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The Duke's Men

Duke Ellington composed for his orchestra as a unit and for his most skilled improvisers as individuals. Beginning in 1934 and up until 1941, miniaturized editions of the Duke Ellington Orchestra recorded under the nominal leadership of four master musicians: trumpeter Cootie Williams & His Rug Cutters, cornetist Rex Stewart & His 52nd Street Stompers, clarinetist Barney Bigard & His Jazzopators, and saxophonist Johnny Hodges & His Orchestra. Each man shared the responsibilities of composing, arranging, and leading the band with Duke, who usually sat in at the piano. With few exceptions, the recordings suggested a distillation of the larger ensemble, with the combined advantages of artistic autonomy and cooperative collaboration. In 1955 and 1956, selected examples of small group swing played by these Ellington offshoot bands during the years 1936-1939 were issued on two different LPs under the heading of The Duke's Men. This billing was invented by executives working for the Epic record label. None of these groups ever recorded under that name. The 1956 album bore the title "Ellington's Sidekicks." As an umbrella term "The Duke's Men" would reappear during the '90s when Columbia reissued most of the small band material dating from the '30s in two double-disc sets. While each of the four small group headliners would subsequently record as a leader under many different circumstances, the taproots of those later developments led directly back to the recordings they made before the Second World War as leaders under the influence and direct supervision of Duke Ellington. ~ arwulf arwulf
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Chase

1. Comin' Home Baby

2. I'll Back You Up

3. The Quickest Road

4. I Believe

5. Your Move

6. Get Away Jordan

7. Either Way

8. Come Fly With Me

9. Steal Away

10. This Woman's Work

11. Who Loves You / Who's Lovin' You

12. Plane

13. She's Always A Woman

14. Gone

15. Ain't No Sunshine

16. Rocksteady

17. What A Good Boy

18. Party In The U.S.A.

x

Track List: The Works

1. Bang Bang

2. Chandelier

3. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

4. Helplessness Blues

5. Superpower

6. Riptide

7. Dreaming With A Broken Heart

8. Used To Love U

9. Someone To Watch Over Me

10. Atlanta Song

11. Love Never Felt So Good

12. Lost In The Light

13. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

14. Domino

x

Track List: What A Trip

1. Grazing In The Grass

2. Silver Thunderbird

3. When You Come Back Down

4. For Once In My Life

5. Love You I Do

6. Take Me To The Pilot

7. I Don't Want To Be

8. Surprise Surprise

9. City Of Blinding Lights

10. Come Around

11. Through The Fire

12. Umbrella

Comments

Report as inappropriate
dskool4525
Didn't know Sam Tsui was in a vocal group... Dude is awesome.
Report as inappropriate
Who is that lead???
Report as inappropriate
mmaxwell17
I like it. Good singing group. Interesting musical setup. Move voices..
Report as inappropriate
Agreed!
Report as inappropriate
strong lead!

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