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Duke Ellington was famous for hs very original harmonic patterns.
You know, I always when people ask me, like, what is my most favorite song, I quote Duke Ellington, when they would ask him, what's his favorite composition? And I say, I haven't written it yet. Because, you know, there are different songs for different occasions.
Not to dismiss Gershwin, but Gershwin is the chip; Ellington was the block.
I fell in love with jazz when I was 12 years old from listening to Duke Ellington and hearing a lot of jazz in New York on the radio.
I heard Sidney Bechet play a Duke Ellington piece and fell in love with the soprano saxophone.
Do you think Duke Ellington didn't listen to Debussy? Louis Armstrong loved opera, did you know that? Name me a jazz pianist who wasn't influenced by European music!
I got a poster from Columbia Records, and there's Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus, Ellington, Count Basie - everybody in that poster has died, I'm the only one left. And great players like Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan, it's hard to believe they're gone because we were all so close. But I believe in the future and the tradition will go on.
Ellington is a writer and arranger, as well as a musician and leader. He does movie sound tracks.
If I were to put on Barbra Streisand and Duke Ellington, one might say the combination isn't good.
I do very few standards. Hardly any. Other people's tunes that I do are usually obscure tunes, for the most part, although I do a couple of Duke Ellington tunes that are well known.
A few years later, my Uncle David took me to the Earle Theatre to hear Duke Ellington.
There are only two things: love, all sorts of love, with pretty girls, and the music of New Orleans or Duke Ellington. Everything else ought to go, because everything else is ugly.
I think it was Duke Ellington who once said that we're always most pleased with our current record. I mean, you have to assume that you learn from one, and you do something better next time.
So I'm a young boy in the 1940s growing up, seeing Ralph Bunche on a regular basis, seeing Duke Ellington on a regular basis. We know that these people are famous. They're living in the same community as we live in. They go to the same stores and shops.
When I got through, Duke Ellington stood up and started the applause.
The three great moments of my life had to be the concerts of Ellington in 1938, Dizzy in '48, and Ella in '52.
It's a spirit that was given me and the relationships and meeting all these great people, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong; through Max I met a lot of people too. My first album was with Benny Carter.
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