Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Today is Duke Ellington's 110th birthday, born April 29, 1899. What can one say? Ellington is the single most influential American musician, a brilliant composer, pianist and band leader, the alpha and omega of jazz. He began writing songs at the age of 14, and continued to write and perform vital and inspired music right up until his death at the age of 75. Ernest Hemingway said that "All modern American literature comes from one book called Huckleberry Finn." I believe it's equally true to say that all modern American music comes from one man named Duke Ellington.

There is no shortage of amazing Ellington footage on the Youtube but I particularly like this short piece from 1960. First, because Ellington is in the rare position of fronting a powerful and groovy trio. Second, because it's taking place in the unusual setting of the Fundacion Miró in Barcelona. And third, because the great Joan Miró himself makes an unexpected appearance!

1 comment:

bronxgirl said...

I loved it. Beautiful music, sun shining and a terrific visit with Joan Miro. How did you find this?