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Duke Ellington - Essay Example

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Duke Ellington

“gotta hurry home”. These records did not hit as they expected, and it was until 1926 when Irving mills became their manager that they had their massive hit. They later recorded “black and tan fantasy” a song that associated with Ellington throughout his career. Later he was put at the top by his acceptance to be a house band for cotton club. This made him well known in America and contributed to financial security that his band needed. It left cotton club in 1931 to tour the world; they managed to change with time. In 1930s swing music hit, New York and Ellington managed to change from hot jazz of 1920s to this genre. The record “doesn't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing” created that era. In 1940s, the band strength increased even more, and new soloist joined them (Pinkney & Pinkney). They recorded various records including “per dido”, and “jump for joy”. In 1943, Ellington gave his first hall concert debuting “black, brown and beige”. In late 1940s, his music continued to be of high quality, and his band’s turnover increased. Many influential bands broke up during this time due to the rise of bebop. In spite of, Ellington’s band never broke up. In 1950s, he had his worst moment of his career, but it was not a problem with his art. The band struggled for a while, but in 1955, they realized "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" which brought him back to fame. Duke brought various innovations to the music industry back then; making it acceptable for a black person to succeed in music. He was among the earliest jazz singers to make a record that took more than three minutes. His songs were more untraditional and had different modulations from what people were used to back then. The melodies of...
The biggest contribution of Duke was his effect on the black community; he was able to show the world that blacks too had talent. His discipline was also notable; this is has been explained his ability to keep the band together until his death. His contribution, however, went beyond music; he contributed a lot to his culture as a black person. He fought for racial equality and even became part of civil rights movements. Duke contributed an immense deal in making blacks feel worthy, and he was quoted saying that his race was his inspiration. He was able to influence many musicians including Thelonious Monk whose piano style was influenced by Ellington. Monk is a modern jazz musician, as well as a pianist. His unique arranging concepts influenced a number of modern day composers. Even if, Duke's main forte was jazz, he also composed for ballets, films, operas and church services. He was kind hearted and would regularly display his musicians; enabling them to make a strong impact on their own jazz styles. Ellington received various Grammy awards all the way through his career and many other awards. He continued to perform until his demise after suffering from cancer. His band continued with his legacy headed by his son Mercer. Ellington's legacy was to remain the greatest jazz musician of all time, and he has done that considering his name is, as vital, as it was then. His influence to musicians has remained strong and relevant. Until today musicians revisit his work for inspiration and as a bedrock to their own careers. ...Show more

Summary

The essay "Duke Ellington" describes Duke Ellington was born in 1899 in Washington dc to a middle-class family. He was enrolled in piano classes at the age of seven. His family encouraged him to follow his heart, and he continued practicing to play the piano…
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