C Jam Blues

C Jam Blues is a jazz standard, which was published in 1942 by Duke Ellington. As already suggested by the title, it involves a ( twelve-bar ) Blues, which is held in C major and the held a jam band soloists. In his last years, Ellington has always opened his concerts with this piece, with the same time the band was warmed up.

Structure of the piece

The basic motive of the composition consists only of a simple rhythm figure on the note G, which is completed by a fourth jump upwards to C and probably developed from a reef by Barney Bigard. Due to the underlying schema has this Blue G at each stage a different meaning. In the arrangement, however, Billy Strayhorn built a kind of " barbs " a: "Every solo begins with an [ additional ] 4 -stroke- Break, but not included in the chorus, " so that every solo starts with 16 bars and then any further choruses connect the soloist to each twelve bars.

First recording

The first recording was made by a small band of the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the name of Barney Bigard in 1941 ( then called the piece still "C Blues "). The first big band recording of Ellington followed in January 1942 for RCA Victor. According to Hans -Jürgen Schaal Ellington has at least recorded three "extremely listenable " versions of the title: A piano duo (plus bass) with Billy Strayhorn, a big-band version of 1962, which was highlighted at the Paul Gonsalves as the only soloist, as well as a picture with a singing Louis Armstrong from the year 1961.

Effect story

Bigard left the Ellington Orchestra in 1942 and tried the piece out in other bands in which he played; especially Louis Armstrong's All-Stars, to which he belonged since 1947, the piece played regularly. Other members of the Elligton Orchestra Johnny Hodges, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry and Harold Ashby played the C Jam Blues on their own plates. " The relaxed swing number " has also been adopted by many pianists such as Meade Lux Lewis, Earl Hines, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson to Kenny Barron and Michel Petrucciani. Also, Slam Stewart, Django Reinhardt, Dave McKenna and Dave Grusin contributed to the fact that the C Jam Blues, a jazz standard was. Matthew Shipp wrote in 1997 even a thirteen -minute " Free Jazz Fantasy" on the subject.

Version with text

Ellington wrote, supported by Bob Thiele later a text for composition, the "Duke 's Place Baby, take me down to " the basic motif melodically and rhythmically well transposed into speech with the words and initially recorded as Duke 's Place with Louis Armstrong was, but then also was interpreted by Jackie Paris, Ella Fitzgerald and Leon Thomas.