The summer issue of DESUK’s Blue Light has arrived in the postbox of its subscribers. As usual, it is an issue full of interesting articles, information and comments.

The American Ellington scholar Ken Steiner contributes an article on Ellington’s radio shows until the middle of the 40’s. In three pages, he manages to portray the role of radio in the early and mid-career of Ellington but also the development of radio for entertainment. It is highly recommended. The article was originally presented to the International Study Group Conference in Portland, Oregon last year.

Another main feature of this issue of Blue Light is the second part of Matthew (“Matt”) J. Cooper’s article on Ellington as a pianist. In this part he focuses on the 30’s and early 40’s leaving the late 40’s until mid-50’s to the next part.

A third main article is called Beyond Category. It is an enjoyable collage around Such Sweet Thunder. It starts with the announcement of the performance of the suite at the BBC Proms on August 16, goes on with the the circumstances surrounding Ellington and Strayhorn’s creation of Such Sweet Thunder and finishes with Ellington talking about the work in an interview on Canadian television in on April 29, 1957.

Blue Light also pay tribute to Joe Temperly and Buster Cooper in well-written obituaries.

Among the record reviews, there is one dealing with the audiophile reissue by Analogue Productions of the Columbia Masterpieces LP from 1950. The reviewer has gone to some length to be able to listen to it on a high-end system and compare it to the 2004 CD played on the same system. But of course the original LP should also have been included in the comparative listening.

And then there is all the information about concerts with Ellington music all over U.K. which makes one envious.


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