(1899—1974) American jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader
(b Washington, DC, 1899; d NY, 1974).
Amer. composer, pianist, and jazz‐band leader. One of the most influential figures in the history of jazz. From 1927 to 1932 his band established its fame at the Cotton Club, NY. Later it toured Europe (1933 and 1939), attracting and influencing several composers; though re‐formed several times, some of its members remained with Ellington for over 30 years. Among his most celebrated players were Johnny Hodges (sax.), Barney Bigard (cl.), Cootie Williams (tpt.), Lawrence Brown (tb.), and Harry Carney (bar. sax.). Wrote about 6,000 comps., among best known being Mood Indigo, Solitude, Caravan, Sophisticated Lady, Black and Tan Fantasy, Creole Love Call, and Black, Brown, and Beige.