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DUKE ELLINGTON

Duke Ellington is one of the premier musicians of the 20th century. Books have been written about him, his image is on a U.S. postal stamp, he has been honored with doctorates and the Presidential Medal of Honor, and the anniversary of his 100th birthday occasioned a nationwide Centennial.

His contributions to the jazz genre are many. His bands in the ’20s and ’30s introduced “jungle music” which incorporated African influences. Ellington was more conscious of musical form than his predecessors. He thought in orchestral terms, using the band as his instrument. He wrote specifically for his musicians, drawing on their talents as soloists and ensemble players to create the “Ellington effect,” so-called by Billy Strayhorn. He used instruments in unusual roles within the band and rarely soloed on piano, preferring the role of arranger. Because Ellington was forward looking musically he was able to keep his band together until his death when his son Mercer took over. Many of its members were with him for three decades.

Ellington’s band gained notoriety at Harlem’s Cotton Club in 1927. The band went to Hollywood in 1930 to make the film Check and Double Check and that same year Duke received recognition as a composer for “Mood Indigo.” His band made several European tours, and in 1943 he premièred the first of his extended compositions, “Black, Brown and Beige.”

In 1959 Ellington scored the film Anatomy of a Murder in which he also played the role of a pianist named Pie Eye. In his later years he devoted himself to composing “sacred concerts” which were complex pieces to perform because of the personnel required: orchestra, choirs, soloists and dancers.

A partial list of his memorable compositions must include: “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” (1932), “Sophisticated Lady” (1933), “In A Sentimental Mood” (1935), “Prelude To A Kiss” (1938), “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)” (1941), “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (1942), “I’m Beginning To See The Light” (1944), and “Satin Doll” (1953).

— Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Non-Classical Artist | Classical Composer | Non-Classical Composer | Lyricist | Arranger | Conductor
Role: Non-Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ELLINGTON, Duke: Air Conditioned Jungle (1945) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 10) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120810
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Black, Brown and Beige (1943-1945) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 9) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120809
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Blue Abandon (1946) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 12) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120812
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Braggin' In Brass (1938) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 5) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120706
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Cotton Tail (1940) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 7) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120738
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra (1929-43) (NTSC) Storyville Films
26033
Classical Concert
ELLINGTON, Duke: Echoes of Harlem (1936-1938) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 4) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120682
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Jam-A-Ditty (1946-1947) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 13) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120813
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Jump For Joy (1941-1942) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 8) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120743
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Live in '58 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119001
Jazz DVD
ELLINGTON, Duke: Love you Madly (1947-1953) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 14) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120814
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Time's A-Wastin' (1945-1946) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 11) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120811
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Tootin' Through the Roof (1939-1940) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 6) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120729
Jazz
GIANTS OF JAZZ Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120756-57
Jazz
JAZZ FOR YOU - CHILL WITH ELLINGTON (1932-1951) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120894
Jazz
JAZZ ICONS SERIES 2 BOX SET (NTSC) Naxos
2.108001
Jazz DVD
Jazzin Legeanat - 60 kaikkien aikojen klassikkoa Naxos Jazz Legends
8.103014
Jazz
LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND FRIENDS (NTSC) Storyville Films
26014
Jazz DVD
PLAY YOUR OWN THING (NTSC) EuroArts
2055748
Jazz DVD

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
12 CELLISTS OF THE BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: 40th Anniversary Concert / Documentary (Blu-ray, Full-HD) EuroArts
2059314
Classical Concert
12 CELLISTS OF THE BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: 40th Anniversary Concert / Documentary (NTSC) EuroArts
2059318
Classical Concert
ADOMEIT, Caroline: Bach to Jazz Oehms Classics
OC834
Contemporary Jazz
BIGBANDS LIVE - Duke Ellington Orchestra (1967) Jazzhaus
101703
Contemporary Jazz
COMMODORES JAZZ ENSEMBLE: Commodores Live! Altissimo
75442270032
Contemporary Jazz
EDGARDO CINTRON AND TIEMPO NOVENTA ORCHESTRA: Musica Caliente Naxos Jazz
9503
Contemporary Jazz
ELLINGTON, D.: Black, Brown and Beige / Harlem / Three Black Kings / The River Suite (Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta) Naxos
8.559737
Orchestral
ELLINGTON, Duke: Live in '58 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119001
Jazz DVD
INTERSECTION - Jazz Meets Classical Song Cedille
CDR90000-149
Contemporary Jazz
Remembering Duke Ellington Naxos International
8.990053
Orchestral
THOSE WERE OUR SONGS - Hits from World War II Altissimo
75442255452
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Blues and Beyond Altissimo
75442260202
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE ROCKIES: Contrasts Altissimo
75442260072
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE ROCKIES: Thanks for the Memories Altissimo
75442270522
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND: Imagine the Possibilities Altissimo
75442270422
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ORCHESTRA: Duke Ellington (The Symphonic Portrait) Altissimo
75442270942
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES ARMY BAND "PERSHING'S OWN": Greatest Hits Altissimo
75442259942
Chamber Music
UNITED STATES ARMY BAND: Pershing's Own Altissimo
75442270312
Chamber Music
UNITED STATES CONTINENTAL ARMY BAND: New Frontiers Altissimo
75442262282
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES CONTINENTAL ARMY BAND: Spirit of Victory Altissimo
75442260802
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES NAVY COMMODORES JAZZ ENSEMBLE: Three Shades of Blue Altissimo
75442270222
Contemporary Jazz
WE CAN DO IT! - Celebrating Women in WWII Altissimo
75442272022
Contemporary Jazz

Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
129TH ARMY BAND: 129th Army Band Altissimo
75442261232
Contemporary Jazz
ADLER, Larry: The Great Larry Adler (1934-1947) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120608
Nostalgia
ALLEN, Jackie: Which? Naxos Jazz
86042-2
Contemporary Jazz
ARCHIE SHEPP QUARTET, PART 2 (PAL) Arthaus Musik
107055
Jazz DVD
ARCHIE SHEPP QUARTET, PART 2 (PAL) TDKDVD
DV-JASQ2
Jazz DVD
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Rhythm Saved The World (1934-1936) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 3) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120676
Jazz
ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS: Feeling Good Delos
DE4007
Contemporary Jazz
BASIE, Count: Circus In Rhythm (Radio Transcriptions and Service V-Discs, 1944-1945) (Basie, Vol. 4) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120820
Jazz
BECHET, Sidney: Shake It And Break It (1938-1941) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120699
Jazz
BIGBANDS LIVE - Benny Goodman Orchestra featuring Anita O’Day (1959) Jazzhaus
101704
Jazz
BIGBANDS LIVE - Duke Ellington Orchestra (1967) Jazzhaus
101703
Contemporary Jazz
BRITISH DANCE BANDS, Vol. 3 (1928-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120656
Nostalgia
BUDDY DEFRANCO QUARTET / BUDDY DEFRANCO QUINTET: King of the Clarinet (The) (1952) Naxos Jazz Archives
9.81143JZ
Jazz
CAPRICER MED OD, Vol. 1 (1964-1969) BIS
BIS-NL-CD-5010
Choral - Secular
CAPRICER MED OD, Vol. 2 (1970-1975) BIS
BIS-NL-CD-5016
Choral - Secular
COMEDY HARMONISTS: Whistle While You Work (1929-1938) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120613
Nostalgia
COMMODORES JAZZ ENSEMBLE: Sessions on M. Street, S.E. Altissimo
75442270042
Contemporary Jazz
CUBA Alfredo Rodriguez y Los Acereko: Cuban Jazz Naxos World Music
76046-2
Contemporary Jazz
DAVID PHILIPS AND FREEDANCE: David Philips and Freedance Naxos Jazz
86061-2
Contemporary Jazz
DAVIS JR, Sammy: Hey There (1949-1955) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120833
Nostalgia
DEL GATTO, Lew: Katewalk Naxos Jazz
86058-2
Contemporary Jazz
DIBUSSOLO, Frank: Straight Up Naxos Jazz
9502
Contemporary Jazz
DORSEY BROTHERS: Stop, Look And Listen (1932-1935) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120762
Jazz
D'RIVERA, Paquito / DOMINGUEZ, Chano: Quartier Latin (Teatro Real, 2006) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OA6001D
Jazz DVD
ELLINGTON, D.: Black, Brown and Beige / Harlem / Three Black Kings / The River Suite (Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta) Naxos
8.559737
Orchestral
ELLINGTON, Duke: Air Conditioned Jungle (1945) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 10) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120810
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Black, Brown and Beige (1943-1945) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 9) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120809
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Blue Abandon (1946) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 12) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120812
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Braggin' In Brass (1938) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 5) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120706
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Cotton Club Stomp (1927-1931) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 1) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120509
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Cotton Tail (1940) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 7) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120738
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Echoes of Harlem (1936-1938) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 4) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120682
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: It Don't Mean a Thing (1930-1934) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 2) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120526
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Jam-A-Ditty (1946-1947) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 13) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120813
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Jump For Joy (1941-1942) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 8) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120743
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Live in '58 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119001
Jazz DVD
ELLINGTON, Duke: Love you Madly (1947-1953) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 14) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120814
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Reminiscing in Tempo (1932-1935) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 3) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120589
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Time's A-Wastin' (1945-1946) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 11) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120811
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Tootin' Through the Roof (1939-1940) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 6) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120729
Jazz
ERNMAN, Malena: Arias, Lieder and Cabaret songs BIS
BIS-NL-CD-5020
Vocal
EVANS, Bill: Live '64 - '75 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119013
Jazz DVD
FITZGERALD, Ella: Live in '57 and '63 (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-JIEF
Jazz DVD
FITZGERALD, Ella: Lullaby Of Birdland (1947-1954) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120774
Jazz
FITZGERALD, Ella: Oh! Lady be Good (1945-1952) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120716
Jazz
GARNER, Erroll: Erroll Garner Plays Misty (1953-1954) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120771
Jazz
GILLESPIE, Dizzy: Dizzy Atmosphere (1946-1952) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120708
Jazz
GOODMAN, Benny: Sing Me a Swing Song (1935-1936) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120548
Jazz
GOODMAN, Benny: Sing, Sing, Sing (1937-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120768
Jazz
HAMPTON, Lionel: In The Mood For Swing (1937-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120621
Jazz
HOLIDAY, Billie: You're My Thrill (1944-1949) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120750
Jazz
INK SPOTS: Gettin' Sentimental (1939-1945) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120624
Nostalgia
JAZZ FOR YOU - CHILL WITH ELLINGTON (1932-1951) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120894
Jazz
JAZZ LEGENDS - Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller Naxos Jazz Legends
8.102002
Jazz
Jazzin Legeanat - 60 kaikkien aikojen klassikkoa Naxos Jazz Legends
8.103014
Jazz
KING COLE TRIO: Transcriptions, Vol. 1 (1938) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120512
Jazz
KING, Teddi: Miss Teddi King, 'Round Midnight (1953, 1954) Naxos Jazz Archives
9.81156JZ
Jazz
KING'S SINGERS (THE): From Byrd to the Beatles (PAL) Arthaus Musik
101248
Classical Concert
LEA, Barbara: A Woman In Love (1955) Naxos Jazz Archives
9.81228JZ
Jazz
LEGENDS LIVE - Dizzy Gillespie Quintet (1961) Jazzhaus
101711
Contemporary Jazz
LEGENDS LIVE - Gerry Mulligan Sextet (1977) Jazzhaus
101700
Contemporary Jazz
LOST TAPES - Pettiford, Oscar (1958-1959) Jazzhaus
101719
Contemporary Jazz
McCASLIN, Donny: Exile and Discovery Naxos Jazz
86014-2
Contemporary Jazz
MIKE NOCK QUINTET: Ozboppin' Naxos Jazz
86019-2
Contemporary Jazz
MILLS BROTHERS: Early Classics (1931-1934) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120546
Nostalgia
MILLS BROTHERS: Swing Is The Thing (1934-1938) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120680
Nostalgia
MODERN JAZZ QUARTET: 35th Anniversary Tour (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107033
Jazz DVD
Music For Lonely Lovers Naxos International
8.990022
Orchestral
NEW WORLD OF JAZZ (THE) - Naxos Jazz Sampler 2000 Naxos Jazz
86055-2
Contemporary Jazz
ORY, Kid: Ory's Creole Trombone (1945-1953) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120769
Jazz
PETERSON, Oscar: Live in 63, '64 and '65 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119010
Jazz DVD
PETTIFORD, Oscar: Basically Duke Naxos Jazz Archives
9.81226JZ
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Djangology (1934-1935) (Reinhardt, Vol. 1) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120515
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Swing Guitars (1936-1937) (Reinhardt, Vol. 3) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120686
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Swingin' with Django (1937) (Reinhardt, Vol. 4) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120698
Jazz
Remembering Duke Ellington Naxos
8.555017
Orchestral
Remembering Duke Ellington Naxos International
8.990053
Orchestral
RIVERS, Mavis: It's A Good Day Delos
DE4002
Contemporary Jazz
ROWLES, Jimmy / ROWLES, Stacy: Looking Back Delos
DE4009
Contemporary Jazz
SOPHISTICATED JAZZ QUARTET: Sophisticated Lady Yarlung Records
YAR65004
Contemporary Jazz
SOUNDS OF SUND (The) BIS
BIS-NL-CD-5030
Choral - Secular
STARS of the GOLDEN ERA Naxos Nostalgia
8.120754-55
Nostalgia
STRING FEVER: It don't mean a thing Naxos
8.572834
Contemporary Jazz
SVENSKA JAZZKLASSIKER (Swedish Jazz Classics) (1950-1951) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120868
Nostalgia
TATUM, Art: Hold That Tiger! (1933-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120610
Jazz
TEMPERLEY, Joe: Double Duke Naxos Jazz
86032-2
Contemporary Jazz
TRIO FRIEDRICH-HEBERT-MORENO: Surfacing Naxos Jazz
86060-2
Contemporary Jazz
ULTIMATE BIG BAND COLLECTION (THE) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120861-62
Nostalgia
ULTIMATE VOCAL COLLECTION (THE) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120863-64
Nostalgia
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Airmen of Note (The) Altissimo
75442255592
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Invitation Altissimo
75442253482
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Legacy Altissimo
75442260672
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Somewhere Out There Altissimo
75442261212
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE PACIFIC: Midnight Sun Altissimo
75442260412
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE ROCKIES: Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye Altissimo
75442260102
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES ARMY BLUES SWAMP ROMP: Voodoo Boogaloo Altissimo
75442262232
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND (JAZZ AMBASSADORS): Best of Sammy Nestico (The) Altissimo
75442272132
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND AND SOLDIER'S CHORUS: Musical Ambassadors of the Army Altissimo
75442261152
Choral - Secular
UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND JAZZ AMBASSADORS: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Altissimo
75442270012
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND JAZZ AMBASSADORS: In Concert Altissimo
75442270022
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES NAVY COMMODORES JAZZ Ensemble: 75th Anniversary Collection, Vol. 3 (1969-2000) Altissimo
75442261272
Contemporary Jazz
WALLER, Fats: Transcriptions (1935) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120577
Jazz
WE CAN DO IT! - Celebrating Women in WWII Altissimo
75442272022
Contemporary Jazz
WEBSTER, Ben: Music for Loving (1954) Naxos Jazz Archives
9.81158JZ
Jazz
WEBSTER, Ben: Music with Feeling…Ben Webster with Strings Naxos Jazz Archives
9.81155JZ
Jazz
WILLIAMS, Joe: Joe Williams and Friends, June 1985 - I Just Want To Sing Delos
DE4004
Contemporary Jazz
WILLIAMS, Joe: Nothin' but the Blues Delos
DE4001
Contemporary Jazz
YAHEL, Sam: Searchin' Naxos Jazz
86004-2
Contemporary Jazz

Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ELLINGTON, Duke: Live in '58 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119001
Jazz DVD
INTERSECTION - Jazz Meets Classical Song Cedille
CDR90000-149
Contemporary Jazz
MIKE NOCK QUINTET: Ozboppin' Naxos Jazz
86019-2
Contemporary Jazz
TEMPERLEY, Joe: Double Duke Naxos Jazz
86032-2
Contemporary Jazz
WILLIAMS, Joe: Joe Williams and Friends, June 1985 - I Just Want To Sing Delos
DE4004
Contemporary Jazz
WILLIAMS, Joe: Nothin' but the Blues Delos
DE4001
Contemporary Jazz

Role: Arranger 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 





 
 
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