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LPL Duke Ellington the breakers

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					DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)
• In Jazz, he stands as one of the few that stand
  above the rest as a catalyst for the development
  of the art form.
• He struck a model of balance between the
  individual and group expression within his band.
• He showed that the Compositional intent of
  Western European music & the improvisation
  tradition of African music could be balanced
  within Jazz music.
• This balancing act became the trademark of his
  compositional style
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)
• A Pianist from Washington D.C.

• He was influenced by Ragtime Pianist in
  and around Washington

• Fats Waller, Willie Smith, & JP Johnson
  are listed among his earliest favorites
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)
• Many say that the orchestra was his true
  instrument
• By the age of 17 he has his first five piece
  combo
• He tried unsuccessfully to move to New York
  in 1922 (failed because of financial problems)
• In 1926 final makes the move the New York’s
  Harlem
• Truly begins his career as
  pianist/leader/composer
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

THE COTTON CLUB
• The Ellington Band took up residence at Harlem’s
  Cotton Club from 1927-1932
• The clubs floor shows were built around the band &
  the featured soloist
• Ellington developed four different styles during this
  time
• Jungle Style = included growling & raucous playing
• Mood Style = identified with his beautiful ballads
• Concerto Style = longer pieces, more orchestral
• Standard Style = much in the style of other bands
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

THE COTTON CLUB
• By the end of Ellington’s tenure at The Cotton Club
  he turned from aspiring New York band leader to a
  leading figure in Jazz music around the world.
• He now had a National following and beginnings of
  an international one.
• At the end of this period Ellington recorded one of
  his first larger pieces “Creole Rhapsody”
• This piece was nearly 6 & ½ minutes…far more than
  the allowed 3 minutes of a 78rpm record.
• This was a signal of things to come.
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

TOURING
• Beginning around 1931 touring becomes a major part
  of the bands life.
• Extensive touring does not effect the stability of the
  bands line up.
• In 1933, the depression sends Ellington to tour
  Europe.
• He is surprised by how well known he and other Jazz
  musicians are abroad.
• In 1935, Ellington’s mother dies.
• Her death triggers Ellington to continue his interest
  in compositional experimentation.
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

THE SWING PERIOD
• The rise of swing “dance” bands gave Ellington new
  competition in the world of commercial music
• Fletcher Henderson established the new sections of a
  “Big Band” & Ellington’s band was already close to
  this but…
• His band and composition style was seen as too
  colorful and not as well suited for those who just
  wanted to “dance”.
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

THE SWING PERIOD
• His popularity declined some in this period but it
  gave him the chance to explore his music.
• He wrote for differing variations of the band
• sextets, quintets, quartets, trios, etc…
• He embarked on a tour in 1939 to Europe that proved
  to re-energize his career.
• The European audience appreciated his refined
  concert approach to Jazz
           • LISTENING JOURNAL
   • IN A MELLOTONE –Duke Ellington & his
               Famous Orchestra
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

BILLY STRAYHORN (pianist)
• Duke’s composing & arranging collaborator
• Often times called Ellington’s “alter ego”
• Meet just before Ellington went to tour Europe in
  1939.
• Hired into the band originally as lyrist, but soon
  began writing and co-writing.
• Had more classical training than Duke.
• Co-wrote some of the bands more significant
  selections such as “Passion Flower” and Ellington’s
  chosen theme Song “Take the A Train”
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

BILLY STRAYHORN
• “Take the A Train” = lyrics were based on directions
  Duke gave Strayhorn to his apartment in NYC
• When Strayhorn died in 1967 Duke would often do
  some kind of tribute to him at each show. Often it
  was playing “Lotus Blossom” alone at the end of the
  concert.

           • ***Youtube = Take the A Train

  • **Youtube = Billy Strayhorn / Lotus Blossom
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

Other Important Members
• Jimmy Blanton on Bass
• Helped redefine the bass as a solo and melodic
  instrument

• Ben Webster on Tenor Saxophone
• Helped duke expand his sax section and added more
  soloing virtuosity for Duke to use.

• One if not the most important featured member was
  alto and soprano saxophonist
  …JOHNNY HODGES
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

Other Important Members
• JOHNNY HODGES
• A signature voice in the band and influence on
  Duke’s composition style.
• Duke often accepted input from the band during
  the composition process.
• Hodges was one of the main contributors in this
  way.
• His Solo lines and style could lead Duke in and out
  of composition and improvisation sections
  seamlessly.
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

Other Important Members
• JOHNNY HODGES
•   Born in 1906 in Massachusetts
•   Worked and studied with Sidney Bechet in the 1920’s
•   Played with Duke 1928-1951
•   Left to start own group rejoined Duke in 1955
•   Died 1970 in NYC

                  • LISTENING JOURNAL
                   • “PASSION FLOWER”
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

TRANSITION PERIOD (1943-1951)
• Great turnover in the bands personnel due to WWII
• The decline of big bands, ballrooms and night clubs
• Duke’s reputation of being the great experimenter in Jazz
  being challenged by a new music “BeBop”.
• However Duke stayed true to following his own path and
  not chasing others.
• He is often sighted as having walked a fine line between
  art and commercialization.

                  • LISTENING JOURNAL
                         • KO-KO
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

• Later in life he re-emerged from the success of an
  appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956 with a
  series of lengthy pieces written for the festival.
• These pieces reasserted his place as the premier composer
  in Jazz.
• This new success marked a new period of composition
  style (1956-1965) that combined his influences from his
  swing roots to new jazz music and to world music from all
  parts of the globe.

        • ** Youtube – Newport Jazz Festival Suite
          • “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue”
DUKE ELLINGTON(1899-1974)

• His last years (1966-1974) were filled with touring and
  receiving honors from around the world.
• On May 24, 1974 he died and more than 12,000 mourners
  attempted to attend his funeral
• His innovations in music consist of..
• 1) Developing the use of the whole ensemble sound
• 2) Larger Song forms that broke the 3 min barrier of
  78 records
• 3) Skillful orchestration including the use of voices as
  instruments
• 4) Many innovative tunes that remain in many bands
  repertoire’s today

				
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posted:5/30/2011
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