Bo Haufman

Co 35834 comes in three variations:
Lazy Rhapsody -A/Blue Ramble -A
Lazy Rhapsody -B/Blue Ramble -B
Lazy Rhapsody -A/Blue Ramble -B
Given that the labels specify that each side should be a "second master," we may conclude that Co 35834 was supposed to bear the B take of each title, and the A takes were released in error.
See Valburn's Directory, p1-13.
Steven Lasker

This is what Jerry Valburn had to say about this matter:
The following four issues, 35834 through 35837, were originally issued [by Columbia] in a four-pocket album, titled "The Duke" with its own number C-38. [Valburn's Directory, p1-33].
When originally issued the concept was to present new masters on all eight selections. The "new" take of Baby, When You Ain't There is a fake. It is a speeded up version of the original Brunswick issue. Over the years, errors were made in the re-pressings and many combinations exist in the pressings. We will attempt to document all-known combinations here:
35834 Lazy Rhapsody [#A] / Blue Ramble [#A]
35834 Lazy Rhapsody [#B] / Blue Ramble [#B]
35834 Lazy Rhapsody [#A] / Blue Ramble [#B]
35835 Baby, When You Ain't There [#A] / Lightnin' [#B]
35835 Baby, When You Ain't There [#B] / Lightnin' [#B]
35836 Best Wishes [#A] / Bundle of Blues [#B]
35836 Best Wishes [#A] / Bundle of Blues [#A]
35837 Drop Me Off at Harlem [#A] / Merry-Go-Round [#2]
35837 Drop Me Off at Harlem [#B] / Merry-Go-Round [#2]
[end of quote from Jerry Valburn's Directory]

It would be interesting to know which of the two error pressings is in your collection. The one with Blue Ramble [#A] or [#B]. You should also check the take of Lazy Rhapsody. If it is indeed take -A you should not hear the sound of a chime at the very end, which is clearly audible at the end of take -B. There are many differences between both takes, but no other difference is so simple to describe. I have accepted as the truth the numbers of the two takes on the French double LP CBS 88000 "The Complete Duke Ellington Vol. 3". These take numbers correspond exactly with the two takes on Classics 616 and Neatwork 2023. Furthermore take -B is slightly faster than take -A (3:11 against 3:14), which is often the case for a subsequent take.
Sjef Hoefsmit

Thanks for this explanatory mail. My copy of 35834 is #A/#A. Seems I have to watch out for the other combinations.
Bo Haufman

Manchester in the 60ties

DEMS 08/2-15

See DEMS 07/3-11

In one of the two concerts in the Free Trade Hall in Manchester on 29Feb64 (only one of the two was recorded), Duke dedicated Black and Tan Fantasy, Creole Love Call and The Mooch to several of his young friends in the audience, whom he called “Group Seven”. At the time of writing last year we did not know who these people were, and we asked for information from our readers. Now we do know, thanks to Tony Adkins, who corresponded with his friend Bill Birch who was there and who took a great number of nice photographs. Bill wrote:
“ ‘Group Seven’ was a mainstream/modern combo, popular in the early 1960’s, playing at a small club opposite of the University, called “The Windsor”. The seven members of the band were: Wally Davis (alto); Frank Hartley (tenor); Pete McQuire (trumpet); Niall Jackson (trombone); Tony Smith (piano); Mike Quellin (bass) and Norman Caldas (drums). They played such numbers as Perdido, Satin Doll, Take the “A” Train, In a Mellotone, Shiny Stockings etc. Wally Davis is still alive (plays tenor now), Mike Quellin died a few years ago. The others are not known to me. I know Wally well, and he has confirmed the information I have supplied. I add a few newspaper ads with not uncommon odd errors.”
Bill added three ads taken from the Manchester Evening News from 16Feb61, 13Apr61 and 11May61 for two sets on the evenings of the same days at the Windsor. The first one read: TO NIGHT at the WINDSOR (opp. Univ.). The idiom will be coolly dug by GROUP SEVEN. Featuring Jerry Smith [should read Tony Smith] 8:30 to 10:30 [should read 11:30].
We are very grateful to Tony Adkins who brought our request for information to the attention of his friend Bill Birch and to Bill himself who was so kind to share his knowledge with us.

Duke and Count Basie together at Carnegie Hall?

DEMS 08/2-16

I have downloaded a file, can you tell me what this is? It is on side b) of this upload:
Side a) was correct, but side b) is a couple of unknown titles, and Jumpin' at the Woodside
Len Pogost

The download is titled “Duke Ellington at Carnegie Hall Side 2 mp3”.
Side 2 is actually side 2 of the LP “Battle Royal” on CBS or “First Time” on Columbia. The titles are Wild Man Moore; Segue in C; B.D.B. and Jumpin’ at the Woodside. Wild Man Moore and B.D.B. are different from the latest Columbia CD, see DEMS 99/4-20, but they are exactly the same as on the CBS and Columbia LPs, which means that some parts are missing, see DEMS 84/3-12.

The message by Hans-Joachim Schmidt

DEMS 08/2-17

See DEMS 08/1-14

I was hoping someone else would take the task of responding to this. Point 4 of the above entry in the invaluable DEMS Bulletin contains the following rather extraordinary statement from Hans-Jorgen Schmidt:
“I trust that in spite of Andrew Homzy's rude attack everyone will have Ken Rattenbury's book ‘Duke Ellington Jazz Composer’.”
Please note that Andrew was not the only person to express reservations about the late Ken Rattenbury's work, and for instance I wrote two rather negative reviews when it first appeared. One reason being the inadequacy of the so-called transcriptions, the worst example of which is perhaps the section of Junior Hop shown as played by four instruments when only three are heard on the Hodges record. Call that a Rattenbury arrangement, if you like, but don't call it a transcription.
As to Hans-Jorgen's comments on Ko-Ko, he says: “This is the beginning of a discussion.” I hope so, and here is a contribution to that discussion.
The comment: “Ko-Ko is a head-chart. When Ben Webster came he had to make up his own part” doesn't make sense, and the second sentence doesn't prove the first. In fact, there's a part for Ben written by Duke, which probably means that Ben (excellent writer that he was) didn't ever make up his own part, and that idea is probably just a legend.
I wouldn't for a moment dispute Hans-Jorgen's other comments about Strayhorn's part in the section, but I cannot believe that any part of the original score was a head arrangement. That introduction and its orchestration; the voicing of the chords in the opening sax-section; the permutation of the four-note phrase (as played by Carney in the introduction) throughout the score. A head arrangement? You surely can't mean that.
None of this is aimed personally at Hans-Joachim, by the way. I had nothing personal against Rattenbury either, but I wouldn't trust his book further than I could throw it.
Brian Priestley

I met Ken Rattenbury at the Ellington Conference in Oldham, England, 1988 and heard his presentation prior to the publication of his book. I thought he was a wonderful man, full of enthusiasm and joy over the music of Duke Ellington. But I also recognized him as under-educated to take on an informed, accurate examination of Ellington's music.
His book was essentially the publication of his Master's thesis of the same title, written while a student at Keele University - located at Staffordshire in the West Midlands region of England near Birmingham.
You can read some favorable reviews of Rattenbury's book here:
And if you can get to a university music library, you can read my 6-page/11 column review here:
Duke Ellington: Jazz Composer by Ken Rattenbury. Reviewed by Andrew Homzy in Notes, the quarterly journal of the Music Library Association, Second Series, Vol. 48, No. 4 (Jun., 1992), pp. 1241-1246
Readers can decide for themselves as to whether I was attacking Mr. Rattenbury or just being truthful. Was I rude in my making an assessment? Actually, I was more upset with Yale University Press for publishing his book than I was about Rattenbury's desire to share his interests. I thought that Yale University Press was amiss in not sending a draft to knowledgeable readers prior to publication — something they did when publishing their books on Stravinsky, Sibelius, Webern, Berg and Ives — and on reflection, I think the root of the problem is that Rattenbury's academic advisors at Keele were negligent in their role as music educators.
Andrew Homzy

Café au Lait

DEMS 08/2-18

I've just been trying to sort this track out and I cannot resolve it. As far as I can determine, it has DE5638d, e, f, h and i. I don't hear g, the 10 bars of DE or does this refer merely to the two struck chords and the talking before the start of h? I would have thought that h included this.
Can you give me any help?
Marcus Girvan

I hear a distinct pause between f and g and between g and h. I gave the three “takes” indications of length in time. I had 0:10, 0:17 and 0:12. I agree with you that there is not a total of 4 plus 10 plus 7 bars. I have already a problem counting 4 bars in the first “take”, but in the second I do not hear more than a maximum of 6 bars. Between g and h is the talking. I have compared the latest CD Columbia Legacy CK 65568 with the Up to Date LP. The CD has the three tracks not separately numbered. They have together the index number 3 in track 21. There is no difference between CD and LP. Sometimes the descriptions in the New DESOR are questionable. This one is certainly not correct. I agree.
Sjef Hoefsmit

The complete Ellington Indigos

DEMS 08/2-19

See DEMS 08/1-22

Just re-reading the DEMS notes re: The Complete Ellington Indigos and I have two questions:
1. Was The Sky Fell Down only released on the mono LP and is it and are some of the other alternates still in mono?
2 Are all the alternates from French releases?
Joe Medjuck

1. I have this same recording on three different releases. On the LPs CBS 88219 (US) and 82682 (F) is no trace of stereo. On the latest CD Jazz Beat 527 I have the impression that it is stereo, but it also could be simulated stereo. It is not carbon copied from the two LPs however. Other than that, there is no alternate of The Sky Fell Down. I have checked the CD Jazz Beat and this is what I found:
Mono: tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10 until and including 19.
Stereo (or simulated stereo): 2, 4, 7 and 9.
2. That is a complicated question. I can answer that the alternates (13, 14, 16, 17 and 18) have been included on the French LP CBS 88653. Track 15 was only released on US CDs Col CK 65056 (see 99/4-17) and 66372 (see 98/4-5/1). What I cannot say is that this LP has been the source for the Jazz Beat CD. These alternates have been issued on more than one release and it is also possible that original material was used.
Sjef Hoefsmit

Take The A Train in Early 1946

DEMS 08/2-20

See DEMS 08/1-18

Thank you very much indeed, Sjef, for Azure CD 82. I can now listen to the 3rd Esquire Concert (doesn’t golden-voiced Orson go on!), including its Take The A Train, which is new to me, as is the one from the Zanzibar in late October 1945.
Here are my thoughts. By and large, I think I got things right earlier, though I’m always conscious of those musical chameleons with their ability to assume one another’s roles.
4558j. 25Aug45 Fieldstone Ballroom:
The trumpet in the middle eight of Chorus 1 is way off-mike, but since Taft Jordan is present, it seems a safe bet he takes his usual eight bars here. I agree with New DESOR’s revised opinion that Rex plays the solo choruses usually assigned to Ray, in the absence of the latter.
4583g. 24oct45 Zanzibar broadcast:
Taft is on mike this time. There is enough of the second chorus to learn that Duke had already taken on Ray’s solo, now that Ray had left the band for a time. I like Raglin’s bass playing, especially when he starts running!
4601o. 4Jan46 Carnegie Hall:
I hear Taft, as usual, in Chorus 1, and while I can’t confidently identify him in the little break at the end, I see no reason to question that it is he. Duke takes on Ray’s solo chorus, adding a second. I agree that we hear Cat next — in a tremendous performance!
4605b. 16Jan46 Ritz, NYC (3rd Esquire Concert):
No changes to the now established routine of Taft in Chorus 1 and at the end, Duke in Chorus 2, and Cat in Chorus 3. Cat sounds very Nance-ish here though, don’t you think, and quite different from at Carnegie Hall? That is, until he suddenly erupts in the middle eight, and takes his time to stop, as Al Sears moves in.
4606o. 20Jan46 Civic Opera House, Chicago:
Not unlike 4605b. No further comment needed.
4609n. 28Mar46 Capitol Transcriptions:
New DESOR has Taft as usual in Chorus 1 and at the very end; otherwise Cat throughout, i.e. in Ray’s old chorus which Duke had been taking at the piano in recent months, and in Chorus 3, his own regular slot in the same months. Patricia’s note (London LP HMP 5033) mentions only Taft as soloist.
It’s definitely Cat in Chorus 3, but I see no reason why the soloist in Chorus 2 shouldn’t be Taft, as Patricia’s note implies. This is not to say I can confidently assert that it is!  Let’s hope that others have something to say on this.
It is interesting that Duke turned to a trumpeter once more in Chorus 2 for this studio recording, even though Ray had not yet rejoined at this point, and he had taken it over himself as a piano solo soon after Ray’s departure in the autumn.
Roger Boyes

For the Capitol Transcriptions, I would not presume to rely exclusively in most instances on my own ears to identify the soloists. Wally Heider, on whose Hindsight label the LPs were released, sent me from Los Angeles to New York to interview surviving members of the '46-'47 band. Al Sears and his wife graciously volunteered to have a backyard barbecue to entice everyone to congregate, theorizing that an exchange among the musicians would be more productive than my interviewing each individually. Sonny Greer fell ill at the last minute and could not attend.
I played the tapes for everyone assembled at the Sears' home and audio taped their comments and responses. That would be where the identification of Taft Jordan comes from. I will try to take the time to listen to those tapes so that I can tell you who it was who identified Jordan.
Patricia Willard

Four Reed Players on 27Feb36

DEMS 08/2-21

The entry DE3604, 27Feb36, in the New DESOR is incorrect. There are definitely four reed players present for Clarinet Lament. There are clearly three alto saxes playing behind Bigard's solo starting at about 37 seconds into the piece.
DESOR states that for DE3604c and DE3604d, Otto Hardwick is out. Either he is not out, or there is a replacement present. Perhaps it's Peter Clark as appears on the following day, DE3605? Did Hardwick really leave halfway through the session?
The reason this came to my attention is because am I studying Isn't Love The Strangest Thing and checked the DESOR entry for 27Feb36. I identified a couple of untitled parts for this piece in the Smithsonian Collection some time ago, bringing the total of the known manuscripts to:
Brown, Bass, Carney, Barney, Otto
I decided to try to transcribe the rest by ear from the recording but was confused by the orchestration at the vocal entry where there is also a change of key beginning with four bars of Lawrence Brown.
There are, it seems, four instruments playing the "organ" (simple series of long notes in harmony) behind Brown and then the vocal, with Hardwick on the top line and Carney also playing alto, the third harmony part. Hodges on the 2nd part is audible but less so than Carney and Hardwick, whose notes I have from the original manuscripts.
The problem here is that nothing is written on Barney Bigard's part for the organ section and furthermore he has just finished his clarinet solo at that point. Therefore he can't be playing the first few bars of the fourth line of the organ on the tenor sax and it's certainly not a clarinet I hear there. Perhaps it's Tizol on valve trombone? It sounds too much like a tenor sax to me, but it's only just audible beneath the three altos.
Who's got keen enough ears to tell? I just can't decide! I enjoy these little quandaries...
Perhaps Tizol plays just the first four bars (behind Lawrence Brown) whilst Barney Bigard changes from clarinet to tenor sax in time for the vocal? Perhaps Bigard's part for the organ section appears out of sequence and on a separate sheet of paper, which has been lost. Or perhaps it's actually Tizol playing all the way through. His part is missing so there is no manuscript evidence.
I'm guessing there wasn't a mystery fifth reed player present who could be playing tenor.
But you never know.
Anyway, at least it showed up the DESOR error concerning Clarinet Lament and Echoes of Harlem for which there are undoubtedly four reeds present.
Michael Kilpatrick

For people like me, who cannot read music, the description in the New DESOR might help to locate the moment where Michael is referring to: Isn’t Love the Strangest Thing? 3604a

It’s Freedom

DEMS 08/2-22

I am writing to you from Georgia (not the State Georgia with Atlanta but Georgia, ex-USSR republic).
In 1990 the double LP “Famous Sacred Concerts of Ellington” was released in the Soviet Union with It's Freedom, where in the middle of the composition the word “Freedom" is heard in various languages including Georgian.
That intrigued me very much and since that time I have tried to find out how the Georgian language could appear in that composition. In the 60s Georgia (part of the USSR) was rarely known abroad, not to speak of the Georgian language.
I know that Ellington visited the Soviet Union, but he never came to Georgia, and his concert in Moscow has took place later, in 71, while the recording with the Georgian word "Tavisupleba" (i.e. Freedom) was released in 68.
Later on, having a chance to visit the US, I checked for that issue some old newspapers and various works dedicated to Duke Ellington. I thought I had found an answer, that the idea to use the Georgian language came to Ellington thru George Balanchine (who was of Georgian origin)... but quite recently I found out an alternative version of that story.
I thought maybe, you could be so kind as to help me or to advise me where to go to find the real background of the composition It's Freedom from The Second Sacred Concert.
I have checked the articles 1998/3-16/2 and 1997/4-11/3 in the DEMS Bulletins where the concert is discussed, and some alternative recordings of It's Freedom are also mentioned, but with no particular reference to the aspect, I am looking for.
Levan Nadiradz

When Duke was preparing for the second Sacred Concert, he asked Patricia Willard to supply him with translations of the word "Freedom". Patricia figured that Duke wanted to make a choice and she looked around for translations in several languages. This would have been rather easy today with all the information on the Internet, but it wasn't in these days. She was surprised to see later that Duke did not make a choice, but included all her translations in the text of his composition It's Freedom even though many of these translations were almost identical (for instance starting with LIBER…). She hasn't told me where she found all these translations, but being a professional journalist she must have known where to go. By the way Patricia herself is of Georgian descent.
What about the alternative version of the story?
Sjef Hoefsmit

Another version I have heard about this Georgian word in Duke's composition: my buddy from one Georgian Internet forum told me that it was Nugzar Sharia who supplied this Georgian word to Ellington. Sharia is a Georgian emigrant. He was an actor. In the United States he also worked for Radio Liberty - i.e. Radio Tavisupleba. Maybe that's why someone thought that he could be involved in Dukes' song.
Freedom i.e. Tavisupleba in Georgian is made of two words "tavi" - what means "person" or "head" and "upleba" – what means "right". "Tavisupleba" - can be understood as owning yourself, holding all rights - having no master in fact.
Levan Nadiradz

The Georgian word for “Freedom” was a contribution from my father, Dr. Ralph S. Willard, who was a Russian Georgian who emigrated to the U.S. in December 1922. Through the courtesy of Levan Nadiradze, we now know the correct English spelling of the word. My father gave it to me phonetically because he didn't know how to spell Georgian in English.
Patricia Willard

This is a photo-copy of page 28 of the sheet music of the “Sacred Concert No 2” published by Charles Hansen Music and Books NYC.

The Big Heist

DEMS 08/2-23

A new Bud Shank DVD ("Against the Tide") comes with a CD that contains a track titled The Big Heist with Shank on flute backed by the Ellington band. I suspect that it is from the "Assault on a Queen" scoring sessions.
Apparently Shank was given the tape when it became obvious that it wasn't going to be used for the film or if it was going to be used would be overdubbed. I have not heard this yet (I've just ordered it) so can't compare it to anything in the film's final score.
Joe Medjuck

If it is true that Ellington is on this track, it must be taken from the 19/20Jan66 recording sessions in Los Angeles, probably from the sequence titled Cool Geets Go Go which took 10:11. The Big Heist, which was used for the picture was probably recorded without Duke on 9Feb under conductor Irving Talbot in four parts, respectively 2:11 – 2:25 – 2:23 and 1:34 long. See Klaus Stratemann pp 528 and 529.

John Steiner

DEMS 08/2-24

Please take a look at American eBay. Chose 78rpms and Duke Ellington. There you will find a SD for sale and there is also a reference to a web page dealing with the entire production of SD. Interesting reading. <>
From this page it seems that Steiner made two recordings of Frankie and Johnnie [sic] at the Civic Opera House on two different dates. I assume this information is incorrect but would like to have your comments.
By the way I happen to have a copy of the SD-78 with Frankie and Johnny but my label does not show the words "Merry Christmas 1946". Possibly he made several releases?
Bo Haufman

You must be right. John Steiner must have made releases with and without “Merry Christmas 1946” from the same recording. As far as we know, only one recording of Frankie and Johnny was made and definitely not a second one on another date. If you go to the page you mentioned you will find a listing of the concert, which has too many errors to be mentioned here.
By the way a few days ago, on 21Jul08, it was 100 years since John Steiner was born. I had the enormous pleasure to have known him and to have visited his basement.
Sjef Hoefsmit

Two Warm Valley’s?

DEMS 08/2-25

I am confused by one entry on the first page of small corrections sheet 5001, volume 1, page 49 DE4015b. Add: NI 4016.
Does this mean that Warm Valley on the Natasha CD is no longer 4026b as listed in the discs section on page 1388 of volume 2? I do not see a corresponding correction to make this change in the discs section.
Peter MacHare**

You are right. A note should have been added to 0546 on page 1388, saying: The end of track 9 is Warm Valley, 4015b. This is not mentioned on the Natasha CD, not on the Everybodies LP because it made no sense to pay copyrights for only 10 seconds of music, I guess. If you go to page 1267 and you look at the descriptions of 4015b and 4026b, it will be clear that there are two different Warm Valley’s on the Natacha CD.