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MERCER ELLINGTON  

(1919 - 1996)

Mercer Kennedy Ellington
Orchestra Leader, Arranger, Trumpeter, Composer
(1919-1996)

Mercer Ellington was born in Washington, D.C., the only child of Duke and Edna Ellington. He received formal music training and eventually led his own band as a trumpet player. Joining his father in Los Angeles in 1940 he began a period of study with the Duke Ellington Orchestra that lasted until he went into the service; this would be Mercer’s most productive period with regard to jazz standards.

In Duke Ellington in Person: An Intimate Memoir, Mercer states,

There is nothing like practical experience, and when the band played arrangements I had written under [Duke’s] supervision, like “Moon Mist,” “Blue Serge,” “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” and “The Girl in My Dreams,” it was as instructive as gratifying.

Mercer participated in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, at times in an administrative capacity, and then as band member in the 50’s and 60’s. He took over as bandleader from the time of his father’s death in 1974 until the 1990’s.

His compositions include “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” “Blue Serge,” “Moon Mist,” and “Jumpin’ Punkins.” He was the musical director and conductor for the revue of his father’s music, Sophisticated Ladies, and his recording, Digital Duke won a Grammy for best big band instrumental performance.

-- Jeremy Wilson

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com

View by Role: Non-Classical Composer | Arranger
Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ARMY BLUES JAZZ ENSEMBLE: Things Ain't What They Used To Be Altissimo
75442261112
Contemporary Jazz
DOMNERUS, Arne: Memories of You Proprius
PRCD2049
Contemporary Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Blue Abandon (1946) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 12) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120812
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: Time's A-Wastin' (1945-1946) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 11) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120811
Jazz
JAZZ AT THE PAWNSHOP 2 Proprius
PRCD9044
Contemporary Jazz
JAZZ FOR YOU - CHILL WITH ELLINGTON (1932-1951) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120894
Jazz
LITTON, Andrew: Tribute to Oscar Peterson (A) BIS
BIS-2034
Jazz
McCONNELL: So Very Rob: Boss Brass Revisited SWR Klassik
CD93.107
Contemporary Jazz
TEEMU VIINIKAINEN TRIO: Hit it! Prophone
PCD146
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Airmen of Note (The) Altissimo
75442255592
Contemporary Jazz
Role: Arranger 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 




 
 
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