10/1 April - July 2010
Our 32nd Year of Publication


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Imogena Records IGCD 155
Stockholm Swing All Stars play Duke Ellington

DEMS 10/1-20

Göran Wallén has sent us this CD, recorded at the SAMI studio in Stockholm on 5-7Aug08 (track 5 was recorded at Ringen studios in the same year).
The small group has Karl Olandersson on trumpet and vocals; Klas Lindquist an alto sax and clarinet; Fredrik Lindborg on tenor and baritone sax and clarinet; Magnus Wiklund on trombone; Daniel Tilling on piano, Gustav Lundgren on guitar; Göran Lind on bass and Mattias Puttonen on drums.
The selections are: The Mooch; In a Mellow Tone; Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me; Main Stem; Mood Indigo; Kinda Dukish; Jeep's Blues; It Don't Mean a Thing; Lotus Blossom.
Göran Wallén writes: "This CD is by a group of young Swedish musician. They are really great and popular in Sweden. They would be happy to travel and play outside Sweden. They all live in Stockholm and are all around 30 years old. I gave an award to the alto saxophone player two years ago. He is good."
I can add, also the others are fine musicians. They play Duke's music with enough respect for the melody and with a lot of imagination. Kinda Dukish has been nicely arranged into a piece for the complete group.
Sjef Hoefsmit

Alice Babs — splendid documentary

DEMS 10/1-21

There is a new DVD coming out about Alice Babs. Her life story. Of course a lot of Ellington is included. Film clips from 7Feb63, 19Jan1968, 6 and 24Nov69, 10Nov73 and from Duke's funeral on 27May74.
You can have the DVD [subtitled] in English or in eight other languages. Alice also tells a lot about her life in interviews between pictures and the film clips. She was interviewed last year in her home in Stockholm.
On 26 January, Alice celebrated her 86th birthday. Her husband Nils-Ivar is now 90 years old.
If you need more information tell me or make contact as said below.
All the best from Stockholm.
Göran Wallén (

Alice Babs is one of Sweden’s foremost vocalists of the twentieth century. In “Alice Babs – Swing it” she openly discusses her life and career after 70 years in the public eye. The film also provides a societal journey with its beginnings in the infectious rhythms of African American swing music, which would turn her into a teen idol and “danger to society”.
At the age of 15 Alice Babs had already proved her versatility within jazz and yodeling, and classical genres of music, which she further developed to significant art forms. Throughout her career, she would work with a number of prominent musicians of which her 11 years collaboration with Duke Ellington was the peak.
The film contains a variety of unique quotes from movies and singing activities. The production was made possible by the contribution of Nordic public service broadcasters DR, NRK, SVT, YLE/FST & RUV. Digital release is prepared and published by Vax Records and Ebbe Preisler Production in cooperation with The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research and with financial support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
A portrait documentary by Lasse Zackrisson. 80 min. Swedish dialogue. NTSC.
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian.
The film has consistently received excellent reviews: An in-depth film about Ellington's favourite. Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

BONUS A complete discography of all Alice Babs recordings 1939-2002

“Alice Babs – Swing it”
Vax Records DVD 1011
Price 24 Euro incl. postage in Europe
Price 34 USD incl. postage to US and the rest of the world
Payment via
Order the DVD and CDs directly from
Vax Records - Rĺdhusgatan 14 - SE-185 31 Vaxholm - Sweden - -

Many of us have met Alice Babs at one or more of the Duke Ellington Conferences. In 1985 she came for the first time, invited by Eddie Lambert, under the strict condition that she should not be begged to sing. Starting at that conference she has sung at every one she has attended. For us, who know her as one of us, as a dear friend without the slightest tendency to play to her stardom, it is a real revelation to see how terrifically famous she was in the Scandinavian countries and even in the U.S.A. It explains why it was not a miracle that she could completely fill the Konserhuset in Stockholm at the first Swedish Ellington Conference in May 1994. Her participation on the second Swedish Conference in May 2004 made that conference also a huge success.
This is a beautiful document and the accompanying CD gives us a complete discography in colour. It is obvious that this was done with the greatest respect and love for Alice, feelings that we share with Lasse Zackrisson, the producer of this marvelous documentary.
Sjef Hoefsmit

AB Fable ABCD1-024
Stuff Smith and his Lucidin Orchestra

DEMS 10/1-22

My dear friend Anthony Barnett has sent me his latest production in the series "AB Fable Violin Improvisation Studies". It features several musicians, well-known in our Ellington circles: Ella Fitzgerald, Sandy Williams, Edgar Sampson and Ben Webster. It contains previously unreleased broadcasts from Jan37 and probably Feb73. This is again an extremely well presented release. "Lucidin" was a new eye lotion, according to the speaker in the programme, good "for dust, overwork and the morning after".

The sound quality is mostly surprisingly good. The music is just fine and brings back memories of the pre (second) war years. The signature tune of the Lucidin Orchestra is heavily influenced by Duke Ellington. This is a must for Ben Webster collectors. I haven't found any of these broadcasts in the Ben Webster discography by Langhorn & Sjřgren, but they were mentioned in Heinz Baumeister's Sessionography (DEMS 06/2-33 and 07/3-14).
The title of track 22 is misspelled on page 3 of the booklet; on page 8 it is correct.
According to Anthony Barnett the beginning of the 22Jan37 broadcast is missing. Since it is also missing in Ken Vail's "Swing Era Scrapbook: The Teenage Diaries & Radio Logs of Bob Inman 1936-1938", Anthony suggests that it could have been occupied by commercials, since this broadcast is the first following the availability of Lucidin eye lotion in stores (on Thursday, 21Jan37).
I have played the CD several times, during which time I was reading the nice little booklet with my magnifying glass. I enjoyed the music very much. It was interesting to hear how in the broadcasts the anticipation was being built up for the introduction of the Lucidin eye lotion. It was not yet available but everybody should be looking forward to its introduction on 21Jan37. Likewise this CD has not yet hit the market. It will be released on 1May10.
I can recommend this very nice CD to everybody who is interested in good music from long ago. It certainly belongs in every collection of Ben Webster recordings.
By the way, this is a "full" CD: 76:18!!
Sjef Hoefsmit

Longhorn Music LHM2010003
Duke Ellington's Queenie Pie

DEMS 10/1-23

Since Bill Saxonis wrote his review of the Duke Ellington Conference in Austin, Texas, last year (DEMS 09/2-3), we have been eagerly waiting for the release of the CD of the music from the show, performed at the end of the conference. The CD has now been released at the end of March. Bill Saxonis mentioned 21 selections for a show lasting 75 minutes. The CD has 18 selections and lasts 56 minutes.
1. Overture
2. New York, New York
3. Queenie Pie
4. Bon Voyage Queenie Pie
5. Sure Do Miss New York
6. Soliloquy
7. Second Line
8. Hawk
9. Café au Lait
10. Creole Love Call
11. Commercial A
12. Commercial Medley
13. My Father's Island
14. Don't Need Nobody Now
15. Woman
16. Full Moon at Midnight
17. Won't You Come into My Boudoir
18. Oh, Gee

I fully agree with Bill Saxonis who wrote: "I am not a professional music critic, but I do know what I like. I liked Queenie Pie." The band sounded very good, the soloists were impeccable and what impressed me most was the fact that I could understand every word of the lyrics. The CD is terrific but what we would have preferred is a DVD of the complete show. Everybody who saw the show and wrote a review marvels about the beautiful choreography and the gorgeous presentation, shown by the pictures in the liner-notes. Please, dear Texan friends, make us a DVD and if you do, make it with region-code 0!
If one wants to know more about "Queenie Pie", one should read what John Franceschina wrote about it in his book "Duke Ellington's Music for the Theatre" (DEMS 01/2-12/3). I still believe that Duke's private recording on a newly bought tape recorder in Dec58 contained the libretto for "Queenie Pie" (see The New DESOR DE5858 and the correction for page 267 in DEMS 02/3-25).
For my copy of the CD, I wrote to the address, given by Bill Saxonis, at the end of his report.
Sjef Hoefsmit

Johnny Hodges re-issued on CD

DEMS 10/1-24

5Dec09. Just a line to let you know that my pal the sound engineer Dave Bennett has remastered all the 1950-55 Clef Verve Hodges tracks and that they will be appearing on the English Avid label in the near future.
Steve Voce

Since most Ellington fans will also be Hodges fans I thought this information might of interest.
The Johnny Hodges Verve recordings have until now not been reissued completely on CD. Mosaic did a complete 1951-1955 but on LP only.
Hodges on Classics includes the recordings up to and including July 2, 1954. The Blue Moon 'The Complete 1941-1954 Small Group Sessions' series reached the August 5, 1954 session. Neither includes the alternate take of Jeep Is Jumpin'.
The second Johnny Hodges Mosaic set covered the small band recordings 1956-1961. This set thus misses the big band sessions from 'Ellingtonia 1956' ,'The Big Sound' and 'With Billy Strayhorn and The Orchestra'. The last one has been reissued separately. This means to the best of my knowledge that the alternate take of Jeep Is Jumpin' the LPs 'Perdido' and 'Creamy' and the big band sessions from 'Ellingtonia 1956' and 'The Big Sound' have never yet made it to CD.
Avid and Fresh Sound have now announced a number of CD's which remedy this.
Avid will issue a 2 CD set 'Four Classic Albums': 'Castle Rock', 'In a Mellow Tone', 'Perdido' and 'Creamy'. This includes the 4 LPs and the alternate take of Jeep Is Jumpin'.
Fresh Sound has announced: 'Perdido', which includes the LPs 'Perdido' and 'Creamy', and the 2 CD set 'The Ellington Men 1956-1957', which includes: 'Ellingtonia 1956', 'Duke's in Bed' and 'The Big Sound'.
'Not So Dukish' (2 CD set) includes 'Blues-a-Plenty' (not the alternate takes), 'Side by Side' (14Aug58 session), 'Not So Dukish' and as bonus tracks the sessions of 22Jul52, 11Dec52 and 9Apr54.
'Back to Back', which includes the sessions of 20 and 26Feb59. That means the original LP 'Back to Back' and 3 tracks from 'Side by Side'.
Not a completely satisfactory situation in my view, but it is great that these recordings are available again.
Remco Plas

The World of Duke Ellington
WDR (West German Radio) The Cologne Broadcasts

DEMS 10/1-25

This is a series of three CDs, recorded in May and Jun94 by the WDR Big Band Köln, recently brought to my attention by my friend Milo van den Assem. These CDs were released in 2008, but have not been mentioned in DEMS Bulletin, though I think they should have been.
It is fortunate that these three broadcasts have been recorded and released on CD. Some selections have been arranged extensively with a surprisingly fresh result. Some other selections, especially those on Volume 3 from the Far East Suite were so close to Duke's interpretations that they made me leave my desk and sit down to listen (and enjoy). Many years ago I would even have stood up, like I did for Duke's own recordings.
The band consisted of Andy Haderer, Rob Bruynen, Klaus Osterloh, Rick Kiefer and John Marshall on trumpet; Dave Horler, Henning Berg, Bern Laukamp and Roy Deuvall on trombone; Heiner Wiberny, Harald Rosenstein, Olivier Peters, Rolf Römer and Jens Neufang on reeds; Frank Chastenier on piano and Milan Lulič guitar, plus bass and drums (see below).

Volume 1 track 3 was recorded 11May94 at WDR Studio 4, Cologne. The rest of volume 1 was recorded with an audience on 16May94 at the Kölner Philharmonie. The conductor was Jerry van Rooyen. Guests were Freda Payne and Milt Grayson, vocal and Jimmy Woode and Grady Tate on their own instruments.
Selections: Take the "A" Train; Rockin' in Rhythm; Creole Love Call; It Don't Mean a Thing;
Black and Tan Fantasy; I Like the Sunrise; Don't Get Around Much Anymore; East St. Louis Toodle-O; Sophisticated Lady; The Blues; Jump for Joy
and Meditation.
The numbers of the releases in Europe: BHM 1022-2; USA and Canada: BHH-CD-10275.

Volume 2 track 8 was recorded on 1Jun94 and track 11 on 3Jun94 at WDR Studio 4, Cologne. The rest of volume 2 was recorded with an audience on 5Jun94 at the Kölner Philharmonie. The conductor was John Clayton. Guests were Dianne Reeves, vocals; Benny Green, piano; the late Ray Brown and Jeff Hamilton on their own instruments.
Selections: Battle Royal; Brown Skin Gal; Mood Indigo; Don't Get Around Much Anymore;
Sentimental Lady
(with Frank Chastenier on Hammond organ), Come Sunday; Satin Doll (with Frank Chastenier on Hammond organ); Five O'Clock Whistle (with John Clayton and Ray Brown on bass);
A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing; Caravan; Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me
(with Frank Chastenier on Hammond organ); Jack the Bear (with both John Clayton and Ray Brown) and Cotton Tail (with Benny Green on piano).
The numbers of the releases in Europe: BHM 1023-2; USA and Canada: BHH-CD-10280.

Volume 3 was recorded with an audience on 18Jun94 at the Kölner Philharmonie. The conductor was Bill Dobbins,
Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media. The band was augmented with John Goldsby on bass and Megumi Teshima Kálmŕn, violin. Guests were Phil Woods on alto sax and John Riley on drums.
Selections: Take the Coltrane; Blue Bird of Delhi; Amad; Agra; Depk; Isfahan; Caravan;
Such Sweet Thunder; Lady Mac; The Star-Crossed Lovers; Up and Down; Blood Count;

Ellington Medley: Love You Madly, Come Sunday, It Don't Mean a Thing.
The numbers of the releases in Europe: BHM 1024-2; USA and Canada: BHH-CD-10283.
I found the complete 3 CD box advertised on;pgid=onaqQ4dq05pSR0E3eLwNeEix0000lJDFDS_S;sid=fa2zPRDmyOi2PVtF_IY1P-3sFgONvIQNDdU=?SubCat=01&fh_Params=fh_secondid%3D10181459%26fh_location%3D%2F%2Ffrs%2Fnl_NL%2F_shop>{freerecordshop}%2Fcategories<{frs_01}%26fh_reftheme%3Ddetail
Sjef Hoefsmit