There are only two things: love, all sorts of love, with pretty girls, and the music of New Orleans or Duke Ellington. Everything else ought to go, because everything else is ugly.— Boris Vian
Most Powerful Duke Ellington quotations
Bebop didn't have the humanity of Duke Ellington.
It didn't even have that recognizable thing. Bird and Diz were great, fantastic, challenging — but they weren't sweet.
I learned from Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington, Adelaide Hall, the Nicholas Brothers, the whole thing, the whole schmear. [The Cotton Club] was a great place because it hired us, for one thing, at a time when it was really rough [for Black performers].
I heard Sidney Bechet play a Duke Ellington piece and fell in love with the soprano saxophone.
You know, I always when people ask me, like, what is my most favorite song, I quote Duke Ellington, when they would ask him, what's his favorite composition? And I say, I haven't written it yet. Because, you know, there are different songs for different occasions.
I could turn on my radio in the morning when I was getting dressed for school and hear Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman and think this is the music. Now that music is art. Ellington is art. At that time it was just what you heard on the radio. Cole Porter was just a guy who wrote pretty songs and Billie Holliday would sing them.
Count Basie was college, but Duke Ellington was graduate school.
You hear about the Duke Ellingtons, the Jimmie Luncefords, and the Fletcher Hendersons, but people sometimes forget that jazz was not only built in the minds of the great ones, but on the backs of the ordinary ones.
When I got through, Duke Ellington stood up and started the applause.
If I were to put on Barbra Streisand and Duke Ellington, one might say the combination isn't good.
It's a spirit that was given me and the relationships and meeting all these great people, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong; through Max I met a lot of people too. My first album was with Benny Carter.
Duke Ellington was famous for hs very original harmonic patterns.
I do very few standards. Hardly any. Other people's tunes that I do are usually obscure tunes, for the most part, although I do a couple of Duke Ellington tunes that are well known.
The musicians, Duke Ellington, his thing was not about separating himself from the rest of America. Louis Armstrong - go to the forefathers of our music - Jelly Roll Morton - they're not preaching a separatist agenda. They're not taking their music and saying, "This is for me."
So I'm a young boy in the 1940s growing up, seeing Ralph Bunche on a regular basis, seeing Duke Ellington on a regular basis. We know that these people are famous. They're living in the same community as we live in. They go to the same stores and shops.
A few years later, my Uncle David took me to the Earle Theatre to hear Duke Ellington.
I fell in love with jazz when I was 12 years old from listening to Duke Ellington and hearing a lot of jazz in New York on the radio.
Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, and many other great jazz musicians objected to their music being called jazz. While the outside world may want to put a label on it, those who create it think of it just as music, and tend not to classify it.
[I wanted] to play the clarinet well so I could be in Duke Ellington's band, but that's now impossible.
Duke Ellington had a song, "What Am I Here For?" - this is what being pro-life is.
So Bach, Beethoven, Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, these are all people who would sort of rearrange or take riffs from people. Same thing with rock, if you look at the Rolling Stones doing a cover of Otis Redding or you know if you look at literature James Joyce is pulling fragments of text from other people.
I like to think Duke Ellington would probably embrace a fragrance as well.
My dad was a jazz fan and he used to have lots of old 78s, so I grew up with big jazz bands and the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie - although I really liked show tunes from those big musicals as well. I've always kept my ears open, as it were, when it comes to music. It doesn't matter to me what type of music it is. If I like it, I'll listen to it.
[Prince] could very well be the Duke Ellington of Rock 'n' Roll.
I remember the night when I was playing at Birdland, and Duke Ellington walked in wearing that cap of his and with all his elegance. The Duke then came backstage, and I was there with my band. That's the one thing I miss.
It's like Duke Ellington said, there are only two kinds of music - good and bad.
And you can tell when something is good.
Duke Ellington is my choice for many reasons.
Nobody has written so many great pieces of music, which are everlasting, and he has made them available to the world through his orchestrations of his work in a unique way. Lastly, he was himself a fine pianist. He covers the entire musical spectrum with his genius.
Duke Ellington's career traces the entire history of jazz.
The repertoire associated with him contains the most important elements in the music and provides concrete examples of some of the best ways to present the music in the widest variety of settings-radio, TV, recordings, movies, concert halls, festivals, solo, small ensemble, big band, symphony orchestra, opera, Broadway shows.... You name it, he did it!
I listen to tons of hard rock and metal, like Iron Maiden, Motorhead, etc.
, but I also listen to Beethoven and Mozart, to Discharge and the Bad Brains, and to Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington. So I think there's merit to both the melodic punk and to the hardcore stuff too.
You always come back to Duke Ellington - he's kind of like the thread that holds everything together from the big band descending to lots of jazz, actually.
I keep reverting (to Duke Ellington), he to me is the greatest ever and my favorite jazz philosopher, as such.
When I was young, I never bought records because my brother Joseph played saxophone and had a record player. I loved listening to his records: The Dorsey Brothers, Duke Ellington, all the big American jazz bands, and vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Ernestine Anderson, and Kitty White, a singer from the US who was a friend of Nina Simone. Nobody in America seems to know about her, but she was quite popular in South Africa.
I especially like Duke Ellington jazz, which is a little more.
.. I lived in New York for a while. I lived in Harlem for a bit, and I just fell in love with the idea of that era of New York, that jazz era, especially jazz in Harlem.
My teachers are Duke Ellington and nature.
...he went into the sitting room, put on a Duke Ellington record he had bought after seeing Gene Hackman sitting on the overnight bus in The Conversation to the sound of some fragile piano notes that were the loneliest Harry had ever heard.