DESS members, who has opted for the pdf version of the Bulletin, got the new issue on Monday. The printed version was posted the same day and at least the DESS members in Sweden should have started to get it today.
The cover story is about Booty Wood – “Duke’s pungent trombonist”.
The four-page article about him is written by DESS member Thomas Erikson – a specialist and great fan of Ellington’s trombonists.
He gives the readers of the Bulletin a comprehensive story of Wood’s musical career.
Lionel Hampton’s 1940’s big band, the military during the Second World War years and Erskine Hawkins’ late 1940’s band was Wood’s musical upbringing grounds according to the article and apparently he liked in particular his period with Hawkins.
During that, Wood participated in Hawkins’ recordings for Victor and one of them resulted in the album Erskine Hawkins Plays W.C. Handy For Dancing.
Wood was really in and out of the Ellington orchestra over the years and one wonders why. Was it family?
Anyhow, his first period was really only a year – from September 1959 to end of 1960 – but he left many good marks from it in Columbia recordings like Blues In The Orbit, Piano In The Background and the Nutcracker Suites, in small groups recordings under Hodges and Harry Carney’s namn and his own album Hang In and in recordings from concerts and dances.
After this period, Wood was away from the Ellington Orchestra for more than 10 years except for a short return in 1963 to play in the orchestra formed for My People. He was back in late 1969 to replace Lawrence Brown and stayed to late 1972. But the impression from article is that he was only brought back to fill a chair and handle the trombone part in traditional concert numbers. It would have been interesting to get Thomas’ view on this.
What has been written above is only some snapshots of what Thomas has to say about Booty Wood. There is much more to read in his well researched article.
Another long article in the new issue is a transcript of a presentation at the Ellington ’94 in Stockholm by Austin H. Lawrence on Bubber Miley. It is a good introduction to Miley’s life and career and is recommended as such. The article is prefaced by short introduction of Lawrence by Bo Haufman.
Among Bo Haufman’s contributions to the new Bulletin is also an interesting article about Marie Ellington.
It has also a reprint of an article about Mercer Ellington in the program for his European Tour in 1977, an excerpt from exam paper by a Swedish music student about Jimmy Blanton way of playing the bass and some thoughts by DESS member Jan-Olov Isaksson on LP and CD tributes to Duke Ellington.
There is also a follow up of the cover story in the previous Bulletin about Lil Greenwood. DESS members Bjarne Busk and Brian Koller wrote about it on the Duke-LYM site and their comments are reprinted in the new Bulletin.
Bjarne Busk has also broadcasted an hour-long program about Lil Greenwood on the Radio Jazz (http://www.radiojazz.dk/. It has a long interview with Sven-Erik Baun Christensen, who wrote the article about Greenwood, and music featuring her. The broadcast can be found in the podcast section of Radio Jazz but it is also available at the DESS website here.