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Duke Ellington

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.

Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured in Europe. Although widely considered a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase "beyond category" as a liberating principle and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music.

Some of the jazz musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered among the best players in the idiom. Ellington melded them into the best-known orchestral unit in the history of jazz. Some members stayed with the orchestra for several decades. A master at writing miniatures for the three-minute 78 rpm recording format, Ellington wrote more than one thousand compositions; his extensive body of work is the largest recorded personal jazz legacy, and many of his pieces have become standards. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, for example Juan Tizol's "Caravan", and "Perdido", which brought a Spanish tinge to big band jazz. In the early 1940s, Ellington began a nearly thirty-year collaboration with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his writing and arranging companion. With Strayhorn, he composed many extended compositions, or suites, as well as additional short pieces. Following an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1956, Ellington and his orchestra enjoyed a major revival and embarked on world tours. Ellington recorded for most American record companies of his era, performed in and scored several films, and composed a handful of stage musicals.

Ellington was noted for his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and for his eloquence and charisma. His reputation continued to rise after he died, and he was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize Special Award for music in 1999.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 29th, 1899 (Washington, D.C.), Died May 24th, 1974 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1924 - 1968

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, composer, leader, director, arranger, songwriter, lyricist

Recordings (Results 176-200 of 329 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor PBS-061284 10-in. 6/5/1941 Are you sticking? Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor PBS-061285 10-in. 6/5/1941 Just a-settin' and a-rockin' Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor PBS-061286 10-in. 6/5/1941 The giddybug gallop Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor PBS-061318 10-in. 6/26/1941 Chocolate shake Ivie Anderson ; Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor PBS-061319 10-in. 6/26/1941 I got it bad and that ain't good Ivie Anderson ; Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, composer, arranger, director  
Victor PBS-061338 10-in. 7/2/1941 Clementine Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, director  
Victor PBS-061339 10-in. 7/2/1941 The brown skin gal (In calico gown) Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor PBS-061340 10-in. 7/2/1941 Jump for joy Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; with female vocal solo composer, instrumentalist, piano, director  
Victor PBS-061341 10-in. 7/2/1941 Moon over Cuba Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band arranger, instrumentalist, piano, director  
Victor PBS-061684 10-in. 9/26/1941 Five o'clock drag Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, director, composer  
Victor PBS-061685 10-in. 9/26/1941 Rocks in my bed Ivie Anderson ; Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer, director  
Victor PBS-061686 10-in. 9/26/1941 Bli-blip Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor PBS-061687 10-in. 9/26/1941 Chelsea Bridge Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor PBS-061941 10-in. 12/2/1941 Raincheck Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, director  
Victor PBS-061942 10-in. 12/2/1941 What good would it do? Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor PBS-061943 10-in. 12/2/1941 I dont know what kind of blues I got Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra ; Herb Jeffries Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor BS-063891 10-in. 5/13/1941 Ring dem bells Fats Waller Piano solo composer  
Victor BS-065604 10-in. 5/14/1941 Dear old Southland Duke Ellington Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-065605 10-in. 5/14/1941 Solitude Duke Ellington Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BS-067551 10-in. 8/11/1941 Sophisticated lady Dixieland Octet ; Henry Levine ; Dinah Shore Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-070682 10-in. 1/21/1942 Perdido Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, director  
Victor BS-070683 10-in. 1/21/1942 The "C" jam blues Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, composer, director  
Victor BS-070684 10-in. 1/21/1942 Moon mist Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, director  
Victor BVE-Test-401 10-in. 11/10/1928 Since you went away Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 81910 10-in. 8/12/1924 Choo choo Van and Schenck Male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
(Results 176-200 of 329 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Ellington, Duke," accessed December 1, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102155.

Ellington, Duke. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102155.

"Ellington, Duke." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 1 December 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102155

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