Sunday, 12 May 2019

In Essence


Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington 2019 top-placing bands this year are...

1. Roosevelt High School
2. Center for the Arts
3. Foxboro High School

Congratulations to the young people involved and their teachers.

It's difficult to follow the competition from the UK - the 'live stream' is not available on this side of the herring pond.

Courtesy of the Internet's cathode ray tube, however, here are some recordings from this year's competition...














Monday, 6 May 2019

26th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference: Call For Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS
26th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference 
March 11-15, 2020
Georgetown University – Washington, DC
  
MAPPING DUKE ELLINGTON’S WORLD
The 26th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference will take place at Georgetown University in Washington, DC from 11 to 15 March 2020.
The theme for this year’s conference is Mapping Duke Ellington’s WorldThis theme is broadly conceived and can include presentations/performances on a range of topics, including: Ellington’s travels/tours, Ellington’s collaborators, Ellington collections/archives around the world, transcription as a form of musical mapping, musical landscapes in Ellington’s works, mapping the Ellington imagination, Ellington and film, Ellington iconography, and the reception history of Ellington’s works/performances.  Please note that adhering to this theme is not mandatory, and that in an effort to be as inclusive as possible, papers on all topics related to Ellington studies will be considered. 
This five-day multidisciplinary conference will bring together leading researchers and performers across the arts and humanities. The event will feature academic papers, panels, roundtables, and cultural walks/visits, as well as an exciting program of performances by local Washington DC performers. Paper presentations will last 20 minutes (with 10 minutes for questions). Performance presentations should adhere to a 30-minute or 50-minute length. Roundtable discussion sessions will last 40 minutes (with 20 minutes for questions).
Presentation proposals are now being accepted for the 26th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference Mapping Duke Ellington’s World.  
Please submit proposals (max. 300 words), and a short biography (max. 100 words) as a Word document or PDF file via email (subject line “Ellington Proposal”) to Prof. Anna Celenza, anna.celenza@georgetown.edu no later than 15 August 2019. 
Selected participants will be notified by 15 October 2019.



All Greek To Me...


The credits on the cover of this single "...with Duke Ellington's Orchestra" seen recently at the online auction house set me searching for the provenance of these particular tracks.

The four songs recorded on this occasion are collected on the following French single on the Barclay label...



A quick consultation with Tom Lord's discography provides the details here in this screen grab...




... so, of course, the recordings come from a live engagement with Ellington in L.A.

Here is a copy, back and front, of a flyer for the engagement...





One of the tracks, Stardust, is, I assume on this release from Status Records...


the notes for which, in part, may be read here.

It seems the recordings were originally made on the label Ella set up for herself when her contract with Verve expired. You can read all about These Boots Are Made For Walkin' and Ella's version at Nancy Sinatra's website here.

All of these recordings are difficult or very expensive to obtain at present. here, at least, and on her own label, are Miss Ella Fitzgerald's versions of These Boots Are Made For Walkin'...





... and here is Moment of Truth...


Sunday, 28 April 2019

Birthday Presence: Duke at 120

29 April, 2019 marks the 120th anniversary of Duke Ellington's birth. His music has brought us all Many Happy Returns. Incredible to think that the video clip below, posted here by way of a Birthday card, celebrating Duke's seventieth birthday is itself now half a century old...




I shall be spending Duke's birthday at work but, when the five o'clock whistle blows, I would hope to catch at least some of WKCR-FM's (Columbia University’s non-commercial student-run radio station)annual 24 hour birthday broadcast celebration live-streamed here



Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Armory and the man...


            
NEW FINDS









A contributor to the Organissimo Jazz Forum called russes01 recently and very generously posted links to recordings of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra he had acquired on acetate. He wrote:

"Free to download - Ellington in Duluth 1946 - from broadcast acetates I found last summer.  Third is an interview with Duke and Strayhorn. Interesting snapshot of an average workday."


Dated 20th June, 1946, these recordings were previously unknown and have not appeared in any Ellington discography to date. 

The nearest recordings in time already known are from 9 July, 1946. Here is the orchestra's personnel at that date:

Taft Jordan, Shelton Hemphill, Cat Anderson, Francis Williams, Shorty Baker (tp),
Ray Nance (tp, vln, vcl) Joe Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones, Wilbur DeParis (tb), Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts) Johnny Hodges (as) Russell Procope (as, cl) Al Sears (ts), Harry Carney (bar, b-cl, cl) Duke Ellington (p), Fred Guy (g), Oscar Pettiford (b), Sonny Greer (d), Kay Davis, Al Hibbler (vcl)
The contents of the uploaded music files, each of which is approximately fifteen minutes in duration are as follows:


1. Take The 'A' Train
Announcement
Take The 'A' Train
Transblucency (KD, vcl)
C Jam Blues
I’m Just A Lucky So-and-So (AH, vcl)
Announcement
Riff Staccato (cut off)

2. Riff Staccato (cut in)
Come Rain Or Come Shine (KD, vcl)
Blue Skies
Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
Outro
Intro Of Interview
Start Of Interview    

russes01 says that he "figure(s) it should be out in the world". This is a very generous gesture and adds to our knowledge of Ellington's broadcasting activities.

From David Palmquist's incomparable Duke Where and When site, it seems the venue for this broadcast was The Armory, Duleth, Minnesota.


Sunday, 21 April 2019

I'm all ears...


In the virtual auction house recently, this item was for sale: Noel Arnaud's surreal treatise on Duke Ellington with illustrations by Max Bucaille. Helpfully, the vendor has included pictures allowing us to see more than the front cover of this publication. I would have to spend quite a bit of time on Google Translate to understand the extracts here shown. The date 1950, however, certainly ties the publication to Ellington's trip to Paris two years earlier with Ray Nance and Kay Davis, featured here in this booklet. 

Ellington and Strayhorn's relationship to Paris is a source of perennial fascination, the city of light inspiring some of the artists' best work and a rich field for further research...








NOEL ARNAUD 

DUKE ELLINGTON

  A PARIS 

"LE MESSAGER BOITEUX DE PARIS"

 1950
TRES RARE EXEMPLAIRE IMPRIME PAR REVUE SURREALISTE FONDEE PAR ARNAUD ET CHABRUN AU SORTIR DE LA SECONDE GUERRE MONDIALE ICI CONSACRE AU JAZZ ET A DUKE ELLINGTON VUS SOUS LE PRISME DU SURREALISME DE NOEL ARNAUD, JACQUES BUREAU, MICHEL PHILIPPOT ET MAX BUCAILLE... 
DES ILLUSTRATIONS IN TEXTE EN NOIR PAR MAX BUCAILLE.
 TRES BON ETAT. BROCHE. INSOLATIONS EN COUVERTURES. PAPIER JAUNI AVEC ROUSSEURS. FORMAT: 21,5 x 14 cm. 12 PAGES .
FORT RARE !!!