Iconic Spotlight : Duke Ellington and Jimmy Rushing, by Ted Williams

To quote DownBeat (8-6-59), “It was an astounding performance, Ellington went on and on and when Jimmy Rushing joined the band to shout some more blues, the critics and professionals were – literally – dancing in the aisles.” Well, I am not a dancer but that was one of the more remarkable sets I had ever had the good fortune to witness at Newport!

Jimmy Rushing and Duke Ellington

All in all, it was a good month for Duke. In addition to that driving performance at Newport, he won DownBeats‘s International Critics Pol in both Big Band and Arranger categories, saw Anatomy of a Murder, the first film for which he had written the score, released to a the public, and was the 44th winner of the prestigious Springarn Medal – the first winner from the world of Jazz.

Extract taken from ‘Jazz – by Ted Williams’ available to purchase at ACC Art Books

See more from Ted William’s jazz archive here

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