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Duke Ellington - Showboat Shuffle (1935)

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Uploaded on Nov 5, 2011

Showboat Shuffle
Composed by Duke Ellington
Performed by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
Recorded on April 30, 1935
Brunswick 7461

Duke (Edward Kennedy) Ellington (1899 - 1974) was a musical giant as bandleader, composer, and arranger. Long career from 1918 into the 1970s. Composed staggering number of jazz works through the years, as well as many songs of lasting popularity. As pianist, played modified stride style, tasteful and easy-swinging, with own brand of unorthodox chord structures and ornate patterns. Highly successful bandleader for half century with immence body of recorded work. Personnel in band more constant than most. As teenager, played in Washington D.C. area. Led small band in 1918; early members Otto Hardwicke, and Arthur Whetsol joined in 1919 by Sonny Greer. With them and Elmer Snowden, Ellington went to New York in 1922 to join Wilber Sweatman. In 1923, returned to New York and played Hollywood Club (later Kentucky Club) with Snowden as leader. Fred Guy replaced Snowden, Ellington became leader, called group The Washingtonians. 1924-1927 band toured New England many times, returned to Kentucky Club, and played other Harlem clubs and theatres. In December 1927, Ellington opened Harlem's Cotton Club under his own name as leader. Band increased to full size. this engagement established band which fit "jungle" atmosphere of club, got heavy radio coverage. Played there off and on into 1931, with periods at other spots and touring. In 1929 band in Broadway musical "Show Girl". Irving Mills, Ellington's manager was an asset in booking clubs and recording dates. In late 1930 band got publicity from much heralded movie "Check and Double Check" starring Amos 'n' Andy. First European tour in 1933 was a great success, again in 1939, several in 1950s and 1960s, plus trips to other continents. Band maintained high level of musicianship, kept abreast of times. new members absorbed Ellington spirit. Son Mercer was assistant 1955-1959, but mostly on his own. as bandleader-arranger- composer. Seemed no end to his vast talent as band flourished into the 1970s. After Duke's death in 1974, band continued under leadership of son, Mercer.

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