Duke Ellington (1899-1974)

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0120051024

1/5.

Piano player, bandleader, composer and arranger Edward Kennedy Ellington was one of the most popular and influential musicians of recent times.

As part of Black History Month, Donald Macleod celebrates Ellington's life and music and looks at the key role played by the musicians who performed with him.

Featured tracks include:

East St Louis Toodle-Oo; Creole Love Call; Black and Tan Fantasy; Jubilee Stomp; Black Beauty; The Mooche; Rockin' in Rhythm; Mood Indigo; Creole Rhapsody; Solitude; It don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Swing; Daybreak Express.

0120051024

Piano player, bandleader, composer and arranger Edward Kennedy Ellington was one of the most popular and influential musicians of recent times.

As part of Black History Month, Donald Macleod celebrates Ellington's life and music and looks at the key role played by the musicians who performed with him.

Featured tracks include:

East St Louis Toodle-Oo; Creole Love Call; Black and Tan Fantasy; Jubilee Stomp; Black Beauty; The Mooche; Rockin' in Rhythm; Mood Indigo; Creole Rhapsody; Solitude; It don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Swing; Daybreak Express.

0220051025

By the beginning of the 1930s, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra was one of the most popular jazz bands in the US.

But as Swing arrived on the scene, spearheaded by Benny Goodman, a new generation of bands emerged which soon overtook Ellington in the popularity stakes.

Donald Macleod looks at Ellington's reaction to this new phenomenon and introduces some of his lesser-known small ensemble numbers, as well as a selection of his best-loved melodies.

Featured tracks include In a Sentimental Mood; Reminiscing in Tempo; Clarinet Lament; Echoes of Harlem; Pyramid; The Jeep is Jumpin'; Jeep's Blues; Prelude to a Kiss; I let a Song Go Out of My Heart; Caravan; Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue.

0320051026

In 1939, Ellington's band was joined by the extraordinarily talented Billy Strayhorn.

Strays was the polar opposite to Ellington in character, yet musically their styles fitted together so perfectly it was often difficult to tell them apart.

Donald Macleod looks at the importance of their relationship to the success of the band and introduces the work which Ellington hoped would give him the credibility he yearned for as a serious composer.

Featured tracks include Take the 'A' Train; Jack the Bear; Warm Valley; Ko-Ko; Concerto for Cootie; Cotton Tail; Rocks in My Bed; Jump for Joy; I got it Bad and That Ain't Good; Black, Brown and Beige.

0320051026

In 1939, Ellington's band was joined by the extraordinarily talented Billy Strayhorn.

Strays was the polar opposite to Ellington in character, yet musically their styles fitted together so perfectly it was often difficult to tell them apart.

Donald Macleod looks at the importance of their relationship to the success of the band and introduces the work which Ellington hoped would give him the credibility he yearned for as a serious composer.

Featured tracks include Take the 'A' Train; Jack the Bear; Warm Valley; Ko-Ko; Concerto for Cootie; Cotton Tail; Rocks in my Bed; Jump for Joy; I got it Bad and that ain't Good; Black, Brown and Beige.

0420051027

The late 1940s were a difficult time for Ellington - as a new brand of jazz called Bebop began to emerge, the demand for big bands declined.

And the frequent changes in personnel in the band made it difficult to maintain standards.

But Ellington continued to thrive as a bandleader and began to find new outlets for his longer concert pieces.

Donald Macleod explores those difficult years and introduces the work regarded by some as Ellington's best extended piece - Harlem.

Featured tracks include Pretty and the Wolf; Do Nothin' 'til You Hear from Me; I'm Beginning to see the Light; Don't get Around Much Anymore; Transblucency; The Clothed Woman; On a Turquoise Cloud; Harlem; B-sharp Blues; Reflections in D; Dancers in Love; Jeep's Blues.

05 LAST20051028

The 1956 Newport Jazz Festival heralded a revival of Ellington's fortunes.

He signed a new record deal and over the next few years, Johnny Hodges, Lawrence Brown and Cootie Williams returned to the fold.

In spite of the rise of rock 'n' roll, Ellington's worldwide reputation had never been higher and he spent much of his time travelling the globe.

Donald Macleod charts the last two decades of Ellington's life in which his favourite form became the suite.

He made some memorable recordings with his star player Johnny Hodges and was given the opportunity to make a musical statement about his religious beliefs.

Featured tracks include Stompy Jones; Suite Thursday; Something to Live For; Ain't but the One; Far East Suite (extracts); Charpoy.

05 LAST20051028

5/5.

The 1956 Newport Jazz Festival heralded a revival of Ellington's fortunes.

He signed a new record deal and over the next few years, Johnny Hodges, Lawrence Brown and Cootie Williams returned to the fold.

In spite of the rise of rock 'n' roll, Ellington's worldwide reputation had never been higher and he spent much of his time travelling the globe.

Donald Macleod charts the last two decades of Ellington's life in which his favourite form became the suite.

He made some memorable recordings with his star player Johnny Hodges and was given the opportunity to make a musical statement about his religious beliefs.

Featured tracks include Stompy Jones; Suite Thursday; Something to Live For; Ain't but the One; Far East Suite (extracts); Charpoy.