Edward Kennedy â€śDukeâ€ť Ellington (April 29, 1899â€“May 24, 1974) was an American jazz composer, pianist, and band leader who has been one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music. As a composer and a band leader especially, Ellington's reputation has increased since his death, with thematic repackagings of his signature music often becoming best-sellers.
A man of suave demeanor and puckish wit that masked occasional brusqueness, Ellington preferred to call his style and sound "American music" rather than just jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category," including and especially many of the musicians who served with his orchestra. Some of them were considered among the giants of jazz in their own rightâ€”particularly reedmen Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney, and Paul Gonsalves; trumpeters Bubber Miley, Cootie Williams, Clark Terry, William "Cat" Anderson, and Ray Nance (who also played violin), trombonists ...
Track listing: I Can't Get StartedCong-GoBody and SoulBlues for JerryFountainebleau ForestSummertimeIt's Bad to Be ForgottenA Hundred Dreams AgoSoSearching (Pleading for Love)Springtime in AfricaLotus BlossomAll the Things You Are (take 1)All the Things You Are (take 2)Piano Improvisation No. 2Piano Improvisation No. 3Piano Improvisation No. 4Piano Improvisation No. 1
Track listing: Take the "A" TrainSatin DollCaravanSkillipoopInto Each Life Some Rain Must Fall (Duke's Poetry)Blues Medley: Happy-Go-Lucky Local / John Sander's Blues (E & D Blues) / "C" Jam BluesCarolina Shout (The Lion)TonkThings Ain't What They Used to BeMelancholia / Reflections in DLittle African FlowerBird of ParadiseThe Single Petal of a Rose
Track listing: TonkDrawing Room BluesFrankie and JohnnyJumpin' Room OnlyLots O' FingersDear Old Southland (take 1)Solitude (take 1)Solitude (take 2)Lotus BlossomPither Panther Patter (take 1)Pither Panther Patter (take 2)Body and Soul (take 1)Body and Soul (take 2)Body and Soul (take 3)Sophisticated Lady (take 1)Sophisticated Lady (take 2)Mr. J.B. Blues (take 1)Mr. J.B. Blues (take 2)House of LordsThe Second Portrait of the LionTake the "A" Train