Happy Birthday Duke!

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Today is Duke Ellington Day, honoring the 120th anniversary of the legendary musician and composer’s birth.

Duke Ellington  composed thousands of scores over his 50-year career. He was a major figure in the history of jazz music, and created what he called “American Music” until shortly before his death in 1974.

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“His songs have become a standard part of the cultural heritage, his longer compositions a part of the finest art of our time and his concerts and personal appearances among the most satisfying for an audience of those of any artist,” said jazz critic and historian Ralph J. Gleason. “Every music honor this country can bestow is little enough for such a musical giant as this man. In reality, he has already won them and more by his imprint on the minds of all who have heard him.”

“Music is my mistress,” said Ellington, “and she plays second fiddle to no one.”

Here’s a track from an album that’s a collection of digitally mixed and mastered compositions written by and usually associated with Duke Ellington. His son, Mercer Ellington conducts the Duke Ellington Orchestra for this project recorded in 1987. The digital updates are a crisp and clear, timeless tribute to the Duke. This was Duke’s signature song.

BONUS

From the rock group Chicago…

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