Duke Ellington... en TVE (I)

Primera parte del monográfico de Jazz Entre Amigos dedicado a Duke Ellington. Emitido hace 25 años, el 11 de septiembre de 1985. Aunque incluye metraje de diversa procedencia (como el funeral de Ellington, con Ella Fitzgerald cantando con Billy Taylor al piano), el programa se apoya principalmente en el documental On the Road with Duke Ellington, grabado a lo largo de 1967 y estrenado en la NBC el 13 de octubre de aquel año. El programa no tiene desperdicio, pero si hay que destacar un momento, quizás sea el encuentro de Ellington con Louis Armstrong (20:11-21:15), por suerte no doblado, sino subtitulado.

Este es el tipo de cosas que se podían ver en nuestra televisión hace unos años. Si quieres apoyar la campaña para que le den el Ondas al Cifu, visita la página de su candidatura en Facebook.

Back in the 1980s, in Spain we had a jazz show in our public television channel, TVE. It was called Jazz entre Amigos (Jazz among friends) and it became, effectively, the education in jazz for my generation. The video above is part I of an Ellington special. It carries footage from several sources, but most of it comes from On the Road with Duke Ellington, filmed in 1967 and first broadcast on NBC. The video is worth watching in full, but in case you have not much use for the Spanish commentary, and overdubbing, here's a little guide:

2:04-4:52: "Take the A Train" (in colour), Ray Nance solos, personnel includes Lawrence Brown, Paul Gonsalves, Aaron Bell, Sam Woodyard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney...

9:15-9:52: Interview (overdubbed) where Duke talks about his relationship with the audience, and their enthusiasm.

10:30-10:55: Doctorate at Yale.

10:55-11:28: Duke's 70th birthday at the White House, with President Nixon on piano.

11:28-12:59: Duke's funeral.
12:11-12:45: Ella sings at funeral, with Billy Taylor on piano

13:19-13:42: Interview: About being a prisoner of the band as the means to listen to his music at once.

14:11-20:11: Footage in colour, right before he comes out on stage, voiceover goes on about his classic repertoire, then on to one of his classic medleys, "Satin Doll", "Solitude", "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" (solo by Lawrence Brown), plus Duke playing "I Let a Song out of My Heart" on piano while the band does "Don't Get Around Much Anymore".

20:11-21:15: Duke and Satchmo chat (undubbed!) in dressing room.

21:20: Duke on piano, playing before the Morgan State University event, can't stop playing before being hurried off.

22:37: Interview while having breakfast; he explains how important breakfast is for him (doesn't know when his next meal will be).

22:25: Duke working at the piano on "Salute to Morgan State"; he explains how composing for him equals to chasing a melody.

25:24: Duke explains the new tune to the musicians (there's no time to write down each part).

26:10: Main event, he plays "Salute to Morgan State".

28:45: Interview (overdubbed) about the need for composers to hear their music played.

29:19: Studio recording of "Rondolet" (a "cousin" of "I Let A Song Out of my Heart", I'd say).

33:01-35:24: Band plays "Traffic Jam".

35:58: Biographical overview in Spanish.

36:24: Band plays "Kinda Dukish"

39:58: More biographical overview.

41:19: Footage from Cotton Club.

42:14: Interview about his debut at The Palace and his first time ever as an MC.

43:10: "Blow by Blow", featuring Paul Gonsalves.

47:30: "Things Ain't What They Used To Be", featuring Johnny Hodges.

50:10: Duke explains the famous finger-snapping/ear-lobe rhythmic device (possibly at Morgan State).

51:48: Footage from 1941 and voiceover starts talking about Billy Strayhorn. It is worth noting that Strayhorn died while this was filmed.

53:33: "Take the A Train" (abridged, begins in 3/4).

57:02: About his Sacred Concerts, how they were personal, "for him".

59:02-1:02:24: "In the beginning God", from the First Sacred Concert, featuring Harry Carney and Tony Watkins.

For more info about One the Road With Duke Ellington, see this.

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