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Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. The two aspects of his career were related; Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his writing specifically to showcase the talents of his bandmembers, many of whom remained with him for long periods. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. In addition to touring year in and year out, he recorded extensively, resulting in a gigantic body of work that was still being assessed a quarter century after his death.

Ellington was the son of a White House butler, James Edward Ellington, and thus grew up in comfortable surroundings. He began piano lessons at age seven and was writing music by his teens. He dropped out of high school in his junior year in 1917 to pursue a career in music. At first, he booked and performed in bands in the Washington, D.C., area, but in September 1923 the Washingtonians, a five-piece group of which he was a member, moved permanently to New York, where they gained a residency in the Times Square venue The Hollywood Club (later The Kentucky Club). They made their first recordings in November 1924, and cut tunes for different record companies under a variety of pseudonyms, so that several current major labels, notably Sony, Universal, and BMG, now have extensive holdings of their work from the period in their archives, which are reissued periodically.

The group gradually increased in size and came under Ellington's leadership. They played in what was called "jungle" style, their sly arrangements often highlighted by the muted growling sound of trumpeter James "Bubber" Miley. A good example of this is Ellington's first signature song, "East St. Louis Toodle-oo," which the band first recorded for Vocalion Records in November 1926, and which became their first chart single in a re-recorded version for Columbia in July 1927.

The Ellington band moved uptown to The Cotton Club in Harlem on December 4, 1927. Their residency at the famed club, which lasted more than three years, made Ellington a nationally known musician due to radio broadcasts that emanated from the bandstand. In 1928, he had two two-sided hits: "Black and Tan Fantasy"/"Creole Love Call" on Victor (now BMG) and "Doin' the New Low Down"/"Diga Diga Doo" on OKeh (now Sony), released as by the Harlem Footwarmers. "The Mooche" on OKeh peaked in the charts at the start of 1929.

While maintaining his job at The Cotton Club, Ellington took his band downtown to play in the Broadway musical Show Girl, featuring the music of George Gershwin, in the summer of 1929. The following summer, the band took a leave of absence to head out to California and appear in the film Check and Double Check. From the score, "Three Little Words," with vocals by the Rhythm Boys featuring Bing Crosby, became a number one hit on Victor in November 1930; its flip side, "Ring Dem Bells," also reached the charts.

The Ellington band left The Cotton Club in February 1931 to begin a tour that, in a sense, would not end until the leader's death 43 years later. At the same time, Ellington scored a Top Five hit with an instrumental version of one of his standards, "Mood Indigo" released on Victor. The recording was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. As "the Jungle Band," the Ellington Orchestra charted on Brunswick later in 1931 with "Rockin' in Rhythm" and with the lengthy composition "Creole Rhapsody," pressed on both sides of a 78 single, an indication that Ellington's goals as a writer were beginning to extend beyond brief works. (A second version of the piece was a chart entry on Victor in March 1932.) "Limehouse Blues" was a chart entry on Victor in August 1931, then in the winter of 1932, Ellington scored a Top Ten hit on Brunswick with one of his best-remembered songs, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," featuring the vocals of Ivie Anderson. This was still more than three years before the official birth of the swing era, and Ellington helped give the period its name. Ellington's next major hit was another signature song for him, "Sophisticated Lady." His instrumental version became a Top Five hit in the spring of 1933, with its flip side, a treatment of "Stormy Weather," also making the Top Five.

The Ellington Orchestra made another feature film, Murder at the Vanities, in the spring of 1934. Their instrumental rendition of "Cocktails for Two" from the score hit number one on Victor in May, and they hit the Top Five with both sides of the Brunswick release "Moon Glow"/"Solitude" that fall. The band also appeared in the Mae West film Belle of the Nineties and played on the soundtrack of Many Happy Returns. Later in the fall, the band was back in the Top Ten with "Saddest Tale," and they had two Top Ten hits in 1935, "Merry-Go-Round" and "Accent on Youth." While the latter was scoring in the hit parade in September, Ellington recorded another of his extended compositions, "Reminiscing in Tempo," which took up both sides of two 78s. Even as he became more ambitious, however, he was rarely out of the hit parade, scoring another Top Ten hit, "Cotton," in the fall of 1935, and two more, "Love Is Like a Cigarette" and "Oh Babe! Maybe Someday," in 1936. The band returned to Hollywood in 1936 and recorded music for the Marx Brothers' film A Day at the Races and for Hit Parade of 1937. Meanwhile, they were scoring Top Ten hits with "Scattin' at the Kit-Kat" and the swing standard "Caravan," co-written by valve trombonist Juan Tizol, and Ellington was continuing to pen extended instrumental works such as "Diminuendo in Blue" and "Crescendo in Blue." "If You Were in My Place (What Would You Do?)," a vocal number featuring Ivie Anderson, was a Top Ten hit in the spring of 1938, and Ellington scored his third number one hit in April with an instrumental version of another standard, "I Let a Song Go out of My Heart." In the fall, he was back in the Top Ten with a version of the British show tune "Lambeth Walk."

The Ellington band underwent several notable changes at the end of the 1930s. After several years recording more or less regularly for Brunswick, Ellington moved to Victor. In early 1939 Billy Strayhorn, a young composer, arranger, and pianist, joined the organization. He did not usually perform with the orchestra, but he became Ellington's composition partner to the extent that soon it was impossible to tell where Ellington's writing left off and Strayhorn's began. Two key personnel changes strengthened the outfit with the acquisition of bassist Jimmy Blanton in September and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster in December. Their impact on Ellington's sound was so profound that their relatively brief tenure has been dubbed "the Blanton-Webster Band" by jazz fans. These various changes were encapsulated by the Victor release of Strayhorn's "Take the 'A' Train," a swing era standard, in the summer of 1941. The recording was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

That same summer, Ellington was in Los Angeles, where his stage musical, Jump for Joy, opened on July 10 and ran for 101 performances. Unfortunately, the show never went to Broadway, but among its songs was "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," another standard. The U.S. entry into World War II in December 1941 and the onset of the recording ban called by the American Federation of Musicians in August 1942 slowed the Ellington band's momentum. Unable to record and with touring curtailed, Ellington found an opportunity to return to extended composition with the first of a series of annual recitals at Carnegie Hall on January 23, 1943, at which he premiered "Black, Brown and Beige." And he returned to the movies, appearing in Cabin in the Sky and Reveille with Beverly. Meanwhile, the record labels, stymied for hits, began looking into their artists' back catalogs. Lyricist Bob Russell took Ellington's 1940 composition "Never No Lament" and set a lyric to it, creating "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." The Ink Spots scored with a vocal version (recorded a cappella), and Ellington's three-year-old instrumental recording was also a hit, reaching the pop Top Ten and number one on the recently instituted R&B charts. Russell repeated his magic with another 1940 Ellington instrumental, "Concerto for Cootie" (a showcase for trumpeter Cootie Williams), creating "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me." Nearly four years after it was recorded, the retitled recording hit the pop Top Ten and number one on the R&B charts for Ellington in early 1944, while newly recorded vocal cover versions also scored. Ellington's vintage recordings became ubiquitous on the top of the R&B charts during 1943-1944; he also hit number one with "A Slip of the Lip (Can Sink a Ship)," "Sentimental Lady," and "Main Stem." With the end of the recording ban in November 1944, Ellington was able to record a song he had composed with his saxophonist, Johnny Hodges, set to a lyric by Don George and Harry James, "I'm Beginning to See the Light." The James recording went to number one in April 1945, but Ellington's recording was also a Top Ten hit.

With the end of the war, Ellington's period as a major commercial force on records largely came to an end, but unlike other big bandleaders, who disbanded as the swing era passed, Ellington, who predated the era, simply went on touring, augmenting his diminished road revenues with his songwriting royalties to keep his band afloat. In a musical climate in which jazz was veering away from popular music and toward bebop, and popular music was being dominated by singers, the Ellington band no longer had a place at the top of the business; but it kept working. And Ellington kept trying more extended pieces. In 1946, he teamed with lyricist John Latouche to write the music for the Broadway musical Beggar's Holiday, which opened on December 26 and ran 108 performances. And he wrote his first full-length background score for a feature film with 1950's The Asphalt Jungle.

The first half of the 1950s was a difficult period for Ellington, who suffered many personnel defections. (Some of those musicians returned later.) But the band made a major comeback at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 7, 1956, when they kicked into a version of "Dimuendo and Crescendo in Blue" that found saxophonist Paul Gonsalves taking a long, memorable solo. Ellington appeared on the cover of Time magazine, and he signed a new contract with Columbia Records, which released Ellington at Newport, the best-selling album of his career. Freed of the necessity of writing hits and spurred by the increased time available on the LP record, Ellington concentrated more on extended compositions for the rest of his career. His comeback as a live performer led to increased opportunities to tour, and in the fall of 1958 he undertook his first full-scale tour of Europe. For the rest of his life, he would be a busy world traveler.

Ellington appeared in and scored the 1959 film Anatomy of a Murder, and its soundtrack won him three of the newly instituted Grammy Awards, for best performance by a dance band, best musical composition of the year, and best soundtrack. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his next score, Paris Blues (1961). In August 1963, his stage work My People, a cavalcade of African-American history, was mounted in Chicago as part of the Century of Negro Progress Exposition.

Meanwhile, of course, he continued to lead his band in recordings and live performances. He switched from Columbia to Frank Sinatra's Reprise label (purchased by Warner Bros. Records) and made some pop-oriented records that dismayed his fans but indicated he had not given up on broad commercial aspirations. Nor had he abandoned his artistic aspirations, as the first of his series of sacred concerts, performed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on September 16, 1965, indicated. And he still longed for a stage success, turning once again to Broadway with the musical Pousse-Café, which opened on March 18, 1966, but closed within days. Three months later, the Sinatra film Assault on a Queen, with an Ellington score, opened in movie houses around the country. (His final film score, for Change of Mind, appeared in 1969.)

Ellington became a Grammy favorite in his later years. He won a 1966 Grammy for best original jazz composition for "In the Beginning, God," part of his sacred concerts. His 1967 album Far East Suite, inspired by a tour of the Middle and Far East, won the best instrumental jazz performance Grammy that year, and he took home his sixth Grammy in the same category in 1969 for And His Mother Called Him Bill, a tribute to Strayhorn, who had died in 1967. "New Orleans Suite" earned another Grammy in the category in 1971, as did "Togo Brava Suite" in 1972, and the posthumous The Ellington Suites in 1976.

Ellington continued to perform regularly until he was overcome by illness in the spring of 1974, succumbing to lung cancer and pneumonia. His death did not end the band, which was taken over by his son Mercer, who led it until his own death in 1996, and then by a grandson. Meanwhile, Ellington finally enjoyed the stage hit he had always wanted when the revue Sophisticated Ladies, featuring his music, opened on Broadway on March 1, 1981, and ran 767 performances.

The many celebrations of the Ellington centenary in 1999 demonstrated that he continued to be regarded as the major composer of jazz. If that seemed something of an anomaly in a musical style that emphasizes spontaneous improvisation over written composition, Ellington was talented enough to overcome the oddity. He wrote primarily for his band, allowing his veteran players room to solo within his compositions, and as a result created a body of work that seemed likely to help jazz enter the academic and institutional realms, which was very much its direction at the end of the 20th century. In that sense, he foreshadowed the future of jazz and could lay claim to being one of its most influential practitioners. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: An Intimate Piano Session

1. The Anticipation

2. Le Sucrier Velours, Pt. 1

3. Lotus Blossom, Pt. 1

4. A Blue Mural From Two Perspectives, Pt. 1

5. I'm Afraid (Of Loving You Too Much)

6. I Didn't Know About You

7. Loco Madi

8. Lotus Blossom, Pt. 2

9. New World A-Comin'

10. Le Sucrier Velours, Pt. 2

11. Melancholia

12. Single Petal Of A Rose

13. The Blues Ain't

14. Come Sunday

15. My Mother, My Father And Love

16. A Blue Mural From Two Perspectives, Pt. 2

17. Black Swan

18. The Lake

19. Satin Doll

20. Just Squeeze Me


Track List: Duke Ellington, Swingin' on His Best Tunes

2. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)

3. Rocks in My Bed

4. Take 'A' Train

5. Jump for Joy

6. Sentimental Lady

7. On the Sunny Side of the Street

9. The Mooche

10. Tea for Two

11. Tootie for Cootie

12. Prelude to a Kiss

13. In a Mellotone

15. Stompin' at the Savoy

16. One O'Clock Jump

17. Bojangles

18. The C Jam Blues

19. Love You Madly

20. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)


Track List: The Incomparable Duke Ellington

2. Moon Over Dixie

5. Lazy Rhapsody

7. Blue Tune

8. Take It Easy

9. Saratoga Swing

10. The Blues I Love To Sing

11. Creole Love Call

12. Rockin' In Rhythm

13. Cotton Club Stomp

14. Rose Room

16. The Sheik Of Araby


Track List: The Best Vol. V

1. Across The Track Blues

2. Chloe

3. I Never Felt This Way Before

4. The Sidewalks Of New York

5. Flamingo

6. The Girl In My Dreams Tries To Look Like You

7. Take The "A" Train

8. Jumpin' Punkins

9. John Hardy's Wife

10. Blue Serge

11. After All

12. Bakiff

13. Are You Sticking?

14. Just A-Settin' And A-Rockin'

15. The Giddybug Gallop

16. Chocolate Shake

17. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)

18. Clementine

20. Jump For Joy


Track List: Grandes Éxitos, Vol. 3

1. Bojangles

2. Cotton Tail

3. Never No Lament

4. Blue Goose

5. Dusk

6. A Portrait of Bert Williams

7. Harlem Air-Shaft

8. At a Dixie Roadside Dinner

10. Rumpus in Richmond

11. My Greatest Mistake

12. Sepia Panorama

13. There Shall Be No Night

14. In a Mellotone

15. Five O'clock Whistle

16. Warm Valley

17. The Flaming Sword


Track List: Jazz Party In Stereo


Track List: The Original Recordings That Inspired The Broadway Hit "AFTER MIDNIGHT"

1. Daybreak Express (Remastered [Take 2 / Alternate Take])

2. Happy As The Day Is Long

3. I've Got The World On A String

4. Braggin' In Brass (From The Broadway Revue, "Cotton Club Parade Of 1938")

5. I Can't Give You Anything But Love (From The Broadway Revue, "Blackbirds Of 1928")

6. Diga Diga Doo (From The Broadway Revue, "Blackbirds Of 1928")

7. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

8. Stormy Weather (From The Broadway Revue, "22nd Edition Of Cotton Club Parade")

9. Raisin' The Rent (From The Broadway Revue, "Cotton Club Parade Of 1933")

10. Creole Love Call

11. The Mooche

12. Black And Tan Fantasy

13. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

14. Cotton Club Stomp

15. Rockin' In Rhythm


Track List: The Platinum Collection

1. Take the a Train

2. Braggin in Brass

3. C Jam Blues

5. Jungle Jamboree

6. Harlem Air Shaft

9. Main Stem

10. In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree

11. Boy Meets Horn

12. Drop Me off at Harlem

13. Limehouse Blues

14. I Don`t Mean a Thing

15. Echoes of Harlem

16. Stepping into Swing Society

17. Things Aint What They Used to Be

18. Clarinet Lament

19. Trumpet in Spades

20. A Portrait of Bert Williams


Track List: Master Of Jazz (Swing) (Live)


Track List: Archive '57-'60

10. Such Sweet Thunder

11. Sonnet For Caesar

12. Sonnet To Hank Cinq

13. Lady Mac

14. Sonnet In Search Of A Moor

15. The Telecasters

16. Up And Down, Up And Down (I Will Lead Them Up And Down)

17. Sonnet For Sister Kate

18. The Star-Crossed Lovers

19. Madness In Great Ones

20. Half The Fun

21. Circle Of Fourths


Track List: Sangare Till Gladje 2012


Track List: Dance Date

1. Stardust

2. Paris Blues

4. Overture (Nutcracker Suite)

5. Tenderly

7. Jeep's Blues

8. Moonglow


Track List: The Artist (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

13. Jubilee Stomp


Track List: The Bethlehen Years Volume 1

1. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

2. Creole Love Call

3. Stompy Jones

4. The Jeep Is Jumpin'

5. Jack The Bear

6. In A Mellow Tone

7. Ko-Ko

8. Midriff

9. Stomp, Look And Listen

10. Unbooted Character

11. Lonesome Lullaby


Track List: Duke Ellington. The Cotton Club Years

1. Washington Wobble

2. Creole Love Call

3. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

5. Jubilee Stomp

6. The Mooche

7. Tiger Rag (Parts 1 & 2)

9. Cotton Club Stomp

10. Wall Street Wail

11. Ring Dem Bells

12. Mood Indigo (Dreamy Blues)

13. Rockin’ In Rhythm

14. Echoes Of The Jungle


Track List: The Duke 1940, Vol. 1

1. The Mooche

2. Ko-Ko

3. P**sy Willow

4. Chatterbox

5. Mood Indigo

6. Harlem Air Shaft

7. Warm Valley

8. Stompy Jones

9. Bojangles

10. You Took Advantage Of Me

11. Rumpus In Richmond

12. The Flaming Sword

13. Never No Lament

14. Clarinet Lament, "Barney's Concerto"


Track List: The Duke 1940, Vol. 2

1. Slap Happy

2. Sepia Panorama

3. Boy Meets Horn

4. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

5. Oh, Babe! Maybe Someday

6. 5 O'Clock Whistle

7. Rockin' In Rhythm

8. Sophisticated Lady

9. Whispering Grass

10. Conga Brava

11. Star Dust

12. Rose Of The Rio Grande

13. St. Louis Blues


Track List: The Duke Swings Vol 2

1. There Shall Be No Night

2. Tonight I Shall Sleep With A Smile

3. Translucency

4. Black And Tan Fantasy

5. Depk

6. Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me

7. Good Queen Bess

8. The Black And Tan Fantasy

9. Just Squeeze Me

10. Mood Indigo

11. Something 'Bout Believing

12. The Brown-Skin Girl (In The Calico Gown)

13. The Lord's Prayer

14. The Minor Goes Muggin'

15. The Mystery Song

16. The Sidewalks Of New York

17. Bandanna Babies


Track List: The Duke Swings Vol 4

1. So Far, So Good

2. That's the Blues, Old Man

5. Timon Of Athens March

6. Warm Valley

7. Moon Over Cuba

8. My Little Brown Book

9. New World A-Comin'

10. Pretty Woman

11. You Don't Love Me No More

12. Conga Brava

13. I Must Have That Man

14. Ebony Rhapsody

15. What Am I Here For


Track List: 1941-1945

Disc 1

1. Bli Blip

5. C Blues

6. June

7. Raincheck

9. I Don't Know What Kind Of Blues I Got

11. Perdido

12. The "C" Jam Blues

13. Moon Mist

14. What Am I Here For?

15. I Don't Mind

16. Someone

17. My Little Brown Book

18. Main Stem

19. Johnny Come Lately

20. Hayfoot Strawfoot

Disc 2

1. Sentimental Lady

2. A Slip Of The Lip

3. Sherman Shuffle

4. Boy Meets Horn

5. Hop Skip Jump

7. Main Stem

8. Creole Love Call

10. My Little Brown Book

13. I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues

14. I'm Beginning To See The Light

15. Don't You Know I Care

16. I Didn't Know About You

17. Work Song

18. Come Sunday

19. The Blues

Disc 3

1. Carnegie Blues

2. Blue Cellophane

4. My Heart Sings

7. The Mooche

11. Frantic Fantasy

12. It Don't Mean A Thing

15. The Kissing Bug

16. Everything But You

18. Prelude To A Kiss

19. Caravan

20. Black And Tan Fantasy

Disc 4

2. Harlem Air Shaft

3. The Minor Goes A Muggin'

4. In A Sentimental Mood

5. It Don't Mean A Thing

6. Sophisticated Lady

7. Tonight I Shall Sleep

8. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart

9. Solitude

10. Frankie And Johnny

11. Jumpin Room Only

12. Black Beauty

13. Every Hour On The Hour

14. Hollywood Hangover

15. Kissing Bug

16. In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree

19. Sugar Hill Penthouse

20. Diminuendo In Blue/Crescendo In Blue


Track List: Conga Brava

1. Conga Brava

2. Concerto For Cootie

3. Me And You

4. Cotton Tail

5. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Never No Lament)

7. Dusk

8. Bojangles

9. A Portrait Of Bert Williams

10. Blue Goose

11. Harlem Airshaft

12. At A Dixie Roadside Dinner

13. All Too Soon

14. Rumpus In Richmond


Track List: 100 Rare Sessions

Disc 1

2. Night Song

4. Tough Truckin'

6. Finesse

9. Lost In Meditation

16. Swingin' On The Campus

25. Give It Up

35. Stompy Jones

38. Indigo Echoes

41. Echoes Of Harlem

42. Black And Beauty

46. Caravan

48. Rent Party Blues

49. You Can Count On Me

50. Black Butterfly

Disc 2

1. Clouds In My Heart

2. Carnival In Caroline

4. Blue Light

11. Blues

12. Jeep's Blues

17. Toasted Pickle

23. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me

24. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart

25. Informal Blues

27. Truly Wonderful

30. Swingtime In Honolulu

31. Fat Stuff Serenade

33. My Heart Jumped Over The Moon

37. Tiger Rag

39. Pyramid

40. Rexatious

42. My Honey's Lovin' Arms

43. A Sailboat In The Moonlight

45. Four And One-Half Street

48. Alabamy Home

50. Lament For A Lost Love


Track List: Johnny Come Lately

1. The "C" Jam Blues

2. Moon Mist

3. I Don't Mind

4. Someone

5. Johnny Come Lately

6. Hayfoot, Strawfoot

7. A Slip Of The Lip

8. Sherman Shuffle

10. Mood To Be Wooed

11. Kissing Bug

12. Everything But You

14. Prelude To A Kiss

15. Caravan

16. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)


Track List: Primping For The Prom

2. B Sharp Boston

3. Cop Out

4. Walkin' And Singin' The Blues

5. Suburban Beauty

6. Jingle Bells

8. Snibor

9. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me

10. Progressive Gavotte


Track List: Moon Mist

1. Moon Mist

2. What Am I Here For?

3. I Don't Mind

4. Someone

5. My Little Brown Book

6. Main Stem

7. Johnny Come Lately

8. Hayfoot Strawfoot

11. A Slip Of The Lip

12. Sherman Shuffle


Track List: Warm Valley

1. My Greatest Mistake

4. There Shall Be No Night

5. In A Mellotone

6. Five O'Clock Whistle

7. Warm Valley

8. Pitter Panther Patter (1)

9. Pitter Panther Patter (2)


Track List: Magenta Haze

1. Magenta Haze

2. The Eighth Veil

3. Transblucency

4. Embraceable You

5. Hey, Baby!

6. Come Rain Or Come Shine

7. Overture To A Jam Session

8. Jam-A-Ditty


Track List: The Mooche

1. The Mooche

2. Hot And Bothered

3. Take It Easy

4. Jubilee Stomp

5. Blues With A Feeling

6. Misty Mornin'

7. Black And Tan Fantasy

8. Jungle Jamboree

13. Ring Dem Bells

14. Blues Of The Vagabond


Track List: 1934-1936

Disc 1

1. Solitude (Version 1)

2. Blue Feeling

3. Ebony Rhapsody

4. Cocktails For Two

5. Live And Love Tonight

6. I Met My Waterloo

7. My Old Flame (Version 1)

8. Troubled Waters

9. My Old Flame (Version 2)

10. Solitude (Version 2)

11. Saddest Tale

12. Moon Glow

13. Sump And Bout Rhythmn

14. Admiration (Version 1)

15. Farewell Blues

16. Let's Have A Jubilee

17. Porto Rican Chaos

18. Margie

19. Moonlight Fiesta

20. Tough Truckin'

Disc 2

1. The Old Plantation

2. Solace

3. Four And One Half Street

4. Demi-Tasse

5. Indigo Echoes

6. In A Sentimental Mood

7. Showboat Shuffle

8. Merry Go Round

9. Admiration (Version 2)

10. Cotton

11. Truckin'

12. Accent On Youth

13. Reminiscing In Tempo Part 1

14. Reminiscing In Tempo Part 2

15. Reminiscing In Tempo Part 3

16. Reminiscing In Tempo Part 4

17. I Don't Know Why I Love You So

18. Dinah Lou

19. Isn't Love The Strangest Thing

20. No Greater Love

Disc 3

1. Clarinet Lament

2. Echoes Of Harlem

3. Love Is Like A Cigarette

4. Kissin' My Baby Good Night

5. Oh Babe! Maybe Someday

6. Shoe Shine Boy

7. It Was A Sad Night In Harlem

8. Trumpet's In Spades

9. Yearning For Love

10. In A Jam

11. Exposition Swing

12. Uptown Downbeat

13. Rexatious

14. Lazy Man's Shuffle

15. Clouds In My Heart

16. Frolic Sam

17. Caravan

18. Stompy Jones

19. Scattin' At The Cotton Club

20. Black Butterfly

Disc 4

1. Mood Indigo And Solitude

2. Sophisticated Lady And In A Sentimental

3. The New Birmingham Breakdown

4. Scattin' At The Kit Kat

5. I Got To Be A Rug Cutter

6. The New East St. Louis Toodle-O

7. I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me

8. Downtown Uproar

9. Digga Digga Do

10. Blue Reverie

11. Whispering Tiger

12. My Honey's Lovin' Arms

13. Did Anyone Ever Tell You?

14. Alabamy Home

15. Where Are You?

16. There's A Lull In My Life

17. It's Swell Of You

18. You Can't Run Away From Love Tonight

19. Azure

20. The Lady Who Couldn't Be Kissed


Track List: Notations

1. Black And Tan Fantasy

2. Mood Indigo

3. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

4. Chelsea Bridge

5. The Mystery Song

6. Across The Track Blues

7. Hiawatha

8. Battle Of Swing

9. Sepia Panorama

10. Old King Dooji

11. Portrait Of The Lion

12. Creole Love Call

13. Hot And Bothered

14. Harlem Air Shaft

15. Jack The Bear

16. Ko-Ko

17. The Mooche

18. Echoes Of The Jungle

19. New East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

20. Concerto For Cootie

21. Dusk

23. Clarinet Lament

24. Blue Serge


Track List: Greatest Of Big Bands Vol 14 - Part 1

1. Stormy Weather

2. Jack The Bear

3. Ko-ko

4. Congo Brava

5. Echoes Of Harlem (cootie's Concerto)

6. Cotton Tail

7. Never No Lament

8. Bojangles

9. Portrait Of Bert Williams

11. Rumpus In Richmond

12. Sepia Panorama


Track List: Greatest Of Big Bands Vol 2 - Duke Ellington - Part 2

1. Slippery Horn

3. In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree

4. Daybreak Express

5. Stompy Jones

6. Solitude

7. Clarinet Lament (barney's Concerto)

8. Echoes Of Harlem (cootie's Concerto)

9. Trumpet In Spades

10. Caravan


Track List: Hot Feet

1. Big House Blues

2. Sultry Sunset

4. Saratoga Swing

7. Awful Sad

9. The Mooche

11. Time On My Hands

12. Flaming Youth

13. Creole Love Call

14. Saturday Night Function

15. High Life

16. Hollywood Hangover

17. Hot Feet

18. Stevedore Stomp

19. Main Stem

20. Misty Mornin'

21. Play The Blues And Go

23. Rockin' In Rhythm


Track List: Tea for Two

1. Perdido

2. Take the a Train

3. Tea for Two

4. Tiger Rag (Part One)

5. Lullaby of Birdland

6. Tiger Rag (Part Two)

8. Stomp. Look and Listen

9. Creole Love Call

10. Caravan

12. In a Jam

14. Midriff

15. The Duke Steps Out

16. Jungle Nights in Harlem

18. Diminuendo in Blue

19. Hiawatha

21. Golden Feather

22. Do Nothing Till you Hear from Me


Track List: Pure Ellington

1. Skin Deep

3. Primpin' For The Prom

6. Satin Doll

7. Cocktails For Two

10. Stormy Weather

11. Three Little Words

12. Orson

13. Boo-Dah

14. Blossom

18. Subtle Slough

20. Echoes Of Harlem


Track List: Classics 2

1. March 19th Blues

2. Feet Bone

3. In A Sentimental Mood

5. Jump For Joy

6. Just Scratchin The Surface

7. Prelude To A Kiss

8. Miss Lucy

9. Uncontrived

10. Satin Doll

11. Do Not Disturb

12. Love You Madly

14. Moon Mist

15. Long Time Blues


Track List: The Private Collection: Volume Ten, Studio Sessions, New York And Chicago, 1965, 1966, 1971

1. Black

2. Comes Sunday

3. Light

4. West Indian Dance

5. Emancipation Celebration

6. The Blues

7. Cy Runs Rock Waltz

8. Beige

9. Sugar Hill Penthouse

10. Harlem

11. Ad Lib On Nippon


Track List: The Private Collection: Volume Five, The Suites, New York, 1968 & 1970

1. The Degas Suite (Original Movie Score)

2. The River (Original Ballet Score)


Track List: The Private Collection: Volume Six, Dance Dates, California, 1958 (Live)

1. Such Sweet Thunder (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

2. The Blues To Be There (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

3. Juniflip (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

4. The Star-Crossed Lovers (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

5. Together (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

6. Californio Mello (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

7. Suburban Beauty (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

8. C Jam Blues (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

9. Blues In Orbit (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

10. Mood Indigo (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

11. Honeysuckle Rose (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

12. Willow Weep For Me (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

13. Caravan (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)

14. Wailing Interval (Live At Mather Air Force Base March 5, 1958)


Track List: The Private Collection: Volume Four, Studio Sessions, New York, 1963

1. Bad Woman

2. Jeep's Blues (April 17, 1963 Session)

3. Stoona

4. Serenade To Sweden

5. Harmony In Harlem

6. Action In Alexandria

7. Tajm

8. Isfahan (July 18, 1963 Session)

9. Killian's Lick

10. Blousons Noir

11. Elysee (April 17, 1963 Session)

12. Butter And Oleo

13. Got Nobody Now

14. M.G.

15. Blue Rose (April 17, 1963 Session)

16. July 18th Blues


Track List: The Private Collection: Volume Two, Dance Concerts, California, 1958

1. Main Stem (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

2. Dancing In The Dark (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

3. Stompy Jones (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

4. Time On My Hands (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

5. Stomping At The Savoy (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

6. Sophisticated Lady (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

7. Take The "A" Train - Instrumental (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

8. All Heart (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

9. Just A-Settin' And A-Rockin' (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

10. Take The "A" Train - Vocal (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

11. Where Or When (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

12. The Mooch (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

13. One O'Clock Jump (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

14. Autumn Leaves (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

15. Oh, Lady Be Good (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)

16. Things Ain't What They Used To Be (Live At Travis Air Force Base, March 4th, 1958)


Track List: Jazz Profile: Duke Ellington

1. Satin Doll

2. Star Dust

3. One O'Clock Jump

4. Stormy Weather

5. Take The "A" Train (1969) (Live)

6. 4:30 Blues

7. In Triplicate

8. Chile Bowl

9. Janet

10. Happy Reunion

11. Caravan

12. Wig Wise


Track List: Jazz Violin Sessions

1. Take The A Train (Jazz Violin Version)

2. In A Sentimental Mood (Jazz Violin Version)

3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Jazz Violin Version)

4. Day Dream (Jazz Violin Version)

5. Cotton Tail (Jazz Violin Version)

6. Pretty Little One (Jazz Violin Version)

7. Tricky's Licks (Jazz Violin Version)

8. Blues's In C

9. String Along With Strings (Jazz Violin Version)

10. Limbo Jazz (Jazz Violin Version)

11. The Feeling Of Jazz (Jazz Violin Version)


Track List: The Symphonic Ellington

1. Night Creature (First Movement): Blind Bug

2. Night Creature (Second Movement): Stalking Monster

3. Night Creature (Third Movement): Dazzling Creature

4. Non-Violent Integration

5. La Scala, She Too Pretty To Be Blue

6. Harlem


Track List: The Great Duke

2. Perdido

3. Solitude

4. Mood Indigo

5. Tenderly

6. Things Ain't What They Used To Be

7. Where Or When

8. Swamp Fire

9. Prelude To A Kiss

10. Take The "A" Train

11. The Star-Crossed Lovers

12. In A Sentimental Mood

13. Royal Garden Blues

15. Jack The Bear

16. Willow Weep For Me

17. Jeep's Blues

18. Half The Fun

19. Melancholia

20. Reflections In D


Track List: Duke Ellington

1. Concerto For Cootie

2. I Got It Bad (And That Ain´t Good)

3. In A Mellow Tone

4. Prelude To A Kiss

5. Jack The Bear

6. Ko-Ko

7. Lover Man

8. Sophisticated Lady

9. Never No Lament

10. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart

11. Sentimental Lady

12. Perdido

13. In A Sentimental Mood

14. Solitude

15. Take The "A" Train


Track List: The Ultimate Jazz Archive Set 2: Duke Ellington

2. Rainy Nights

5. Georgia Grind

8. If You Can't Hold The Man You Love

9. Animal Crackers

10. Li'l Farina

11. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

12. Birmingham Breakdown

13. Immigration Blues

14. The Creeper

15. New Orleans Low-Down

16. Song Of The Cotton Field

17. Hop Head


Track List: Caravan

1. The Clothed Woman

2. Tip Toe Topic

3. Tonk

4. Frankie And Johnny

5. Things Ain't What They Used To Be

9. Rent Party Blues

11. Charlie The Chulo

12. Caravan

13. Good Queen Bess

15. Menelik (The Lion Of Judah)

16. A Lull At Dawn

18. Jeep's Blues

19. Blues

21. Mood Indigo * / Solitude **

22. Sophisticated Lady * / In A Sentimental Mood **


Track List: Duke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra 1941: The Complete Standard Transcriptions

Disc 1

1. Frenesi

2. Until Tonight

6. Take The ‘A’ Train

11. Clementine

12. Chelsea Bridge

13. Love Like This Can’t Last

14. After All

Disc 2

2. Frankie And Johnnie

3. Flamingo

4. Bakiff

6. Bugle Breaks

9. Rain Check

10. Blue Surge

11. Moon Mist

14. Perdido


Track List: Chronological Classics: Duke Ellington & His Orchestra 1953

1. Flamingo

4. Who Knows

5. Retrospection

6. B Sharp Blues

7. Passion Flower

8. Dancers In Love

9. Reflections In D

10. Melancholia

11. Prelude To A Kiss

12. In A Sentimental Mood

13. Things Ain't What They Used To Be

14. All Too Soon

15. Janet

19. Basin Street Blues

22. Don't Ever Say Goodbye


Track List: Blue Harlem

2. Sophisticated Lady

3. East St Louis Toodle-Oo

4. Black And Tan Fantasy

5. Drop Me Off In Harlem

7. Daybreak Express

8. Ko-Ko

9. Blue Harlem

11. Harlem Air Shaft

13. How High The Moon

14. Hyde Park

16. Pretty Woman

17. In A Mellotone

18. Perdido

19. Just Squeeze Me

20. Hot And Bothered


Track List: The Essential Duke Ellington

Disc 1

1. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

2. Black And Tan Fantasy

3. Take It Easy

4. Hot And Bothered

5. The Mooche

6. Rockin' In Rhythm

8. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

9. Creole Love Call

10. Sophisticated Lady

11. Drop Me Off In Harlem

12. Solitude

13. In A Sentimental Mood

16. Echoes Of Harlem

17. Caravan

19. Diminuendo In Blue

20. Crescendo In Blue

Disc 2

1. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart

2. Pyramid

3. Prelude To A Kiss

5. Mood Indigo

6. Ko-Ko

7. Don't Get Around Much Anymore

8. Cotton Tail

9. Take The "A" Train

10. Harlem Air-Shaft

13. Perdido

14. Come Sunday

15. Jeep's Blues

16. Black Beauty

17. Arabesque Cookie


Track List: The Great Paris Concert

1. Kinda Dukish (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

2. Rockin' In Rhythm (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

3. On The Sunny Side Of The Street (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

4. The Star-Crossed Lovers (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

5. All Of Me (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

6. Theme From "The Asphalt Jungle" (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

7. Concerto For Cootie (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

8. Tutti For Cootie (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

9. Suite For Thursday: Misfit Blues (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

10. Suite For Thursday: Schwiphti (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

11. Suite For Thursday: Zweet Zurzday (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)

12. Suite For Thursday: Lay-By (Live/Olympia Theatre, Paris)