Topic categories:

Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral

You need to be signed in to respond to this topic

No actionNo action

Displaying 1 to 15 of 18 posts

Page 1 of 2

1 2
Next pageNo action
18 posts:
Order:    

JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
All posts by this member
1 of 18  Thu 4th Aug 2011 6:33am  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:225

On or about February 23rd, 1966, Duke Ellington performed his Sacred Concert for the first time in Britain. The performance took place in the (then) newly consecrated Coventry Cathedral. I was in my last year at King Henry VIII, and used to catch the number 4 bus from home to Pool Meadow, walk up between the new and old Cathedrals, and catch a second bus to school. I was 18 and had heard of all these Dukes, Counts and even Earls of American jazz, loved the Glen Miller stuff, and I was very much enjoying the British trad jazz revival, but big bands were leaving swing and melody behind and going for brass and noise, so I didn't think Duke Ellington was someone I needed to hear - particularly as this was to be religious music, and I was anything but religious. I walked past rehearsals with only a degree of curiosity that day. Years went by, and I became hooked for ever on Duke Ellington - particularly those 1930s recordings, like the Mooche, Black and Tan Fantasy, East St Louis Toodle-oo, and then the Strayhorn period. I would have walked in that Cathedral door that day - knowing what I know now. The man was there in my home town! The performance was not - to my knowledge - recorded. I have looked in all the right website places, asked in the knowledgeable music shops, and even enquired at the Cathedral on short visits back to Coventry in recent years. It is possible to get a recording of a similar concert, recorded in the USA, but that's not quite the same, is it! Does anyone else remember the concert, or even have a recording of it?
True Blue Coventry Kid

Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
TonyS
Coventry
All posts by this member
2 of 18  Thu 4th Aug 2011 9:42am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1550

Sorry, don't know of a recording, but, just for reference, here's a photo of him stood in Coventry Cathedral Then click small images (top right) for more photos of the concert.
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
All posts by this member
Thread starter
3 of 18  Fri 5th Aug 2011 12:08am  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:225

Thanks TonyS - it's a start!
True Blue Coventry Kid

Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
MLoosemore
Spalding
All posts by this member
4 of 18  Tue 14th May 2013 11:41am  
Member: Joined May 2013  Total posts:1

Hi Tony, Just come across your forum post when trying to discover a recording of this concert myself. I well remember watching it on BBC at the time. I was in the Army serving at COD Donnington in Shropshire and on the night it was broadcast I was on duty in the Officer's Mess and should have been manning the telephone but was very kindly allowed to sneak away to the television room for the duration of the broadcast. If you ever do find a recording let me know too please Mark
Mark Loosemore

Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
All posts by this member
Thread starter
5 of 18  Wed 15th May 2013 2:45am  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:225

Hi Mark I have sent an email to http://www.dukeellington.com/home.html asking if any recording was made, and its availability. Fingers crossed!
True Blue Coventry Kid

Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
TonyS
Coventry
All posts by this member
6 of 18  Wed 15th May 2013 9:19am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1550

On 14th May 2013 11:41am, MLoosemore said: Just come across your forum post....
Hi Mark - and welcome to our forum! Wave Let hope JW can come up with something Thumbs up
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
LongfordLad
Toronto
All posts by this member
7 of 18  Tue 6th Oct 2015 10:05pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:196

Quite how I missed the original post on this subject escapes me, but miss it I did. I attended this Ellington concert, which concert - so far as I recall - was a freebie with tickets available on a first come/first served basis. Seating was allotted on a similar basis, and I wound up with two seats in the second row, the first row being reserved for putative dignitaries of the local variety, none of whom I recognized. As the orchestra members took their seats, a guy in the font front row turned to me and said words to the effect that he had overheard something of my hushed conversation and that I appeared to him to know something about the type of music we were about to hear. He then posed the question: "Are they all -------s (insert your own racist term here) in this band?" I was speechless - a rare situation for me - but he appeared to enjoy the music thoroughly, judging by the enthusiasm expressed in his applause. The pieces the orchestra played in Coventry were from Duke's First Sacred Concert, recorded live in Grace Cathedral, an Episcopalian (or Anglican) cathedral in San Francisco in 1965. There was much to enjoy in the concert, for all that the critics were seldom warmly disposed towards the program, some going as far as to write that the music was not Ellingtonia. I have listened attentively to the music of Ellington for all my adult life, even for some time before the commencement of that adult life, and while I did not find the music played on that long ago concert in Coventry to be Ellington at his finest, it was certainly music of Ellington, and the band was in fine form, offering a last chance to see/hear some of the band's stalwarts still in their usual places. For those of you with a love (like JohnnieWalker's) for the music of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, you will find the Washington site of the Duke Ellington Society an absolute treasure. It is easily reached by typing Ellington Panorama into Google or any other search engine. Some time ago I bought a four CD set issued by Sony as The Best of Duke Ellington Columbia and RCA Masters 1932-1938. The set included 95 titles. The set's inserts offered no discographical information. A visit to Ellington Panorama (in truth many visits) enabled me to identify the specific band personnel for every title. 'On the day Saint Peter stamps my hand at the Gates of Heaven, the first thing I'll want to hear is The Fourth Concert of Sacred Music." Not attributed, but on page 1 of the website I have mentioned. Edited by member, 7th Oct 2015 9:41 pm
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
All posts by this member
Thread starter
8 of 18  Wed 7th Oct 2015 8:38am  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:225

Gosh Longford Lad - I'm so jealous! I have heard recordings of his other Sacred Concerts, and I agree that they "aint (quite) got that swing", but they're still majestic pieces of music! I scored a second row seat at a concert when Mercer Ellington brought the band to Australia in the late 1970s or early 1980s, with guys like Cootie Williams still playing. It was magical being able to watch the technique as well as hear the music up close. Over the years, I've picked up clarinets, and more recently saxophones, closed my eyes, and just played Ellington. Mood Indigo, East St Louis, the Mooche, B&T Fantasy, Prelude to a Kiss, Sophisticated Lady - aren't there so many fantastic pieces to choose from! Late-Onset Clarinet I’m going to learn the clarinet, though it’s fairly late in life. I tried to learn the thing before, but it only brought me strife. It squawked and squeaked and woke the kids, when fast asleep at night, So forty years it lay there, in the cupboard, out of sight. I’m going to learn the clarinet, though it’s going to be quite hard. I want to play Mood Indigo just like Barney Bigard. He co-wrote it with Ellington, and played it with the band. How he made it sound like that, I’ll never understand!! I’m going to play the clarinet, as good as Acker Bilk, And get those mellow tones just right, like others of his ilk. I’ll find some lonely beach retreat, and practice till it’s right, Not just a Stranger on the Shore, but “Starring Here” tonight! I’m going to learn the clarinet, and Stomp at the Savoy, So Benny Goodman’s legacy remains to be enjoyed. And Sidney Bechet’s Petite Fleur is one I’ll try to play. You’ll see me at the Albert Hall, for certainty, one day! I’m going to learn the clarinet - at my age you ask why? I figure that an old folks home’s a boring place to die. I plan to really stir them up, before I go from there, And play my favourites all day long from my old rockin’ chair! I’m going to learn the clarinet, come back to haunt the joint. Get rid of all that Kenny G – it’s Muzak – what’s the point! My songs instead will thrill the folks – while waiting to check out! They’ll talk about ME when I’ve gone – of that there’ll be no doubt! And when, right at the Pearly Gates, St Peter lets me through, I’ll have my clarinet on hand, ‘cause I’m going to play there too! And if the guy in charge up there just won’t let me perform, I’ll go down to the other place, and play there in the warm!
True Blue Coventry Kid

Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
pixrobin
Canley
All posts by this member
9 of 18  Wed 7th Oct 2015 9:52am  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:996

Brilliant JW!! Though you are wrong about retirement homes. No, you are more wrong about yourself. I live in a retirement home and am never bored. Just got too many things I want to do. Most residents have a conventional three-piece suite: I have 3 desktop computers. As for the staff, there's one here I call Poetry in Motion. I wouldn't get bored watching her walk down the corridors all day long.
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
All posts by this member
10 of 18  Wed 7th Oct 2015 10:48am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:2939

On 7th Oct 2015 8:38am, JohnnieWalker said: Late-Onset Clarinet And if the guy in charge up there just won’t let me perform, I’ll go down to the other place, and play there in the warm!
I agree, Brilliant, and I can boast having his signature too Pix. Perhaps his clarinet playing will be poetry in motion. Hey Pix, are you still chasing her around the corridors, they will be locking you in your room next!!!
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
Annewiggy
Tamworth
All posts by this member
11 of 18  Wed 7th Oct 2015 12:20pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1091

Don't know if it is worth following this up.
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
All posts by this member
12 of 18  Wed 7th Oct 2015 4:09pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1933

Hi all, to each and everyone of you on this topic I send my warmest thanks, thoroughly enjoyed the posts and the photo's, loved the 'Duke' but not knowing a note of music you brought it more to life for me. I envy your musical knowledge. Thanks again. Kaga.
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
All posts by this member
Thread starter
13 of 18  Wed 7th Oct 2015 8:35pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:225

On 7th Oct 2015 12:20pm, Annewiggy said: Don't know if it is worth following this up.
Thanks Annewiggy! Yes - I've seen this, and its great to see the band in action, but it's only a short piece. Wink
True Blue Coventry Kid

Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
LongfordLad
Toronto
All posts by this member
14 of 18  Wed 7th Oct 2015 10:32pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:196

Hey there, Annewiggy, nice piece of detection. I have a first edition of David Meeker's JAZZ ON FILM, published by the British Film Institute in 1972. There are no references therein to this Ellington performance; indeed, no references to videotapes or to DVDs. Still and all, unable as it was to predict the future, it was a worthy piece of scholarship on jazz as it was represented on film. Thank you.
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral
Tojoone
Herefordshire
All posts by this member
15 of 18  Thu 26th May 2016 11:27pm  
Member: Joined May 2016  Total posts:1

Hello :-) I've just joined this forum in order to tell whoever might be interested from the above thread that I have discovered a reel to reel recording of the February 1966 Duke Ellington concert from Coventry Cathedral! The recording is an excellent high quality one that was taken (directly rather than acoustically) from the soundtrack of a contemporary ABC television broadcast of the concert (I know it to be an ABC broadcast because the concert is preceded by the telltale triple chimes that introduced ABC broadcasts in the UK during the 1960s). I don't know how much the concert may have been edited for transmission but the recording I have runs for approximately 60 minutes and appears to have been broadcast sans advertising breaks (unusual, but not unknown, in the case of prestige ITV broadcasts of the period). Now, the question is, what should I do with it? If anyone here knows of any individual, or company, that might wish to purchase it please get back to me :-) Thank you in advance, David Bishop
Duke Ellington at Coventry Cathedral

You need to be signed in to respond to this topic

No actionNo action

Displaying 1 to 15 of 18 posts

Page 1 of 2

1 2
Next pageNo action

Previous (older) topic

Sherbourne Hostel
|

Next (newer) topic

Allesley Hall School
View similar topics in the Local History and Heritage category
 
Home | Forum index | Forum stats | Forum help | Log out | About me | My music
Top of the page
HTML5
1,461,896
Counter by Rob Orland

This page last updated 17th December 2017  (Load time: 217ms)