Blue Light

Blue Light | Index to Issues | Sample Article

Blue Light is the quarterly DESUK magazine and is sent to Members free of charge. A substantial publication (24pp), the content is wide ranging and we are fortunate to have amongst our members jazz authors, journalists and critics, and equally fortunate to have many enthusiastic members who, because of their own deep interest, have become expert in particular niches of Ellingtonia.

A typical issue contains reviews of CD and DVD releases, performances and the latest Ellington publications and well as discourse and analysis on aspects of Duke. As with any artistic field, there can be as much controversy as there is agreement, and on occasions the exchanges can be lively, and sometimes heated.

For a free sample copy, worldwide, please contact us with your name and address.

Join or renew membership at £25 to receive the ones to be published in 2015.


Blue Light | Index to Issues | Sample Article

Index to Issues

1994 - 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000
2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010
2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

1994 - 1995 | Index

Volume 1/1 Piano In The Foreground (Brian Priestley), Jimmy Hamilton obituary, Drop Me Off In Harlem (Vic Bellerby), Harlem Air Shaft (Nick Perkins).
Volume 2/1 I Was There (Peter Tanner), ‘E & D Blues’ The Critics And Me (Nick Perkins), Limehouse Blues (Roger Boyes analysis), Ellington Conferences ’85 - ’94 (Bill Hill).
Volume 2/2 April In Paris (John C. Gee), Profile of Michael Garrick, The Voice of Dissent (Max Harrison), Anatomy Of A Band (Tony Faulkner).
Volume 2/3 Ellington ’48 (Jim Godbolt with Tony Crombie), Ellington And The Blues (Ken Rattenbury), Cat Anderson - The Musician And The Man (Alexandre Rado).

1996 | Index

Volume 3/1 Edward K And Francis A (John C. Gee), The Duke And Me (Jerry Valburn), She Wouldn’t Be Moved (Roger Boyes analysis), The Duke’s Men - Wallace Jones (Dave Cavalier).
Volume 3/2 Mercer Ellington Obituary, Profile of Brian Priestley, Ellington And Tin Pan Alley (Ken Rattenbury), Teamwork (Bill Bailey).
Volume 3/3 Portrait Of The Lion (Roger Boyes analysis), Mr Strayhorn Goes To Paris (Alexandre Rado), Call Me An Ellingtonian (Andrew Dunn).
Volume 3/4 Blanton’s Early Days (John Chilton), Fargo Revisited (Art Pilkington), Profile of Humphrey Lyttelton.

1997 | Index

Volume 4/1 See You At The Fair (Graham Collier), Harlem: Duke And The Classical Connection (Stanley Slome), The Jazz Nutcracker (Walter Van de Leur).
Volume 4/2 Anatomy Of A Band (Pete Long), A Composed, Rehearsed Improvisation (Theodore Hudson), Harlem: Duke And The Classical Connection (Stanley Slome), Ellington - The Hot Bach (Mike Parnham)
Volume 4/3 Scratching The Surface…At Leeds (Steve Voce), ‘A’ Train To Leeds (Malcolm Mitchell), A Portrait Of Harry Carney (David Redshaw).
Volume 4/4 A Night At The Opera House (Kevin Henriques), The Ducal Suites (Mike Parnham), Creole Love Call (Michael Garrick).

1998 | Index

Volume 5/1 When Floorshow Left The Duke (Steve Voce), The Big Drag (Michael Kilpatrick analysis and transcription), Max, Peter and The Duke (Mike Parnham).
Volume 5/2 Russell Procope (David Fleming), Alexandre Rado (David Fleming), Solitude (Reg Heathorn).
Volume 5/3 The River - Duke And The Classical Connection (Stanley Slome), Encounters With Ellingtonia (Derek Else).
Volume 5/4 Ellington Theft (Mike Parnham), Knowing The Score (Pete Long), Encounters With Ellingtonia - Russell Procope (Ray Bolden), Pussy Willow (Roger Boyes analysis).

1999 | Index

Volume 6/1 Ellington Centenary Events UK, Duke The Great, Herb Jeffries The Bronze Buckaroo (Bo Haufman), Stanley Dance - A Reminiscence (Brian Priestley).
Volume 6/2 Blessed Retrospection - The 17th Annual International Duke Ellington Conference - The Centenary Year - Washington DC (David Fleming), The Sky Fell Down (Roger Boyes analysis).
Volume 6/3 Herb Jeffries The Bronze Buckaroo - Part 2 (Bo Haufman), Ducal Favourites (David Fleming), The Governor (Alun Morgan).
Volume 6/4 Herb Jeffries The Bronze Buckaroo - Part 3 (Bo Haufman), Commercial Time (David Fleming), Johnny Hodges - ‘Rabbit’ (Bruce Turner), Johnny Hodges (Max Jones).

2000 | Index

Volume 7/1 Concerto For Cootie (Eric Townley), The 1951 ‘Coronets’ recordings (Roger Boyes analysis).
Volume 7/2 Ellington ’42: A Year In The Life (Peter Townsend), Provocations - Some International Disagreement On The Internet (Bill Bailey), It’s Rumour Again (David Fleming).
Volume 7/3 Inside The Ellington Band (Nat Hentoff), Bubber Miley (Richard Ehrenzeller), Archive Jive (Brian Priestley).
Volume 7/4 1974 Remembered (Vic Bellerby), Britt Woodman and Willie Cook obituaries, The Sergeant Was Shy (Roger Boyes analysis).

2001 | Index

Volume 8/1 The Triple Threat (David Fleming), Old Man Blues (Brian Priestley analysis), Norris Turney and Mark Tucker obituaries.
Volume 8/2 Dolores Parker (Ken Vail), Vic Bellerby’s Recollections No.2 - Constant Lambert’s Music Ho (1934), Saxophones, Mouthpieces And Johnny Hodges (Bill Bailey).
Volume 8/3 Revaluations – Unbooted Character Bethlehem Records 7-8 February 1956 (Roger Boyes), Willie Cook interviewed by Peter Vacher in 1983, Cootie Remembered (Steve Voce), Index of Back Issues Volume 1/1 to Volume 8/2.
Volume 8/4 Ellington’s First Steps: 50 years later (Max Harrison), Earl Okin on Duke Ellington 1899–1973, Russell Procope (Graham Colombe)

2002 | Index

Volume 9/1 The Future of Jazz – Duke Ellington 1958, Duke Ellington interviewed in the 50’s, Sweet Discord (John Lawson).
Volume 9/2 The Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra (George Duncan), The Eloquence of Ellington (Stanley Dance), Double Play – Carney to Hodges to Ellington (Don DeMichael), The “Echoes of Ellington” Band – 100 Club 24th April 2002, Rex Stewart As I Knew Him (Charles Wilford).
Volume 9/3 DERO at the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate – 21st June 2002, The Age of Ellington (Derek Jewell), Jazz: On And Off The Track (Stanley Dance 1943), He’s Gotten Bad And That Ain’t Good (Charles Fox 1943), Ellington Asides (Vic Bellerby 1943).
Volume 9/4 Homage to Duke Ellington (Ralph Ellison), Harry Carney and the Swedish Fuzz (Walter Schaap), Duke Ellington (Leonard Feather 1944), Ellington Concert, Free Trade Hall, Manchester 1963 (Benny Green), In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree (Roger Boyes).

2003 | Index

Volume 10/1 Obituaries: Bill Berry and Peter Tanner (Steve Voce, Jerry Valburn, George Avakian), Evolving In Rhythm (Brian Priestley), A Jungle At Duke’s Place? (Walter van de Leur), Norris Turney Remembered (Michael Lukes).
Volume 10/2 Ellington ’56 (Ian Bradley), Bill Berry Interview – Part One (Tony Faulkner).
Volume 10/3 Moon Over Dixie – A milestone and a mystery (Roger Offord), The Ellington Sound (Geoffrey James), Intimate Interlude – The Flute (Roger Boyes), Bill Berry Interview – Part Two (Tony Faulkner).
Volume 10/4 The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Talk of Ellingtonia, Interview with Keith Ingham - The Most Essential Instrument (Duke Ellington).

2004 | Index

Volume 11/1 Louie Bellson (Stan Slome), Ruth Ellington Boatwright (Steve Voce), Aaron Bell – Part One (Martin Richards), Jazzman Duke Ellington – Mood Indigo and Beyond.
Volume 11/2 Stockholm Conference (Roger Boyes), Duke Ellington – 30 years on (Melody Maker), Aaron Bell – Part 2 (Martin Richards), Freddy Guy Interviewed (John McDonough).
Volume 11/3 Louie Bellson with Duke, Saratoga Swing (Roger Boyes), Mercer Ellington interviewed 1989.
Volume 11/4 Bob Wilber All-Stars reviewed (Roger Boyes), The Birmingham Royal Ballet, Such Sweet Thunder (Antony Pepper photographs), The Mirrored Self – Duke looks inward, Jazz Anecdotes.

2005 | Index

Volume 12/1 Joe Temperley by Harlan James; Introducing Duke Ellington Anonymous Fortune August 1933; Bands, Booze and Broads – Sheila Tracy.
Volume 12/2 Bounce, Barney Bigard by Roger Boyes.
Volume 12/3 Peter Tanner presentation on Duke’s 1933 Tour of UK (part one); A Tale Of Two Scores by Michael Kilpatrick; Lawrence Brown by Steve Voce.
Volume 12/4 Duke Ellington – Hear Me Talking (Alun Morgan); Birmingham Conservatoire performance of “The Far East Suite” (Antony Pepper); Peter Tanner presentation on Duke’s 1933 Tour of UK (part two); Rex and Roy – The Cutting Edge (Roger Boyes).

2006 | Index

Volume 13/1 Echoes Of The Jungle (Quentin Bryar); Two Anecdotes (Peter Tanner); Fifty Years Ago (Roger Boyes); Echoes Of Ellington at Ronnie Scott’s (Ted Gascoigne); Why Hide Duke’s Diamond In The Bank? (Roderick Gilchrist).
Volume 13/2 Ellington Study Day at Wigmore Hall (Roger Boyes); Jack Fallon – an Obituary (Steve Voce); Ellington Sacred Music Concert at Cadogan Hall (Antony Pepper); Duke Ellington Repertory Orchestra at The Venue, Leeds College of Music (Roger Boyes); New Venue for London Social Meetings.
Volume 13/3 Forty Years Ago (Roger Boyes); A Cold From Little Eddie (Steve Voce); Hot Wax (C.T. (Bud) McCaffrey Jnr); Duke Ellington Sacred Concert at Manchester Cathedral (Eunice Malloch).
Volume 13/4 Duke Ellington - The Sacred Concert (Quentin Bryar); Swing Era Scrapbook Review - Roger Boyes; Thad Jones and the Ellington Effect - Tony Faulkner;

2007 | Index

Volume 14/1 Laura - That's The Face (Roger Boyes).
Volume 14/2 Annual General Meeting and Concert April 2007 - (Ted Gascoigne); Portrait of a Voice-Tricky Sam Nanton - (Alan Stott); DESUK London Social Meeting on April 14th 2007 - (David Deacon); theJazz - (David Deacon).
Volume 14/3 The 20th Duke Ellington International Conference (E2008); Billy Strayhorn Radio Reviews; Performance - John Dankworth/Cleo Laine at Royal Albert Hall; Performance - Michael Kilpatrick's Harmony In Harlem at Quay Theatre, Sudbury, Suffolk; Performance - Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra at Barbican; Jimmie Hamilton by Roger Boyes; Encounters with Ellingtonia (7) by Derek Else.
Volume 14/4 The Great London Conference Ellington 2008; Tubby Hayes Wants You To Know.. Roger Boyes; Performances reported - Alan Barnes Jazz Masters, Martin Litton and Val Wiseman (A Duke Ellington Tribute); Brian Priestley (Solo Ellington Recital) ; On Duke's Birthday - Mike Westbrook; Piano Blues (A Christmas Story); Tony Faulkner now retired from DERO; Forty Years Ago - Roger Boyes.

2008 | Index

Volume 15/1 Ellington 2008, The Great London Conference; The British Tour, Quentin Bryar's transcription of the 1948 recording; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre; Sixty Years Ago, Duke's Second Tour of the UK.
Volume 15/2 A Crescendo For The Showmen (Geoff Smith); Thanks A Million, Humph; Statistics Gone Mad (Ted Gascoigne) Music at Ellington 2008 and the all-day Festival Session.
Volume 15/3 Fifty Years Ago (Roger Boyes); 1958 Memories; Thanks A Million, Humph; Russell Procope (Roger Boyes); Duke Ellington (Eric W. Willingham in July 1933).
Volume 15/4 1933 Rhythm Magazine Editorial, Meet Mercer Ellington and Herb Jeffries (Ken Vail), Ellington For A Day - Jabbo Smith (Roger Boyes), The Origin Of The Queen’s Suite (Roger Boyes).

2009 | Index

Volume 16/1 Louie Bellson 1924-2009 - (Steve Voce); The Incomparable Lawrence Brown - (Leif "Smoke Rings" Anderson ) Interview ; Lasker on Lawrence Brown (Stanley Slome); When Lawrence Joined The Duke - (Roger Boyes); Ellington Aware - (Geoff Smith).
Volume 16/2 The US Minted Coin; The Guildhall Jazz Band at the DESUK AGM (Ted Gascoigne); A Mobster and a Tyke – Owney Madden (Roger Boyes) Ellington’s First US Concert Programme?; Website - Which Came First?
Volume 16/3 Obituaries Steve Race, John Astle, Dick Hawdon and John Malloch; A Glimpse Of The Man (Steve Race); Anatomy Of A Murder (Quentin Bryar); Ben Webster (Roger Boyes); Seventy Years Ago (Roger Boyes);
Volume 16/4 Westminster Abbey 24 October 1973, rehearsal and performance (Geoff Smith); Rainbow Theatre, London, 2 December 1973 (Mike Westbrook); Ellington Orchestra In Europe 1939 (Rober Boyes); Quentin Jackson, Monsieur Le Beurre (Roger Boyes).

2010 | Index

Volume 17/1 Harlem Highlights BBC West African Service script 1948, written and introduced by Denis Preston, Ellington programme (Roger Boyes); DE 1948 visit to Britain (Paul Barnes, Saga Magazine); Sir John Dankworth obit; Harold Ashby (Roger Boyes); Graham Colombe on the 1973 Rainbow concert.
Volume 17/2 Lush Life film by Robert Levi and Robert Seidman, USA 2006 (Quentin Bryer); Lena Horne, Jerry Valburn and Gene Lees obits; Change and the Duke (Steve Race); Chelsea Bridge duke-lym discussion.
Volume 17/3 Joya Sherrill obit; Harry Carney (Roger Boyes); Duke Ellington's America by Harvey G Cohen, review and commentary (Geoff Smith); Duke Plays Our Concert, May 20 1964 (Bruce Kennan); Hodges-A-Plenty (Roger Boyes).
Volume 17/4 Ellington Tells All for Philadelphia Tribune reporter (Bev. Carter); Vic Bellerby on Ellington (Records and Recording, November 1974); Idiom '59 (Roger Boyes).

2011 | Index

Volume 18/1 Mosaic 11CD box set, 1932-1940 (Roger Boyes); Mosaic set sound restoration (Steven Lasker, reported by Stan Slone); Joe Temperley profile (Bernard McAlinden); Jack Towers and Fargo (Roger Boyes); Current state of jazz on radio (survey by Roger Boyes).
Volume 18/2 Launch plans for Ellington 2012; 1963 Granada TV broadcast (Roger Boyes); The Perfume Suite, Ellington's World In Miniature (Geoff Smith), Unfortunate Recording History Of (Roger Boyes), and Origins Of (Roger Boyes); Joe Temperley part two (Bernard McAlinden).
Volume 18/3 Ellington 2012 fixed for Woking; Vocalise (Michael Kilpatrick); Detecting Duke's Trumpet Players 1945 (Graham Columbe).
Volume 18/4 Michael Garrick and Butch Ballard obits; Primping For The Prom 1952 (Roger Boyes); Paul Gonsalves 1920-1974 (Graham Columbe).

2012 | Index

Volume 19/1 Kay Davis obit (Maureen O'Donnell); Mike Westbrook's Five Spot Ellington album choices; Turning Point - Dream Team (Liam Noble interviewed by Brian Glasser, on Duke and Louis Armstrong; The Beautiful Americans, Armstrong All-Stars and Duke, 1961 (Rober Boyes).
Volume 19/2 Come Sunday, Ellington 2012 (Wendy Lawrence); Duke In Woking 23-27 May 2012 (Geoff Smith);Who Was In The Studio on 29 January 1924? (Mike Coates on Ken Steiner's Woking 2012 presentation); Chronological List Of The Compositions of Duke Ellington, 1933 London concert programme (Roger Boyes).
Volume 19/3 Annie Kuebler obit (Roger Boyes); When Cootie Left The Duke (Annie Kuebler); Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams, Spiritual and Sacred Music (Annie Kuebler); Great Paul (Paul Gonsalves) (Peter Clayton, 1974); Woking Encores (Geoff Smith).
Volume 19/4 Ellington On Columbia (George Avakian); Sjef Hoefsmit obit (Roger Boyes); Ellington the Disc Jockey in 1948 (report unearthed by David Palmquist).

2013 | Index

Volume 20/1 Editor Roger Boyes' retirement issue. Ellington At Newport: 3 July 1958 by Jack Gold and Dom Cerulli (from Down Beat, 7 August 1958); Ken Vail obit (Roger Boyes); A Tale Of Two Woodes (Goren Wallen); Dave And Duke (death of Dave Brubeck) (Geoff Smith); In Search Of Fletcher Henderson (Roger Boyes).
Volume 20/2 Editor Ian Bradley's inaugural issue. Discovery Of Ellington's Film Debut (Ken Steiner); With Roger Boyes In His Den (Geoff Smith); Jerry Kruger, A Forgotten Ellington Singer (Roger Boyes); Boxing Clever, the Complete Columbia Studio Albums 1951-58 (Ian Bradley); Duke: A Life (How Ellington acquired his facial scar) (Terry Teachout).
Volume 20/3 Putney Dandridge... Ellingtonian? (Steven Lasker); Dating Duke and Edna's Breakup – And The Infamous Slashing Incident (Steven Lasker); Duke's Itinerary (David Palmquist).
Volume 20/4 Tell Me It's The Truth: Terry Teachout's biography published (Ian Bradley), Ellington In Afghanistan (Ian Bradley); Herb Jeffries celebrates 100th birthday; Duke in Yorkshire (Mike Vawdrey); Sathima Bea Benjamin obit (Roger Boyes); Marian McPartland obit (Roger Boyes); Dennis Dimmer obit (Wendy Lawrence); Vic Bellerby (Joan Bellerby), Remembering Vic (Roger Boyes); Brubeck On Ellington (transcript of the Dave Brubeck interview for Ellington 2012, Woking); What To Leave Out (Pete Long).

2014 | Index

Volume 21/1 - Q1
Volume 21/2 - Q2
Volume 21/3 - Q3
Volume 21/4 - Q4

Join or renew membership at £25 to receive the ones to be published in 2015.


Blue Light | Index to Issues | Sample Article

From Blue Light 3/2

Encounters with Ellingtonia

David Redshaw recalls his first experience of hearing the Elliington orchestra live - and meeting one of its trumpet players with a taste for practical jokes.

Prior to 1963 Ellington was to me no more than the name of a composer of tunes sometimes played by the Trad bands of the time. I had also heard one or two Ellington numbers played by such bands as the Temperance Seven who performed note-for-note recreations of early recordings. I noticed however that Ellington themes were always unusual, attractive and had a certain intriguing quality. My interest in jazz had grown mainly through exposure to the British Trad bands that were then so popular but I had listened to some more modern jazz and found little that attracted me at the time.

When I found that the Duke Ellington orchestra was to appear at the Colston Hall in Bristol that year, it appeared to be an opportunity too good to miss although I did have my reservations. The question was. How would I find the Ellington band? Would they still be playing the numbers I was slightly familiar with such as Rockin' In Rhythm and Shout 'Em Aunt Tillie or would they have moved on to play music which was too obscure for my ears?

At the time the Colston Hall regularly offered seats in the choir stalls. Whilst these were to the side of or behind the musicians, they were also inexpensive. I arrived well before the concert was due to start and settled into my seat only to decide that a visit to the Gents was necessary. The usual facilities were at the front of the Hall and I was a long way from them. The passages behind and underneath the Hall were narrow with concrete floors and bare plaster walls. With nothing to absorb sound they were more like tunnels.

In trying to find my way I wandered past the artists' changing rooms, not quite knowing where I was. At one point a smallish but very thick-set man asked me where I was going and gave me some general directions. On my way back he was still there with trumpet in hand and he spoke to me briefly as I passed. I had moved on no more than a few yards when I was hit squarely on the back of the head by the loudest and most piercing notes I had ever experienced - greatly enhanced by the tunnel acoustics of course. I use the word 'hit' because that is how it felt. I turned to see pure delight on the face of the unknown musician whose wide grin showed that he had enjoyed seeing me jump. It was my first heart-stopping moment listening to an Ellingtonian. The power of those few notes was incredible. I soon found out why.

Yes, the band did still play Rockin' In Rhythm and towards the end of that number I found out why those trumpet notes had been so devastating. The musician who had played them was Cat Anderson. He filled the Hall with his high notes without amplification and over the top of the entire orchestra in full flight. Cat seems to have acquired a reputation for being a little difficult to deal with but I had found him to be affable and possessed of a sense of humour - for practical jokes at least.

I have two further memories of that first concert from my seat which was nicely situated behind, but overlooking, the piano keyboard. Firstly one of Duke himself as he swayed at the piano or padded around in his stage slippers, while having a deal of trouble adjusting his trousers, chewing and watching the band and the audience with those worldly eyes. As so many others did, I found him to be one of those people who capture your attention and hold you fascinated. I still remember his piano part on Asphalt Jungle which so amazed me at the time.

Secondly I recall vividly the look on the faces of one section of the audience whenever Johnny Hodges played a solo: fanatical enthusiasm is an inadequate description. On that occasion I only saw Hodges from behind but I later discovered that the look on his own face contrasted greatly with the animated expressions of his fans. I can still see them in my mind's eye...