By 1939, having made hundreds of commercial recordings, having sold millions of records and on the heels of a triumphant tour of some of Europe’s leading concert halls, Ellington makes key additions to his band’s personnel, including arranger Billy Strayhorn, bassist Jimmy Blanton and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, just to name a few — and enters a period where the band’s commercial and artistic success are one, a period of recording what are widely considered to be dozens of masterpieces, such as "Take the A Train," "Concerto for Cootie (Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me)," "Koko," "Cotton Tail," "Never No Lament (Don’t Get Around Much Anymore)," "Main Stem," "I Got it Bad," "Jack the Bear," "Jump for Joy," "Day Dream," "Harlem Airshaft," "Things Ain’t What They Used to Be."

Armed with his best band yet, a new publisher, new agent and soon a new record company, the Duke Ellington Orchestra was, according to one of its star trumpeters, Rex Stewart, “… hitting on all cylinders like a wonderful musical juggernaut.”


Brief Bio

Louis Rosen is a renowned songwriter, guitarist, author, and respected and popular 92Y faculty member in music theory and appreciation. He is the 2005 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in Music Composition.

Details & Ordering

  • Making Ellington Masterpieces: 1939-43

    Date: Thu, May 4, 2017, 1:30 pm

    Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St

    Venue: Classroom

    Price: from $45.00

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