From the JAZZIZ Vault: Duke Ellington Centennial Playlist

Over the course of its 35-year history, JAZZIZ Magazine would occasionally run exclusive issues dedicated to a single artist, genre or event. Often, those issues would be paired with a special-edition CD featuring music to accompany the theme. In April 1999, for example, JAZZIZ celebrated the 100th anniversary of composer Duke Ellington with an issue that featured Duke from cover to cover, complete with an interview with Wynton Marsalis and a comic written by Harvey Pekar.

The corresponding CD, packaged in a sharply designed custom sleeve, included some of Duke’s classic and lesser-known tunes. We’ve re-created it here as a playlist. We’re also including an excerpt from the issue’s “Editor’s View” column, written by Editor-in-Chief Larry Blumenfeld. We’ve had a blast digging through the crates to bring these special issues back to life. We hope you enjoy them, too.

From the April 1999 Issue: Duke Ellington’s Centennial

“Without question, [Duke] Ellington changed musicians’ concepts of what could be played. And he changed audiences’ ideas about what they could hear and appreciate. He brought us newfound rhythmic intensity and previously unheard voicings and timbres … all within the context of melodies we cared about and still do. … From the beginning, he brought to light influences from Africa and Latin America; by the end of his life, he’d shared his music with the rest of the world and blended inspirations from Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere into his own sound. Most significantly, he cultivated individual musicians’ talents, kept them in the band, and wrote with their specific personalities in mind. In this way, he eroded the walls between composition and improvisation, between composer and player, to an exciting degree. Americans like heroes: Ellington is a mighty one.” — Editor-in-Chief Larry Blumenfeld

Listen on: qobuz

It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
Duke Ellington
The Duke: The Columbia Years (1927-1962)

Take the “A” Train
Duke Ellington
The Essential Duke Ellington

Isfahan
Duke Ellington
Far East Suite

Take The Coltrane
Duke Ellington, John Coltrane
Duke Ellington & John Coltrane

Harlem Air Shaft
Duke Ellington
Swingin’ With the Duke

East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
Duke Ellington & His Washingtonians
In a Sentimental Mood

Solitude
Sathima Bea Benjamin, Duke Ellington
A Morning In Paris

Purple Gazelle
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Afro Bossa

Cotton Tail
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington Presents (Remastered 2014)

Lotus Blossom, Pt. 1
Duke Ellington
An Intimate Piano Session

The Beautiful American – 1990 Remaster
Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington
The Great Summit, The Complete Sessions-Deluxe Edition

Daybreak Express – Remastered [Take 2 / Alternate Take]
Duke Ellington
The Original Recordings That Inspired the Broadway Hit “AFTER MIDNIGHT”

Money Jungle – Remastered
Duke Ellington
Money Jungle

La Plus Belle Africaine – Live At Cote D’Azur, France, 7/27/1966
Duke Ellington
The Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington Cote D’Azur Concerts On Verve

Satin Doll
Duke Ellington
Jazz Profile: Duke Ellington

Mood Indigo
Duke Ellington
Greatest Hits

Caravan – Remastered
Duke Ellington
Greatest Hits

Black and Tan Fantasy
Duke Ellington & His Washingtonians
The Original Recordings That Inspired the Broadway Hit “AFTER MIDNIGHT”

Sophisticated Lady
Duke Ellington
In a Sentimental Mood

The Single Petal Of A Rose  – The Queen’s Suite
Duke Ellington
The Ellington Suites

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