Girish Mahajan (Editor)

A Portrait of Duke Ellington

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Released  1960
A Portrait of Duke Ellington (1960)  Gillespiana (1960)
Label  Verve Records
Length  41:38
Release date  1960
Genre  Jazz
A Portrait of Duke Ellington httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen664AP
Recorded  April 27 & 28, 1960 New York City
Artists  Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington's Washingtonians
Similar  Dizzy Gillespie albums, Jazz albums

Caravan dizzy gillespie a portrait of duke ellington a r t

A Portrait of Duke Ellington is an album featuring trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and orchestra performing compositions associated with Duke Ellington, recorded in 1960 and released on the Verve label. All of the orchestral arrangements were provided by then Hi-Lo's accompanist – and sometimes arranger – Clare Fischer, hired on the basis of a previously recorded but unreleased album with strings, arranged by Fischer for erstwhile University of Michigan classmate Donald Byrd. Byrd played the tape for Gillespie; Gillespie liked what he heard. Unfortunately for Fischer, especially in light of the critical accolades given the eventual fruit of his, and Gillespie's, labor, Fischer's name was nowhere to be found on the finished LP; widespread awareness of his participation would have to await the CD reissue almost 2½ decades later.



The Allmusic review awarded the album 4.5 stars. The album's original LP release received 5 stars from Billboard, though, owing to Verve's aforementioned oversight, Fischer's contribution went unnoticed. In fact, it was only through the efforts of one intrepid and musically attuned reviewer, The Washington Post's Tony Gieske, that this, as well as two of Fischer's other groundbreaking efforts in this period, were acknowledged and documented. Regarding the Gillespie LP, Gieske noted:

And on A Portrait of Duke Ellington (Verve MG V 8386), that depth and skill, stimulated by a change in the strale Gillespie repertoire and compemented by rich, radically imaginative arrangements by, I am told, Clare Fischer, result in a really classic album. Fischer, a young conservatory graduate, is a new name to be reckoned with.

Track listing

All compositions by Duke Ellington except as indicated

  1. "In a Mellow Tone" - 3:47
  2. "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" (Mercer Ellington) - 4:54
  3. "Serenade to Sweden" - 4:24
  4. "Chelsea Bridge" (Billy Strayhorn) - 2:36
  5. "Upper Manhattan Medical Group" (Strayhorn) - 3:06
  6. "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me" - 2:40
  7. "Caravan" (Juan Tizol/Ellington) - 5:23
  8. "Sophisticated Lady" - 3:21
  9. "Johnny Come Lately" - 3:38
  10. "Perdido" (Tizol) - 4:51
  11. "Come Sunday" - 2:58


  • Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet
  • Bennie Green - trombone
  • Ray Alonge, Richard Berg, Joe Singer - French horn
  • Jay McAllister - tuba
  • Robert DiDomenica - flute
  • Ernest Bright, John Murtaugh, Paul Richie, Stan Webb - woodwinds
  • George Devens - vibraphone
  • Hank Jones - piano, celesta
  • George Duvivier - bass
  • Charlie Persip - drums
  • Clare Fischer - arranger, director
  • Songs

    1Take the "A" Train2:56
    2Black Beauty3:11
    3The Mooche3:17


    A Portrait of Duke Ellington Wikipedia

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