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 201-225 of 329 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Columbia||W141374||10-in.||12/10/1925||Jig walk||Ipana Troubadours||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Columbia||W143705||10-in.||3/22/1927||East St. Louis toodle-o||Duke Ellington ; Washingtonians||Jazz/dance band||composer, leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W143706||10-in.||3/22/1927||Hop head||Duke Ellington ; Washingtonians||Jazz/dance band||composer, leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W143707||10-in.||3/22/1927||Down in our alley blues||Duke Ellington ; Washingtonians||Jazz/dance band||leader, composer, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W144667||10-in.||9/14/1927||Birmingham breakdown||Arkansaw Travellers [Red Nichols Orchestra]||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Columbia||145488||10-in.||1/9/1928||Sweet Mamma (Papa's getting mad)||Washingtonians||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||145489||10-in.||1/9/1928||Stack o' Lee blues||Washingtonians||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||145490||10-in.||1/9/1928||Bugle call rag||Washingtonians||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W148170||10-in.||4/4/1929||I must have that man||Joe Turner and his Memphis Men||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W148171||10-in.||4/4/1929||Freeze and melt||Joe Turner and his Memphis Men||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W148172||10-in.||4/4/1929||Mississippi moan||Joe Turner and his Memphis Men||Jazz/dance band||leader, composer, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W148640||10-in.||5/28/1929||That rhythm man||Sonny Greer and his Memphis Men||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W148641||10-in.||5/28/1929||Beggars blues||Sonny Greer and his Memphis Men||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W148642||10-in.||5/28/1929||Saturday night function||Sonny Greer and his Memphis Men||Jazz/dance band||composer, leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W150165||10-in.||4/3/1930||The mooch||Ten Black Berries||Jazz/dance band||composer, leader|
|Columbia||W150166||10-in.||4/3/1930||Ragamuffin Romeo||Ten Black Berries||Jazz/dance band||leader|
|Columbia||W150167||10-in.||4/3/1930||East St. Louis toodle-o||Ten Black Berries||Jazz/dance band||leader, composer|
|Columbia||W150584||10-in.||6/12/1930||Sweet mama||Ten Black Berries||Jazz/dance band||leader, composer, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W150585||10-in.||6/12/1930||Hot and bothered||Ten Black Berries||Jazz/dance band||leader, composer, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W150586||10-in.||6/12/1930||Double check stomp||Ten Black Berries||Jazz/dance band||leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W150590||10-in.||6/12/1930||Black and tan fantasy||Ten Black Berries||Jazz/dance band||composer, leader, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W151503||10-in.||4/10/1931||Black and tan fantasy||Clyde McCoy Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Columbia||W151615||10-in.||6/18/1931||Greasy plate stomp||Blue Six ; Trombone Red||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W151616||10-in.||6/18/1931||B flat blues||Blue Six ; Trombone Red||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||W151764||10-in.||9/2/1931||Mood indigo||Clyde McCoy Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||songwriter|
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.
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