Duke Ellington’s music career was as distinguished as he was. His natural affinity for melody and instrumentation made him one of the archetypes of big band leaders. “Jubilee Stomp” is charismatic from beginning to end, drawing in its listener by showcasing several instruments, therefor highlighting the distinct voice of each. This is a song without lyrics yet cascades into beautiful arches and themes.
“Jubilee Stomp” (play/download mp3)
Listening to the infamous Duke Ellington will make you swing your body from head to toe. Duke Ellington’s “Bandanna Babies” is one of those songs that gives you no excuse to get up off your chair and move your hips to the jazzy sounds of the trumpet and trombone, and to the beautiful voice of Dorothy Fields. “Bandanna Babies” is definitely a song worth giving an ear to. Download and enjoy!
Duke Ellington – “Bandana Babies” (play/download)
On March 26, 1928, Duke Ellington recorded the first version of “Black Beauty,” a song he once called The Portrait of Florence Mills. It is thought to be his tribute to the woman he hailed as one of the best black female performers of the 1920s.
Duke Ellington – “Black Beauty” (play/download mp3)
In 1899 Duke Ellington was born into a nurturing middle-class African American family in Washington DC. Ellington first picked up the piano as a teenager. As he started his road to mastering and innovating how the piano can be played, a young and charismatic Ellington never would have imagined that he would grow up to become one of the most influential musicians in America. “Tiger Rag”
“Tiger Rag“ (play/download mp3)
No other band has so singularly possessed more charm and sophistication than Duke Ellington and The Washingtonians. “Choo Choo” always paints¬† my imagination with images of buttoned up musicians riding in the luxury car headed to a gig in The Big Apple. What I wouldn’t give to be riding the rails with that band. Duke and his band remain to this day, the touchstone of class.
Duke Ellington – “Choo Choo” mp3