Your email address will not be published. Skip to content. Top 10 Favorite Duke Ellington Tracks. Product details Package Dimensions : 5. Pages with related products. See and discover other items: chronological jazz. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. Get to Know Us. In , Ellington received another reminder of his mortality when he was diagnosed with cancer in both lungs.
Ellington did not share this news in public, but on October 24, when he premiered his Third Sacred Concert at Westminster Abbey, his health was failing him. The preparations for the concert were exhausting and troublesome. The band had rehearsed some of the music after hours at the Chicago nightclub, Mr.
However, Ellington continued to tinker with the music right up until the performance. Reportedly, Ellington had stayed up over 48 hours straight editing and re-writing music—a difficult task for anyone, but especially for a year-old man with a fatal disease. Ellington and the band took the red-eye to London, landing there the day before the concert.
They went right into rehearsal. Paul Gonsalves had an epileptic seizure on the day of the concert and was taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, Alice Babs had flown in from Sweden, and she learned her songs just hours before taking the stage. Shortly before the concert, Mercer Ellington went backstage to check on his father: He was lying on the cot, barely breathing, looking like a very tired, exhausted old man.
From the way he was breathing, I began to get worried. However, at that moment, someone came to the dressing room to announce the arrival of Princess Margaret. Ellington sprung to his feet, put on his tails, and escorted the Princess to her seat. He would manage another magical rejuvenation the very next day.
The melody is based on a simple two-note motive which moves in predictable ways to various pitch levels. Harry Carney takes his usual spot in the opening number of the sacred concerts, reprising the melody with his still-strong baritone sax.
When Babs sings the tune again, she is backed with sustained chords by the choir. Ellington improvises a solo piano interlude and then provides the sole accompaniment for Babs as she returns for the final chorus.
The choir and trombones supply the quiet final chord. The recording starts with a fade-up on the unaccompanied choir, who are in the midst of the title phrase. Ashby returns, eventually leading the band in a melody statement and variation.
Then, in the most memorable part of the concert, trombonist Art Baron takes up the recorder for an unaccompanied solo. Babs and the choir then perform a wordless and tranquil piece which could stand by itself as a concert piece. Ellington narrates a short passage with subdued backing from the choir. The choir hesitantly enters with a reiteration of the main melody, with Babs improvising fills above. There is a brief waltz-time variation before a somewhat sudden and overblown ending.
After the concert, there were the usual groups of well-wishers to greet Ellington and the band. Ellington was as gracious as his health would allow, but eventually left for 10 Downing Street , where he was expected for a dinner party given by the Prime Minister in honor of the maestro.
Ellington stayed there only 15 minutes, never took off his coat, and left, pleading exhaustion. The next day, the band traveled to Malmo, Sweden for a concert. Alice Babs was in the audience, and Ellington—now unexpectedly lively—invited Babs to the stage. Instead of the usual one-tune guest appearance, Babs was encouraged by Ellington to sing seven numbers with the band! Just a few days later, Babs received a frantic call from Ellington.
The promoters had mistakenly assumed that Ellington was touring with both a choir and his band. Ellington did not have a touring choir and requested a local choir that had performed the Second Sacred Concert in Barcelona back in Unfortunately, they were not available, and Ellington had to scramble to assemble a sacred concert without the necessary choral forces. Babs was told that she would perform her usual solo numbers, and that it would be greatly appreciated if she could learn and sing some of the choir parts with Moore and Watkins.
Babs agreed to help, but she was understandably nervous about the situation. She flew to Barcelona, arriving just hours before the concert. She fortified herself with a touch of whiskey, and made her way to the church, where Ellington had promised a pm rehearsal ahead of the pm concert. Ellington and the band failed to show up until , leaving Babs to rely on her sight-reading skills to get through the concert. At the age of seven, Ellington began taking piano lessons from Marietta Clinkscales.
Daisy surrounded her son with dignified women to reinforce his manners and teach him to live elegantly. So he called me Duke. Though Ellington took piano lessons, he was more interested in baseball.
He got his first job selling peanuts at Washington Senators baseball games. He created the piece by ear, as he had not yet learned to read and write music. I was established as having my own repertoire. Ellington began listening to, watching, and imitating ragtime pianists, not only in Washington, D. Ellington was also inspired by his first encounters with stride pianists James P.
Johnson and Luckey Roberts. His attachment to music was so strong that in he turned down an art scholarship to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Three months before graduating he dropped out of Armstrong Manual Training School, where he was studying commercial art. Working as a freelance sign-painter from , Ellington began assembling groups to play for dances. Ellington built his music business through his day job: when a customer asked him to make a sign for a dance or party, he would ask if they had musical entertainment; if not, Ellington would offer to play for the occasion.
He also had a messenger job with the U. Navy and State departments, where he made a wide range of contacts. Ellington played throughout the Washington, D. The band included childhood friend Otto Hardwick, who started on string bass, then moved to C-melody sax and finally settled on alto saxophone; Arthur Whetsol on trumpet; Elmer Snowden on banjo; and Sonny Greer on drums.
The band thrived, performing for both African-American and white audiences, a rarity in the segregated society of the time. After the young musicians left the Sweatman Orchestra to strike out on their own, they found an emerging jazz scene that was highly competitive and hard to crack. They hustled pool by day and played whatever gigs they could find. They played at rent-house parties for income. After a few months, the young musicians returned to Washington, D. This was followed in September by a move to the Hollywood Club — 49th and Broadway — and a four-year engagement, which gave Ellington a solid artistic base.
He was known to play the bugle at the end of each performance. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Release Date January 12, Genre Jazz. Recording Date August 26, - November 23, Dinner Ambiance. Track Listing. Back Home Again In Indiana. James F. Blue Is the Night.Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, – May 24, ) was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 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 mids onward and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in.