Bringing alive the music of Duke Ellington

Transcriptions by Michael Kilpatrick

Currently I have no transcriptions for works predating 1933, although there are certainly some manuscripts surviving from the early 1930s and even the late 1920s. After the addition of Lawrence Brown on trombone and the return of Otto Hardwick on alto saxophone, Duke Ellington had a stable line-up for the rest of the decade, comprising three trumpets, three trombones and four reeds. In this period there is a heavier reliance on doubling instruments in the reed section, occasionally with all four musicians requiring clarinets. Johnny Hodges was often playing both soprano and alto saxes, but in the early 1940s he played his soprano considerably less, eventually dropping it completely, as did Harry Carney wirh his alto saxophone.

For a brief moment in 1937 there were four trumpeters in the orchestra, especially for the remarkable recording session of 20th September 1937.