11/1 April - July 2011
Our 33rd Year of Publication


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Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club

DEMS 11/1-12

See DEMS 10/3-8

This concerns your note in the latest Bulletin regarding the "missing" non-vocal version of Lost In Meditation. I have an entry in the old DESOR of July 5, 1938, NBC, which I also used on JAZZ PANORAMA LP 14. I didn't use it this time for the double-CD as I got the impression that this version in fact was a dub of Br 8083.
Maybe someone could listen to these two versions in tandem and confirm if they are the same or in fact two very different versions.
Carl Hällström

The date of 5Jul38 in the old DESOR has been corrected in the meantime to 5May38 in The New DESOR. But that is of no importance. The recording of Lost in Meditation on Jazz Panorama 14 is indeed identical with the studio recording of 2Feb38. Session 3814 should be deleted.

US Amazon is now taking pre-orders for the Storyville Cotton Club set at a reasonable price. It's a great set. I ordered it from the UK and have been listening to it a lot until it was replaced on my CD player by the Mosaic box set. I do have a couple of questions about the Cotton Club set. Is that Harry Carney playing a counterpoint to the orchestra from about the 1:40 to 2 minute mark of Prelude in C Sharp Minor or some other instrument I can't identify?
Also, Andrew when you write of Lawrence Brown making his way to the mike in Lost in Meditation do you mean Juan Tizol?
Joe Medjuck

I cannot answer your first question. I think you are right with your remark about Juan Tizol being the soloist in Lost in Meditation.
Sjef Hoefsmit

Harmony in Harlem on Youtube

DEMS 11/1-13

21Mar11. Just wanted you to know that I'm in the middle of uploading a dozen or so videos to Youtube of my Harmony In Harlem orchestra playing in Cambridge for a charity fund-raising ball a couple of weeks ago.
You can find all the videos here:
I'm afraid the sound quality really isn't that good at all, compared to the picture quality. It's a *very* resonant, high-ceilinged venue and the reverberation on the videos doesn't make for ideal listening! It's very indistinct and echoey.
So far I've uploaded Serious Serenade, Harlem Air Shaft, Rose of the Rio Grande. The rest is in progress as I write.
Michael Kilpatrick

Six or Seven Times

DEMS 11/1-14

I have a problem with Six or Seven Times, DESOR 2917.
Almost every discographer in the world, for example Alexandre Rado, Eddie Lambert, Dick Bakker and Steven Lasker, and numerous sleeve note writers claim it is Freddie Jenkins playing the trumpet and singing. But New DESOR claims it is Cootie Williams.
I can find no correction sheet about this recording so I assume it has never been up for discussion. Which opinion do you feel is the correct one?
Bo Haufman

In fact a correction has been made. See DEMS 98/1-16 (wrongly paged as 97/4-16). In a group of corrections on the booklet that came with the Decca GRD 3-640, 3 CD set, Steven Lasker wrote:
"p.19: The date of the first "Six Jolly Jesters" session should read Friday, October 25, 1929; every reference to Jenkins (who wasn't on the date) should be changed to credit trumpeter/vocalist Cootie Williams (who was). (Thanks to Brooks Kerr who convinced me of my error on this point.)"
This confirmation of the date and the correction in the personnel came nicely in time for the publication of The New DESOR in 1999. That's why you will not find a correction on this session.

Portrait of the Lion

DEMS 11/1-15

In my review of Timner's fifth edition of "Ellingtonia" (DEMS 09/2-4), I stated that "Portrait of the Lion mx. WM1006-2 (21Mar39) was first issued on French Swing, not Brunswick as Timner indicates." That statement, which was accepted as correct both by Timner (DEMS 09/3-4) and the DESOR team (DEMS 10/1-28), may well be in error. While this take doesn't appear on any copy of the U.S. Brunswick that I've ever heard of, the first issue is likely Parlophone D.P 288, as per many discographies. My copy of D.P. 288 is dubbed from take two (it's an excellent dub) and bears "WM 1006-1A" stamped in the run-out groove area. My copy of Swing SW. 307 is also dubbed from take two (it's a very poor dub) and bears "M3-118330" and "OSW 579-1" in the run-out groove area; the label shows "OSW.579 (WM1006). Until the actual release dates are found for both issues, I don't suppose it's prudent for me or anyone else to dispute the accepted wisdom that the Parlophone issue was the first release of this take.
Steven Lasker

This means that the small correction, mentioned in Bulletin 10/1-28 (p41) should be withdrawn.

October/November 1950 Ellington-Strayhorn piano duets

DEMS 11/1-16

See DEMS 10/3-15

Brian Koller is right, the Cabu (not Capu...) CD has the correct pitch, it was made with a 440 diapason.
Claude Carrière

RCA Victor sessions of May45

DEMS 11/1-17

In May 1945, Ellington's orchestra recorded new versions of some of their best-selling classic songs for RCA Victor. Many of the selections went unreleased until the early 1950s, when they appeared on U.S. Victor and/or English HMV. Some titles appeared on both labels, and there's been some question as to which issues are the originals. The answer is found by reference to dealer's numerical catalogs which I have recently inspected, an RCA catalog from 1951 (courtesy of Ken Swerilas) and an HMV catalog from 1951-52 (courtesy of the Institute of the American Musical).
The RCA Victor catalog shows that eight of the titles were released in July 1951 on "A Treasury of Immortal Performances: Duke Ellington's Greatest" in two formats, 7-inch 45 rpm singles (in four-disc set WPT 11, consisting of records 27-0054/55/56/57 and priced at $3.75) and a 12" 33 1/3 rpm LP (LPT 1004, priced at $4.00). [See The New DESOR page 1408].
The HMV catalog shows that 78 rpm single J.O. 243 was also released in July 1951, while J.O. 249 was released in April 1952. I found no release dates for the other HMV J.O.-series issues by Ellington, but presume they were released at some later date.
Steven Lasker

Skin Deep

DEMS 11/1-18

On <> Skin Deep is 9044a, released on Co ML-4639. Co ML-4639 is listed by Mr. Aasland in Wax Works 1954 (record 944) as being the same as the 78rpm Philips label P.B.243, 2 sides, that has additional numbers AA21204-2H-1 and AA21204-1H-1. Mr. Aasland dated it August 10, 1952. The 78 is mentioned in Lambert (page 166) as well.
Nielsen gives the date as Aug.12, 1952. Jepsen doesn't mention the 78 release (unless I'm misreading him).
My question is: if the LP and the 78 versions are the same recording, how was the transition from side 1 to side 2 done? Did side 1 just fade out, with side 2 starting with a few repeated bars? That was done with Happy Go Lucky Local, if I recall correctly. Do you know if they did that with Skin Deep?
David Palmquist

The recordings are indeed the same.
The LP version (the long recording) being the original one, has no interruption or anything.
The 78 rpm Philips PB 243, side 1 ends just after 4°(nc)8BAND. Only one drumbeat by LBe can be heard (not even a bar) of the following lib208LBe. There are no repeated bars. Side 2 starts with lib208LBe.

CDs on Amazon

DEMS 11/1-19

In perusing the Amazon listings I came across a couple of items I didn't know existed on CD: The Unknown Session and a set from the Rainbow Grill 1967. Has anyone heard the latter and is it worth getting? (I've already received the former which I used to have on LP and always liked).
Joe Medjuck

We have on Moon Records MCD049-2 a session at the Rainbow Grill from 17Aug67. See DEMS 93/4-2. The quality is fine. Our "Unknown Session" is on CBS 467180-2. Hoefsmit reported this CD to Benny Aasland, but to our surprise it has never been mentioned in DEMS Bulletin. It has the 12 selections from the recording session of 14Jul60, previously released on LP CBS 82819 (see DEMS 79/3-2), which is the same as Columbia JC-35342, (see The New DESOR page 1336).

Duke Ellington - Reminiscing in Tempo

DEMS 11/1-20

Does anyone know anything about this DVD? I just came across this on Amazon:
Beverly Richardson

Filmmaker Gary Keys crafts a compelling tribute to late jazz icon Duke Ellington in this companion piece to Keys' 1980 documentary "Memories of Duke", which combines unseen clips captured during the famous pianist and bandleader's 1968 Mexican tour with footage and interviews shot at sister Ruth Ellington's annual birthday celebration. Though fans know well that the man known as Duke never celebrated his own birthday, ever since his death in 1974 sister Ruth has made up for lost time by hosting an annual gathering in which friends, family and former bandmates all gather for a yearly birthday bull session. In addition to offering a closer look at the beloved jazz master, this lovingly-crafted documentary also features an original suite that was never commercially recorded.
Jason Buchanan

The DVD is only available in "region 1" (Canada and USA). In Europe we hope for a release for our region (region 0 or 2).

Columbia Black, Brown and Beige

DEMS 11/1-21


Some people may have already noticed that Sony Legacy have recently reissued this CD. On initial inspection, the only difference from the Phil Schaap-produced centennial edition is that they've saved money by omitting the 28-page booklet!
However, there are two discrepancies in track timings, one of which seems to a mere clerical error. On the other hand, track 14 (which is the rehearsal take of the 23rd Psalm) differs because the first 1'18" is missing on the new reissue, presumably for digital reasons, so the timing shown accurately reflects this.
Brian Priestley

Unidentified AFRS version of Take The "A" Train

DEMS 11/1-22

See DEMS 10/3-20

I purchased the ten-CD Radio Archives' "Date with the Duke" set. Each CD has two complete 30" entries in the long-running Armed Forces Radio Service DWTD series. There are numerous discrepancies between the content of the CDs and the New DESOR descriptions of their counterpart 16" LPs:
DWTD-03, New DESOR Disc 0016 [on page 1289], ends with a partial 4511o.
DWTD-04 and DWTD-05, New DESOR Discs 0017 and 0018, both open with 4515a instead of 4511a.
DWTD-65, New DESOR Disc 0075, ends with a partial 4546t.
Many DWTD discs open and/or close with a specific performance of Take The "A" Train, that, for convenience, I will refer to as X. The New DESOR consistently but incorrectly states X is 4511a. 4511a is a brief theme version, but X is full-length, although always cut off at various points by the AFRS radio engineer.
Within the 10 CD box set, X is present at the beginning of DWTD shows 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 65, 74, and 76. It is present at the end of DWTD shows 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, and 16.
To aid comparisons, I have copied the most complete version of X from the CD box set to .
I have not been able to identify X. It is distinguished by a dull clank noise from Sonny Greer's drum kit at 0:17. Comparing X with the full-length New DESOR versions through 1945, there are 11 listed, of which I have eight. Of the remaining, DE4106b is a studio recording, and DE4204a has no piano intro, so that leaves DE4212b from 21Jul42, or else (more likely) it is a version unlisted in New DESOR.

While listening to random Ellington recordings on my iPod, I came across the X version of Take The "A" Train referred to in my earlier email.
It is 4582a. Only a snippet of 4582a is found on The Treasury Shows CD Vol. 6, and presumably the same snippet is on AFRS ONS-763 (which I don't have a copy of). A longer version is on Joyce LP-1066 [which contains the complete broadcast ONS 763. The same broadcast, ONS 763, New DESOR session 4582 is on the CD DETS Volume 8 but now without the opening theme.]
The version found on the AFRS DWTD series referred to as X, taken from the Radio Archives Date with the Duke box set is the "long" version (yet still truncated) of the 4582a Take the "A" Train from the Treasury Shows Volume 6 double CD. It is track 5 on the second CD, a 17 seconds truncation. The New DESOR revision correctly identifies this version under Disc 0862 on Correction-sheet 3016 as 4582a. The New DESOR description for 4582a, int4DE;1°BAND, is apparently based on the ONS-763 snippet. It appears that 4582a (long version referred to as X) was never included on any of the 48 DETS LPs.
Brian Koller

The complete version was described correctly in the old Desor Volume 5 page 154 for 315a: intro4DE;1°BAND;2°20RN,(%). Our Italian friends listened to the AFRS "Date with the Duke" broadcast and they must have assumed that this was the same as what was recorded on 7Apr45 for the first Treasury Show.
Sjef Hoefsmit

PARIS BLUES — Discoveries and Corrections

DEMS 11/1-23

The DESOR small corrections in DEMS 10/3-24 (for page 1064) are surprising and confusing.
They certainly need clarification because for DE6108 we now have: the structure descriptions in the New DESOR, Correction Sheet 1101 and the Small Corrections in DEMS 10/3-24.
Which one is correcting which?
Obviously changes and additions are due to the attentive exploration of the "Paris Blues" film now on DVD [see 09/1-11] and so we finally discover that the music issued on LP+CD as the film's "original soundtrack" is largely different from what we hear in the movie and often was not used for the film.
In his book Klaus Stratemann wrote on page 434:
"... a comparison of session recordings against the soundtrack and LPs would be futile". And he already asked the right question for DESOR session 6108 (we ask again): are the DESOR entries deduced from the soundtrack? or are they based on direct information? and/or listening to a hitherto unavailable source? [See the answer by Luciano Massagli at the end of this contribution.]
Stratemann nevertheless offered a "SOUNDTRACK RUNDOWN" on page 430, and then (starting on page 431) a long list of "RECORDING SESSIONS". Once again we only can admire his findings/descriptions 20 years ago !!, but trying something similar today we can observe some discrepancies which are worth discussing and underlining.
I isolated and extracted the musical parts from the film as shown on French TV and now available on DVD (although I'm unable to delete the dubbed-over talking and general film noises) and following Klaus' list on page 430 I have obtained the herein attached rundown with 26 tracks.
The comparison offers some interesting insights/clarifications and, confronted with the different descriptions in DESOR, Small Corrections and Correction Sheets, leads into the following remarks:
- most of the recordings issued on the &quoot;Original Soundtrack" LP are NOT USED in the film.
- the Unidentified Title in position 9 and 16 on Stratemann's list (1:40 + 0'17 respectively) is in fact Lay‑Bye from Duke's Suite Thursday, here performed mainly by French tenor-sax Guy Lafitte (thanks to Jean Portier for identification)
- Autumnal Suite in the film runs for some 6 min and must be a mix of 6108b, xb and g, because DESOR
has a total of 19 choruses for this title !!
- Nite = Paris Blues: I think we havve 6108xa in the first part of the film (Stratemann position 7) with no trombone but with CA at the end. The film has another Nite = Paris Blues in its last part (position 20) and this 6108 sounds like a mix made from 6108a, xa and possibly even other parts.
- Battle Royal has over-dubs differeent on LP and during film: listen for instance to the first 8LA.
- the short Paris Blues p-rehearsal in position 14 is possibly 9076d (see Correction-sheet 1093)
Klaus Götting

Answer by Luciano Massagli:
The first parts of the 6108xa and xb tracks are the same as the new structure written in the small corrections of December 2010.
The corrections are deduced from the sound track. When the film was recently issued by United Artists we have listened again carefully to the sound track and because we realized that we made some mistakes in the descriptions we have prepared the corrections included in DEMS 10/3-24.
The session 6036 is deleted: The Clothed Woman is in reality 6024d, with the new description as from DEMS 10/3-24, Sophisticated Lady and Paris Blues are not by Ellington.
Luciano Massagli


(with supposed recording dates and New DESOR entries) to be compared with Klaus Stratemann page 430

A Train (AB or BS supervise)             nov60  %1:53   (IIa)
Paris Blues theme -tb          6108 ?  02may61   0:49   (Va)
Wild Man Moore                         14dec60   2:17   (IIIa)
Sophisticated Lady    possibly 6036a     dec60   0:48   (IVA)
Mood Indigo                    6024g   21jul60   3:03   (Ia)
Nite = Paris Blues             6108xa  02may61   4:50   (V)
Blue Danube solo -p not DE               dec60   0:37
Lay-By (= Unidentified)                  nov60   1:39%  (IIb)
Autumnal Suite                 6108xb  02may61   6:03   (V)
Sophisticated Lady                       nov60   2:13   (Ia) or (IIc)
Birdie Jungle = Guitar Amour   6108d   02may61   1:53%  (V)
Paris Stairs                   6108xc  02may61   3:07%  (V)
Paris Blues (p-reh)   possibly 9076d   14dec60   0:16   (IVc)
Paris Blues                    6108f   02may61   1:48   (V)
Lay-By (= Unidentified)                  nov60  %0:17   (IIb)
Brief LA -tp                           14dec60   0:06   (III)
Wild Man Moore                         14dec60   0:37   (IIIb)
Battle Royal                   9076e   14dec60   4:16   (IIIc)
Paris Blues -g -p not DE                 nov60   0:57   (IVb)
Nite = Paris Blues (mix)       6108 ?  02may61   5:40   (V)
Clothed Woman                  6024d   21jul60   1:45   (IVd) or (Vc)
Guitar Amour (-g) not DE                 dec60  %1:01   (IIId)
Unidentified (PG)                           60   1:18   (Ib)
Paris Blues -p fragm %         6024a   21jul60   0:22   (IVc) or (Vb)
Paris Blues -p fragm %         6024a   21jul60   0:44   (IVc) or (Vb)
Paris Blues finale %           6108i   02may61   4:24   (V)