British critic discusses reaction to Duke Ellington in 1933

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British critic discusses reaction to Duke Ellington in 1933 - n. HANXEN SWAFFKBi - of - of on or of of of go...
n. HANXEN SWAFFKBi - of - of on or of of of go o of "I By HANSEN SWAFFEJfc Famous London Crlthv (From the London People) LONDON, England. July I. famous Ltonaou v - rn.nk - i - v (From the London People) Did you hear those strange noises on the wireless the other night? Did you hear that terrible noise? Did you hear the wonderful music? I don't know what it 'was you heard. For you all have different ears. I merely know that, when Professor John Hilton had been talking on "Industrial Relations" Professor Jack Hylton turned on some industrious relations, some brother musicians, who, very strenuous and very energetic, played the very devil. What Did Wigan Say? Now, I wonder what happened in Wigan and Wimbledon when Father said, "Let's hear what's on the wireless" and then Duke Ellington started! For all I know the cat ran out of the room. I am almost certain the baby cried. But the very sophisticated son and daughter, eighteen and twenty, perhaps, said, no doubt: "Isn't it marvelous?" It all depends whether you are "modern" or not Revolts of Yesteryear Well, similar things happened when, before the war, "Elecktra" was first played at Covent Garden. Strauss put into his score the bleating of bulls, and Bernard Shaw and Ernest Newman had a row about it There was even more commotion, a few years later, when Schonberg, flrat conducted his music at the Queen's Halt Bernard . Shaw and Arthur Balfour sat In the audience, and a bandsman of my acquaintance, not understanding the score, added several notes for fun, only to discover that the composer, who was conducting, did not notice. Yet when, a few months ago, Schonberg returned to England his work was played on the wireless, praised like billy - ho as a prologue. And, when I asked for my readers' opinions on it well, I lost their letters. When Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" was first played In Paris, there was a riot Now it is Jiut normal. The New Sensation I wrote at length about Crazy Month. It Was the. last sensation in vaudeville. The new one is Duke Ellington. You will want to know about It because, in a week or two, Duke Ellington and his orchestra are to tour the United Kingdom. They are even to play Bolton, Jack Hylton's home town. It will surely be the greatest sensation Bolton has ever known. Just when I had dictated that paragraph. I received a letter from a man who had heard Ellington. "Four times he had to rush out" he said. "No, it won't do for white men. We want music . . . What a row. It might suit the cotton fields. but not Lancashire cotton mill workers." Well, Ellington's secret is that you may not like it but he makes you listen. People Who Walked Oat "Revolution In rhythm," they call It at the Palladium. On Monday night twenty people walked out while Duke Ellington was playing. One. a man I knew, is a great musical fan. "I think a beer." le said, as he passed. All the others were typically English types. On Wednesday night only sixteen walked out On Thursday night they tell me. the number was reduced to twelve. The walk - outs are dying off. Louis Armstrong wore them down a few weeks ago. After that they will stand anything. Rhythm Without Tune Now, mind you, the rest of the house was wildly enthusiastic. It shows you the advance that h been made in jazz, during the last few years, that a Negro can come to the largest - music - hall In the Kingdom with a modern orchestra, cut out melody and excite a huge gathering, not with tune but with DUKE ELLINGTON rhythm. When, for Instance, tney piay "Some of These Days," it ia almost imnossible to hear any tune. Where there was melody you hear discora ance. Where there was tenderness, there is now blare. Yet It is so exciting that whila aoma people compare it with hash - ih. others liken it to failing oir a train. Various Views Eric Dunstan, a wireless expert for whose opinion I have a great regard, said it is "relentless rhythm that leaves behind an unpleasant tante." Spike Hughes, a young Irish composer of modern music, went' into raptures. I myself experienced, when llsl.en - Ins: to it no pleasure of any Kind But then I hate Jazz, anyway. My Interest was an intellectual one. I could hear new ideas being born. I was amazed at the technical perfection of the instrumenta tion. I looked on a scene gay with col our. modern in styla for tha colored band play surrounded by enormous figures showing Negroes wearing ducal coronets. Mine was the in terest of novelty. Gramophone Publicity I was amazed to find that, when ever Duke Ellington announced his next number, that the title, strange to me, was familiar to the great crowd. But then, I am told, ninety per cent of his gramophone rec ords are sold in this country. In America, radio has killed the gramophone. Here, it has helped it . There is a new publicity, nowa days. Louis Armstrong was known when he arrived, not to me but to countless thousands. The History of a Race Well. I wish the wild enthusiasts who cheered his hot Jazs could have discussed his dream of the future. i He has something to say which he is putting into music. So he Is writing a suite, in which he will tell in polyphonic form the history of his people. He played the themes, with ma as his only audience. Now, Duke Ellington's great grandfather was a slave. That is all he knows. - v He could not tall you whether his ancestors came from the Gold Coast. He merely knows that we whit people tore Negroes from their homes and made slaves of them and that now, they are emerging. Ellington's Dream So this suit, now only in his mind, traces, in five movements. two of theee for chorus. Negro mu - sio from its source in the African jungle to its present form in Har lem. The episodes are a savage war dance the captives' voyage over the Atlantic in a slave ship, the old slav plantation, "Hot exalt of ples mind past ago, his to a the It X the peoples. sins. in try. A now cal All Del is a out the it key raw His an got Cotton his a He tt ers, egg

Clipped from
  1. The Pittsburgh Courier,
  2. 15 Jul 1933, Sat,
  3. Page 13

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  • British critic discusses reaction to Duke Ellington in 1933

    staff_reporter – 17 Jul 2018

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