Produced and directed by Terry Carter
Co-produced by Leonard “Skip” Malone
Edited by Beate Glatved

English, USA, 1988
Running time: 110 minutes
Apsect Ratio: 4:3
Color, B/W
NTSC, All Regions

‘A DUKE NAMED ELLINGTON’, the extraordinary, classic two-hour musical biography, makes its debut on DVD in 2007. An ideal tool for jazz research as well as the study of African-American culture, it captures the culturally transcendent genius and charisma of the man and his music, rooted in the Black experience.

Widely acclaimed as the best documentary ever created about one of the world’s greatest musical artists, ‘A DUKE NAMED ELLINGTON’ was nominated in 1988 for an Emmy Award as "Outstanding Informational Special", and garnered international awards.

‘A DUKE NAMED ELLINGTON’ spans half a century, blending previously undiscovered performance footage with recollections of Duke Ellington and his work. Highlights include great solo moments by celebrated virtuosi among the Duke Ellington conglomerate, including saxophonists Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Russell Procope, Harry Carney, and Ben Webster; clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton; and trumpeters Cootie Williams and Cat Anderson.

The Duke Ellington phenomenon is poignantly recalled by Herbie Hancock, Charlie Mingus, Ben Webster, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Leonard Feather, Herb Jeffries, Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Teddy Wilson, and others. In rare interviews, the Duke himself recalls his early professional influences and experiences, and reveals his unique method of music-making, his keen sense of humor, and his uncommon philosophy.

It becomes evident, in viewing ‘A DUKE NAMED ELLINGTON’, that not only was Duke Ellington a protagonist in the historical development of American music, blazing a path for other musical artists to follow, but that he continues to provide inspiration for composers, arrangers and musical performers in shaping the future of modern music. The program demonstrates how Duke Ellington contributed to the elevation of jazz from the level of folklore to the realm of music that lives far beyond its time and place.




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