Your email address will not be published. Duke Ellington was around 27 years old when his first singled charted. From 12 people Isfahan Duke Ellington. In 1938 Duke Ellington was a musical celebrity at the height of the swing era. The song was performed by Duke Ellington. In fact, he is arguably one of America’s finest composers, regardless of genre. “Prelude to a Kiss”, which was composed that year, represented something of a stylistic departure for the composer. Jazzfuel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. 6 ) “Reflections In D” from Piano Reflections, 1953 (duet with Wendell Marshall). In this article we look at 10 of Ellington’s greatest songs, and also learn a little more about the life and career of this artistic giant. Mood Indigo - Duke Ellington, Mills, Irving; $0.99 on iTunes 8. One famous edition of the Orchestra is now known as the Blanton-Webster band, which recorded extensively between approximately 1940-41, and which notably featured tenor saxophone giant Ben Webster and double bassist Jimmy Blanton. At 15, whilst working as a soda dispenser, he wrote “Soda Fountain Rag”, despite the fact that he could not yet read music. ‎Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. The tune which was taken from Duke Ellington and his famous orchestra's 1941 album "Hollywood" was included in the soundtrack of the 2008 video game release Grand Theft Auto IV from the fictitious in-game jazz music radio station "JNR 108.5 (Jazz Nation Radio)". From 13 people In a Sentimental Mood Duke Ellington. Come Sunday” from Black, Brown and Beige, 1958 (Duke Ellington Orchestra with Mahalia Jackson) The spiritual side of Ellington (the composer and the man) is well-documented and that too could easily get its own Top 10 list. C Jam Blues - Duke Ellington, Bigard, Barney; $0.99 on iTunes 7. The lyrics in this section refer to Ellington’s famously eclectic taste, comparing his love to a “Schubert tune with a Gershwin touch”. , which sees the great singer accompanied by Duke and the Orchestra, and has also been recorded by everyone from The Ink Spots to Willie Nelson, George Shearing to Paul McCartney. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than six decades. A new trio album, with bassist Tom Farmer and drummer Jorge Rossy, is due for release soon. Ellington and the Cotton Club were at the heart of the Harlem Renaissance, an explosion of culture, art and intellectualism centred around the African American community in Harlem, an area of Manhattan, in the 1920s. Lyrics were later added by Irving Mills, Duke Ellington’s manager at the time. Indeed, it pains me to leave out “Cotton Tail,” “Harlem Airshaft” and easily 20 others. Includes biography, photos and quotes by and about Ellington. "Art is dangerous. It's a fine sampling of Ellington's most familiar melodies and works as a good introduction for novices. You can find that, and all our other articles on the topic, via our Discover Jazz Music page. The Ellington Centenary in 1999 brought renewed attention to a unique musical legacy, producing a … Duke Ellington Duke Ellington biography and discography. Some of Ellington's most famous songs include "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Sophisticated Lady" and "In a Sentimental Mood." A major figure in the history of jazz music, Duke Ellington's career spanned more than half a century, during which time he composed thousands of songs … Listen to Duke Ellington & His Orchestra Radio, free! While these compositions guarantee his greatness, whatmakes Duke an iconoclastic genius, and an unparalleled visionary, what has granted him … years of Duke’s life and shows a wonderful balance of restraint and edginess. Duke Ellington (Edward Kennedy Ellington, April 29, 1899 - May 24, 1974) was an American jazz composer, pianist and bandleader, one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music. In the late 1950s simple lyrics were added to turn it into a song entitled “Duke’s Place”. A pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer, Ellington and his band played together for 50 years. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra - Pandora. Looking for ways to grow your career as a jazz musician. He did, however, compose a number of the Duke Ellington band’s best-loved songs, including “Chelsea Bridge” and “Take the ‘A’ Train”, which was the Orchestra’s theme tune. Blanton was hugely influential on his instrument, pioneering the bass as a soloing instrument, amongst various other innovations, but he died of tuberculosis in 1942, aged just 23. Unsubscribe at any time. His last appearance in the charts was 1945. Duke Ellington wrote a number of songs especially for Hodges, who was nicknamed “Rabbit” or sometimes “Jeep”, including “Jeep’s Blues” and “Hodge Podge”. One of the originators of big-band jazz, Ellington led his band for more than half a century, composed thousands of scores, and created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in all of Western music. This whole album shows that Duke still “had it” as a writer, even after Strayhorn’s passing. After the Carnegie Hall performance received negative reviews, Ellington reworked the suite and re-recorded much of the material on a 1958 album of the same name featuring Mahalia Jackson, civil rights activist and ‘the Queen of Gospel’. The expression was coined by New Orleans innovator Jelly Roll Morton, and refers to the influence that Afro-Latin and Cuban sounds have had upon jazz since the … Duke Ellington composed over 3000 songs, including: "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing", "Sophisticated Lady", "… read more In fact, the informal and intimate nature of their working relationship meant that it was not always clear who wrote what, and it has been suggested that Strayhorn did not always receive proper credit for his work. 29 Song Chart Appearances. 5 ) “Ko-Ko,” 1940  (Duke Ellington Orchestra). Comment below with facts and trivia about the song and we may include it in our song facts! Ellington wrote an ambitious three-part suite called Black, Brown and Beige – the sort of extended work usually tackled by classical, rather than jazz, composers – for his first concert at New York’s hallowed Carnegie Hall in January 1943. Caravan is of Duke Ellington’s most famous songs, and a classic example of the “Spanish tinge” in jazz. From 7 people Caravan Duke Ellington. This Newport Jazz Festival recording is considered one of the greatest jazz albums of all time, and also includes the legendary 27-chorus blues solo by tenor player Paul Gonsalves on “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue”. Its incredibly simple melody makes it ideal for beginner musicians and jam session settings: in its most basic form, it only contains two notes – C and G. The original, riff-based tune was probably thought-up by clarinettist Barney Bigard. 16 tracks (64:19). Ellington would often take a phrase or melody played by one of his sidemen and flesh it out into a full piece, and trombonist Juan Tizol is credited as co-composer of “Caravan”. He described it as, “a parallel to the history of the Negro in America.”, After the Carnegie Hall performance received negative reviews, Ellington reworked the suite and re-recorded much of the material on a 1958 album of the same name featuring Mahalia Jackson, civil rights activist and ‘, The song is also reprised, at various tempos, throughout the 1965 album, He did, however, compose a number of the Duke Ellington band’s best-loved songs, including “, Ellington used the tune as the closing number on most of his concerts, and described Strayhorn as. “Come Sunday”, a beautiful, spiritual-style ballad, is one of the key themes of the piece’s first movement. Duke Ellington and his orchestra playing this awesome tune in 1943. Ellington was actually uncomfortable with the word ‘jazz’, and felt that being described as ‘beyond category’ – an expression coined by his colleague Billy Strayhorn – was the greatest compliment that could be paid to his music. Sam Braysher is an alto saxophonist based in London. Your email address will not be published. 10?!?! I don’t know how to answer that question – in the end, there were certainly dozens of top-shelf choices for that and I narrowed it down to this one (in a toss-up with “Star-Crossed Lovers” from the Such Sweet Thunder project a decade prior) among a trove of achingly gorgeous Strayhorn ballads featuring the lead voice of Johnny Hodges on alto. The refinement of Ellington’s swing feel can be heard vividly here (amidst some great soloing by Barney Bigard and Tricky Sam Nanton); as much credit as Jimmy Blanton deservedly gets for holding down the band’s bottom end a few years later, Wellman Braud was no slouch either, as we can hear with his infectious hook-up with longtime drummer Sonny Greer. Ellington described it as “the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at the time.”. Clarinettist Barney Bigard was the clarinet soloist on the original recording and gets a credit as co-composer. Strayhorn's fruitful partnership with Ellington lasted 30 years, but the most famous song it yielded was written shortly after the two met. Stream songs by Duke Ellington & His Orchestra & similar artists! 3 ) “Rockin’ In Rhythm,“ 1931 (The Harlem Footwarmers). “Never No Lament” was recorded as an instrumental number in 1940, but songwriter Bob Russell put lyrics to it two years later and it is now more commonly known as “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”. Ellington used the tune as the closing number on most of his concerts, and described Strayhorn as “my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brain waves in his head, and his in mine”. The song features on Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook, which sees the great singer accompanied by Duke and the Orchestra, and has also been recorded by everyone from The Ink Spots to Willie Nelson, George Shearing to Paul McCartney. This may give me a soft spot for the track, but I think that the power of the composition and of Mahalia Jackson’s voice would lead most people to the same reverent conclusion nonetheless. No sharing. Join the mailing list for tools, resources & ideas - all free, Join the Jazzfuel newsletter and get the free PDF in your inbox today. I'm Beginning to See the Light - Duke Ellington, Hodges, Johnny; $0.99 on iTunes 9. How liberally should Billy Strayhorn be represented on a list like this? The song’s title was apparently a saying of trumpeter Bubber Miley, an early member of his Orchestra, who died of tuberculosis in 1932, the year of the song’s release. A figure as towering as the Duke does not need a schmoe like me to throw out adjectives to pump up his importance or greatness. Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending some time on a panel of folks discussing Duke Ellington on John Dankosky’s “Where We Live” on WNPR. From the gnarly swing of “Janet” to the aching lyricism of “Melancholia,” this whole album is a gem, but I have a particular soft spot for this soothing, harmonically and melodically rich composition. Listen free to Duke Ellington – 16 Most Requested Songs (It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), In A Sentimental Mood and more). If you’re looking for more suggestions on great tunes, you might like this round up of some of the most famous jazz songs in history. Strayhorn was classically trained and provided lyrics, compositions, arrangements and occasional piano for the Orchestra. Later, having moved to New York and now leading his own band, he secured a residency playing for dancers at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club, which he held between 1926 and 1931. Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. Duke Ellington originally did When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You), St. James Infirmary, Take the "A" Train, Sing You Sinners and other songs. 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