Chapter

Duke's Team

Gwen Terry

in Clark

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268463
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949782 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520268463.003.0031
Duke's Team

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As Clark describes, Duke Ellington had an outstanding roster of professionals in his orchestra team. While recruiting musicians, Duke kept a certain criteria in his mind, the signature sound of each individual; how they blended; and how they interpreted his arrangements. It was like a choir of masterful voices. He wrote something unique for each member of the ensemble. He knew exactly what everybody could do and what they couldn't do and used characteristic sounds. He gave freedom to everyone to express themselves and each member of the band got a chance to play solos. He encouraged individual freedom and compiled ideas. He used things that were seemingly insignificant and made beautiful tunes. He got results that were not just out of his head, but also what was in his musicians' heads. Duke was a true artist.

Keywords: Duke Ellington; orchestra; choir; masterful voices; band; true artist

Chapter.  2723 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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