The Mooche – 1952

Duke Ellington


A powerful version of an Ellington classic

“The Mooche” was originally composed and recorded by Duke Ellington in 1928.

In 1952, as part of a series of performances filmed for television at the Apollo Theater (“Showtime At The Apollo”), Ellington revived “The Mooche” and the result was one of the most powerful versions.

With Louie Bellson heard throughout utilizing mallets on his drums, cornetist Ray Nance “preaches” over the clarinets of Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton and Harry Carney.

Procope solos (with Hamilton heard in the background), bassist Wendell Marshall is prominent behind Quentin Jackson’s plunger muted trombone, and Ellington punctuates the music with his piano.

The performance concludes with Nance making a final statement over the clarinets.

-Scott Yanow

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