Take The “A” Train – 1969

Duke Ellington

Ellington in his 70th year plays his theme song

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In 1941, Duke Ellington first recorded his new theme song, Billy Strayhorn’s “Take The ‘A’ Train” which replaced his original theme “East St. Louis Toodle-oo.”

Cornetist Ray Nance, who had recently replaced the departed Cootie Williams, created a famous solo on the piece.

When Nance departed in 1962, Cootie Williams inherited the spot, making his own mark on that piece while referring some of the time to Nance’s solo.

From a European tour to celebrate his 70th birthday in 1969, Duke Ellington performs his theme with Cootie Williams and his classic orchestra.

-Scott Yanow


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