The Waves. Michael J. The Hangman. Hidden Cities City's T…. David Gagne. Get instant explanation for any lyrics that hits you anywhere on the web! Get instant explanation for any acronym or abbreviation that hits you anywhere on the web! Javon Jackson. Guy Barker. Paul Motian Trio. Michel Sardaby. Arrigo Cappelletti. Tommy Smith, featuring Kenny Barron. Duke Ellington, Sound of Love. Fred Hersch. Kenny Drew, Jr. Peter Lehel Quartet. Peter Nordahl Trio.
Phil Hey Quartet. Walter Smith III. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. From the start more truly a composer than an arranger, Ellington blended thematic material suggested to him by some of his players—in….
After World War II, the big bands…. As noted earlier, Duke Ellington first made his mark musically in his native Washington. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Email address. Song Styles. All Styles. Mainstream Jazz 9. Song Moods. All Moods. Song Themes. All Themes. Charles Mingus. Ellington continued on his own course through these tectonic shifts. While Count Basie was forced to disband his whole ensemble and work as an octet for a time, Ellington was able to tour most of Western Europe between April 6 and June 30, , with the orchestra playing 74 dates over 77 days.
Ellington later presented its score to music-loving President Harry Truman. Also during his time in Europe, Ellington would compose the music for a stage production by Orson Welles. In , Ellington suffered a significant loss of personnel: Sonny Greer, Lawrence Brown and, most importantly, Johnny Hodges left to pursue other ventures, although only Greer was a permanent departee. Tenor player Paul Gonsalves had joined in December  after periods with Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie and stayed for the rest of his life, while Clark Terry joined in November During the early s, Ellington's career was at a low point with his style being generally seen as outmoded, but his reputation did not suffer as badly as some artists.
Ellington's appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 7, returned him to wider prominence and introduced him to a new generation of fans. The feature " Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue " comprised two tunes that had been in the band's book since but largely forgotten until Ellington, who had abruptly ended the band's scheduled set because of the late arrival of four key players, called the two tunes as the time was approaching midnight.
Announcing that the two pieces would be separated by an interlude played by tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves , Ellington proceeded to lead the band through the two pieces, with Gonsalves' chorus marathon solo whipping the crowd into a frenzy, leading the Maestro to play way beyond the curfew time despite urgent pleas from festival organizer George Wein to bring the program to an end. The concert made international headlines, led to one of only five Time magazine cover stories dedicated to a jazz musician,  and resulted in an album produced by George Avakian that would become the best-selling LP of Ellington's career.
According to Avakian, Ellington was dissatisfied with aspects of the performance and felt the musicians had been under rehearsed. Not until was the concert recording properly released for the first time. The revived attention brought about by the Newport appearance should not have surprised anyone, Johnny Hodges had returned the previous year, and Ellington's collaboration with Strayhorn had been renewed around the same time, under terms more amenable to the younger man.
The original Ellington at Newport album was the first release in a new recording contract with Columbia Records which yielded several years of recording stability, mainly under producer Irving Townsend , who coaxed both commercial and artistic productions from Ellington.
His hope that television would provide a significant new outlet for his type of jazz was not fulfilled. Tastes and trends had moved on without him.
Festival appearances at the new Monterey Jazz Festival and elsewhere provided venues for live exposure, and a European tour in was well received. Such Sweet Thunder , based on Shakespeare's plays and characters, and The Queen's Suite , dedicated to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II , were products of the renewed impetus which the Newport appearance helped to create, although the latter work was not commercially issued at the time. The late s also saw Ella Fitzgerald record her Duke Ellington Songbook Verve with Ellington and his orchestra—a recognition that Ellington's songs had now become part of the cultural canon known as the ' Great American Songbook '.
Around this time Ellington and Strayhorn began to work on film soundtrack scoring. The first of these was Anatomy of a Murder ,  a courtroom drama directed by Otto Preminger and featuring James Stewart , in which Ellington appeared fronting a roadhouse combo.
Film historians have recognized the soundtrack "as a landmark — the first significant Hollywood film music by African Americans comprising non-diegetic music, that is, music whose source is not visible or implied by action in the film, like an on-screen band. In the early s, Ellington embraced recording with artists who had been friendly rivals in the past, or were younger musicians who focused on later styles.
The Count Meets the Duke He signed to Frank Sinatra 's new Reprise label , but the association with the label was short-lived. Musicians who had previously worked with Ellington returned to the Orchestra as members: Lawrence Brown in and Cootie Williams in The writing and playing of music is a matter of intent You can't just throw a paint brush against the wall and call whatever happens art. My music fits the tonal personality of the player.
I think too strongly in terms of altering my music to fit the performer to be impressed by accidental music. You can't take doodling seriously. He was now performing all over the world; a significant part of each year was spent on overseas tours.
Ellington wrote an original score for director Michael Langham 's production of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada which opened on July 29, Langham has used it for several subsequent productions, including a much later adaptation by Stanley Silverman which expands the score with some of Ellington's best-known works.
Ellington was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for Music in but no prize was ultimately awarded that year. Fate doesn't want me to be famous too young. In September , he premiered the first of his Sacred Concerts. He created a jazz Christian liturgy. Although the work received mixed reviews, Ellington was proud of the composition and performed it dozens of times. This concert was followed by two others of the same type in and , known as the Second and Third Sacred Concerts.
These generated controversy in what was already a tumultuous time in the United States. Many saw the Sacred Music suites as an attempt to reinforce commercial support for organized religion, though Ellington simply said it was "the most important thing I've done". Like Haydn and Mozart , Ellington conducted his orchestra from the piano — he always played the keyboard parts when the Sacred Concerts were performed. Duke turned 65 in the spring of but showed no signs of slowing down as he continued to make vital and innovative recordings, including The Far East Suite , New Orleans Suite , Latin American Suite and The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse , much of it inspired by his world tours.
It was during this time that he recorded his only album with Frank Sinatra , entitled Francis A. Ellington performed what is considered his final full concert in a ballroom at Northern Illinois University on March 20, Ellington married his high school sweetheart, Edna Thompson d. Ellington was joined in New York City by his wife and son in the late twenties, but the couple soon permanently separated. In he left his family his son was 19 and moved in with Beatrice "Evie" Ellis, a Cotton Club employee.
Their relationship, though stormy, continued after Ellington met and formed a relationship with Fernanda de Castro Monte in the early s. Ellington supported both women for the rest of his life. Ellington's sister Ruth — later ran Tempo Music, his music publishing company. Ruth's second husband was the bass-baritone McHenry Boatwright , whom she met when he sang at her brother's funeral. Ellington died on May 24, , of complications from lung cancer and pneumonia ,  a few weeks after his 75th birthday.
At his funeral, attended by over 12, people at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine , Ella Fitzgerald summed up the occasion: "It's a very sad day. A genius has passed. In Ellington's birthplace, Washington, D. Charles Mingus , listeners Related Tags jazz bebop bass Charles Mingus 22nd April — 5th January was an American jazz bassist, composer, bandleader, and occasional pianist from Los Angeles.
He was also known for his activism against racial injustice. Mingus' legacy is notable: he is ranked among the finest composers and performers in jazz, and recorded many highly regarded albums.
Dozens of musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. His songs - though melodic and distinctive - are not often recorded by later musicians, due in part to their unconventional nature. Mingus was also influential… read more. Charles Mingus 22nd April — 5th January was an American jazz bassist, composer, bandleader, and occasional pianist from Los Angeles.