Caravan (1937 song)

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"Caravan" is a jazz standard composed by Juan Tizol and first performed by Duke Ellington in 1936. Irving Mills wrote the lyrics, but he is sometimes not credited on the many instrumental versions. Its exotic sound interested exotica musicians; Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Gordon Jenkins all covered it. Woody Allen used the song in two of his films, Alice and Sweet and Lowdown, while The Mills Brothers recorded a famous acapella version, making the instruments' sounds with their voices. There are more than three hundred and fifty recordings of this song by Duke Ellington's orchestra, the great majority of them now in the public domain.[1]

First version[edit]

Variety-va515.jpg

The first version of the song was recorded in Hollywood in 1936, performed as an instrumental by Barney Bigard and His Jazzopators. Two takes were recorded, of which the first (Variety VA-515-1) was published. The band members were: Cootie Williams (trumpet), Juan Tizol (trombone), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Harry Carney (baritone sax), Duke Ellington (piano), Billy Taylor (bass), Sonny Greer (drums).

All the players were members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which often split into smaller units to record small-band discs. Although Ellington performed in this recording, the session leader was Bigard.

See also[edit]

External links and references[edit]

  1. ^ Alain, Pailler (2002). Duke's place, Ellington et ses imaginaire. France: Actes sud. p. 147. ISBN 2-7427-3691-3.