As a part of history, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington transcends any localizing. He traveled the world with his famous orchestra, playing his compositions for the fox trotters at Harlem’s Cotton Club, the British queen and her family, Carnegie Hall concerts, television appearances, Argentine “hot” dancers etc. Igor Stravinsky went to hear him many times. His orchestra broke down racial barriers for “the Race”, playing for the first time in countless as-yet segregated venues. Many of Ellington’s compositions have become canonical, and┬ámany became Standards in his own time.

For this one, I have picked two: Creole Rhapsody, recorded in January 1931, and Swamp Fire from 1946.

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra – Creole Rhapsody (parts 1 & 2)<<PLAY

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra – Swamp Fire <<PLAY