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Music Essay

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One man who was successful in Duke Ellington's band was Jimmy Blanton. Jimmy Blanton was an American jazz double bassist. He joined Duke Ellington's band in 1939. He was credited for starting more complex pizzicato and arco bass solos in a jazz context than previous bassists. Blanton created some of the first essential bass solos in jazz like some compositions from Ellington like "Ko Ko," "Jack the Bear," and "Concerto for Cootie." Also, he recorded a cycle of duets with his bandleader, Duke Ellington on piano, the one that sounded the best was "Pitter Panther Patter." Jimmy Blanton was beginning to play the bass professionally in city groups which was led by his mother and she was a pianist. After a short time at Tennessee State College, he moved to St. Louis where he joined a band named the “Jeter-Pillars Orchestra” and bands of the Fate Marable's riverboat, where Duke Ellington heard him and then he put him in his band. He was in Ellington’s band for two years because he was diagnosed with congenital tuberculosis. So he was forced to retire and then a few months later he had died.

Another man who became famous from playing with Duke Ellington was William “Cat” Anderson. Cat Anderson was an American jazz trumpet player. He was known for his high notes when he is playing trumpet. He joined Duke Ellington’s band in 1944. Cat’s solo on “Satin Doll” from Duke Ellington’s 70th Birthday Concert is a chorus that contained notes that are so high that it is unsure if any jazz player in history could play like him. Anderson was first discovered by Duke Ellington after he was fired by Lionel Hampton because of jealousy. Anderson working with Ellington was the perfect place for him to play music. Cat was with Ellington during 1944-194...

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...nd for three years. June left the band because she wanted to become a solo act.

A man who became famous in Jimmie Lunceford’s band was Eddie Durham. Eddie was an American jazz guitarist, trombonist, composer and musical arranger. He joined Jimmie’s band in 1935. Durham was best known for the song “Blue Bone.” He was introduced to Jimmie when he moved to New York in 1934. Eddie played with Jimmie for two years. He left to join another band.

Another man who became famous in Jimmie Lunceford’s band is Gerald Wilson. Gerald is an American jazz trumpeter, big band bandleader, composer/arranger, and an educator. He played with Jimmie’s band in 1939. He was best known for the song “Theme for Monterey.” Gerald met Jimmie after he finished high school. Wilson played with that group for three years. He left Jimmie’s band because he wanted to organize his own big band.
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