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This song of unrequited love was long associated with saxophonist Johnny Hodges, whose vibrato-laden lead alto tone is a classic sound in big band jazz. Ellington wrote lyrics of his own, before a new set was written for a 1960 version by the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Your email address will not be published. This is a collection of some of those early singles — my favourite being The Mooche.It’s not my favourite album by a long stretch, but it’s unquestionably instrumental in showing listeners where it all started. Duke Ellington ~ 16 Most Requested Songs Amazon.com. While these compositions guarantee his greatness, whatmakes Duke an iconoclastic genius, and an unparalleled visionary, what has granted him … The tune’s bridge (the contrasting middle section) features a particularly spectacular melody, full of wide intervals and juicy note choices. A pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer, Ellington and his band played together for 50 years. This track in particular also shows how gritty the band could get, featuring quite possibly the nastiest Johnny Hodges I have ever heard, plus some soulful organ by Wild Bill Davis. Duke Ellington's popular compositions set the bar for generations of brilliant jazz, pop, theatre and soundtrack composers to come. 10 ) “Blues for New Orleans” from New Orleans Suite, 1970 (Duke Ellington Orchestra). He abandoned the happy-go-lucky feeling associated with swing dancing in favour  of the complex, chromatic sounds heard here, which perhaps owe something to the meditative feeling of impressionist classical music. 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. This was recorded less than 2 weeks before Ellington’s celebrated collaboration with John Coltrane, and collective these two albums demonstrate Duke’s funky piano and era-bending versatility. 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’. Jazz - Jazz - Orchestral jazz: It was in the 1920s that the first forms of true orchestral jazz were developed, most significantly by Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington. Caravan is of Duke Ellington’s most famous songs, and a classic example of the “Spanish tinge” in jazz. Your email address will not be published. From 13 people In a Sentimental Mood Duke Ellington. He started playing piano at the age of seven, and by the time he was 15, he was composing. Caravan. Discover more music, concerts, videos, and pictures with the largest catalogue online at Last.fm. The original 1953 recording of “Satin Doll”, which features a slightly angular piano interlude from Ellington himself, is an instrumental number; later the famous American Songbook lyricist Johnny Mercer added words. 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. Considering that his generally agreed-upon “peak years” were more than a decade away, still, this is some rather sophisticated 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. 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”. 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. Duke Ellington’s music was always steeped in blues feeling, but he also wrote a number of actual 12-bar blues tunes. The spiritual side of Ellington (the composer and the man) is well-documented and that too could easily get its own Top 10 list. Available with an Apple Music subscription. Ellington was known for writing pieces with particular members of his band in mind, to suit their respective sounds and personalities. The most famous of these is “C Jam Blues”. 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. ‎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 first charted in 1926. 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. Columbia's Greatest Hits features many of Duke Ellington's best-known songs and biggest hits, including "Satin Doll," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Take the 'A' Train," "Solitude," "Mood Indigo," "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Prelude to a Kiss" and "Perdido." 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. He had chart topping singles covering a span of 20 years. My first in-depth exposure to Duke the pianist (outside the context of his Orchestra) came through this record. From 12 people Isfahan Duke Ellington. When the alto player died, Ellington said: “Never the world’s most highly animated showman or greatest stage personality, but a tone so beautiful it sometimes brought tears to the eyes—this was Johnny Hodges. No sharing. Indeed, it pains me to leave out “Cotton Tail,” “Harlem Airshaft” and easily 20 others. At 15, whilst working as a soda dispenser, he wrote “Soda Fountain Rag”, despite the fact that he could not yet read music. There was some discussion of his life, persona and relationships and all of that is fine and good, but I was there to talk about the music, a subject I’ll gladly get into at any time. It's a fine sampling of Ellington's most familiar melodies and works as a good introduction for novices. Duke Ellington was around 27 years old when his first singled charted. Discover releases, reviews, credits, songs, and more about Duke Ellington - Duke Ellington's Greatest Hits at Discogs. 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. 6 ) “Reflections In D” from Piano Reflections, 1953 (duet with Wendell Marshall). Thanks for checking out this countdown of 10 of the best Duke Ellington songs of all time. A new trio album, with bassist Tom Farmer and drummer Jorge Rossy, is due for release soon. This track (partnered with its instrumental counterpart from the same album, featuring Ray Nance’s violin) was assigned to me by my teacher George Raccio to learn and transcribe when I was 17, and it has been etched in my brain ever since. The best album ever made by Duke Ellington—which is to say, one of the best albums in jazz—is also one of his least-known. 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. C Jam Blues - Duke Ellington, Bigard, Barney; $0.99 on iTunes 7. Clarinettist Barney Bigard was the clarinet soloist on the original recording and gets a credit as co-composer. 9 ) “Isfahan” from Far East Suite, 1966 (Duke Ellington Orchestra). The song is also reprised, at various tempos, throughout the 1965 album Concert of Sacred Music, which Ellington described as “the most important thing I have ever done”. This whole list could have EASILY been comprised solely of tracks from the so-called “Blanton-Webster” era of the Ellington Orchestra. In 1938 Duke Ellington was a musical celebrity at the height of the swing era. 3 ) “Rockin’ In Rhythm,“ 1931 (The Harlem Footwarmers). Unsubscribe at any time. 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. 1 ) “Black and Tan Fantasy,” 1927 (Duke Ellington and his Washingtonians). You can find that, and all our other articles on the topic, via our Discover Jazz Music page. And soulful too, especially with Bubber Miley’s famous wah-wah trumpet playing. How liberally should Billy Strayhorn be represented on a list like this? This whole album shows that Duke still “had it” as a writer, even after Strayhorn’s passing. Duke Ellington, American pianist who was the greatest jazz composer and bandleader of his time. “God of love, please look down and see my people through”. Rockin’ indeed. Come Sunday” from Black, Brown and Beige, 1958 (Duke Ellington Orchestra with Mahalia Jackson). Dr. Lewis Porter turned my coat to this in graduate school (as part of the lineage of the tune from the Original Dixieland Jazz Band through the sophistication of Art Tatum in 1933 and on to Charlie Parker and others after that). Caravan is of Duke Ellington’s most famous songs, and a classic example of the “Spanish tinge” in jazz. 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. “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”. This is Johnny Hodges.”. In 1939, Ellington offered Strayhorn a job with his orchestra and invited him to relocate to New York City. 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. Try disabling any ad blockers and refreshing this page. An entertaining overview of some of Duke Ellington's most popular material, 16 Most … From 7 people Caravan Duke Ellington. The song was performed by Duke Ellington. 5 ) “Ko-Ko,” 1940  (Duke Ellington Orchestra). A history of Jazz before 1930. If that doesn't work, please visit our help page. See if Duke made the list of most famous people with first name Duke. Complete your Duke Ellington collection. 7 ) “Part IV a.k.a. , 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. Russell came up with words for a number of Ellington tunes from this period, and his lyric here is from the perspective of a rejected lover who prefers to stay at home rather than venture out and be reminded of happier days. Sam Braysher is an alto saxophonist based in London. Instead, my focus on the show was the musical qualities that have left the most indelible marks on me as a composer, pianist and bandleader. 10?!?! For both textural depth and maximizing the uniqueness of the solo voices available to him (in this case Juan Tizol, Tricky Sam Nanton and Jimmy Blanton) this is the “desert island” choice. (a featured ensemble section written in rhythmic unison for a section of a big band) from all of the saxophones. 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. Ellington described it as “the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at the time.”. No spam. Ellington was always inventive and unconventional when it came to orchestration, and on this one he voiced the generally higher-pitched clarinet at the bottom of a three-horn frontline, with the generally lower-pitched trombone on the top, thus inverting the expected instrumental roles and creating an unusual timbre. Your email address will not be published. "Art is dangerous. This crossword clue "___ Indigo" (Duke Ellington song) was discovered last seen in the January 7 2021 at the Daily Pop Crosswords Crossword. His debut album was a critically acclaimed duo recording with New York pianist Michael Kanan. Hodges played a short solo feature on the original recording with the Blanton-Webster edition of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, on which Ivie Anderson provided the vocal, and the, This Newport Jazz Festival recording is considered one of, Never No Lament (Don’t Get Around Much Anymore), “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 “, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook. Of course, being such a prolific composer, there are many more out the that you can discover. 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. This won a virtual coin-flip with the era’s other landmark example of this, “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo” (note, from the mouth of Phil Schaap: correct pronunciation = “toddle-oh”). 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. 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. 8 ) “Fleurette Africaine (African Flower)” from Money Jungle, 1962 (trio with Charles Mingus, Max Roach). Mood Indigo is a classic song from the band’s early period. 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. The two aspects of his career were related; Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his…. Lyrics were later added by Irving Mills, Duke Ellington’s manager at the time. From 11 people Fleurette Africaine Duke Ellington. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was born on 29 April 1899 in Washington D.C. As well as leading his famed orchestra from the piano chair, he is considered by many to be the greatest jazz composer in history. In fact, he is arguably one of America’s finest composers, regardless of genre. Ellington was an outstanding composer. Duke had already composed numerous significant ballads by this point, but to my ears this marks a breakthrough in the level of gentle lyricism at a time when even ballads were still typically rather upbeat. 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25 Jan, 2021
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