C Jam Blues

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C Jam Blues
by Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington - publicity.JPG
Duke Ellington c. 1940s
Key C major
Genre Jazz
Form Twelve-bar blues
Composed 1942 (1942)

"C Jam Blues"" is a jazz standard composed in 1942 by Duke Ellington and performed by countless other musicians, such as Dave Grusin, Django Reinhardt, Oscar Peterson, and Charles Mingus.


As the title suggests, the piece follows a twelve-bar blues form in the key of C major. The song is well known for being extremely easy to play, with the entire melody featuring only two notes: G and C.

The piece typically features several improvised solos. The final solo continues in the upper register as the entire ensemble comes in and the music grows to a climax. The melody likely originated from the clarinetist Barney Bigard in 1941, but its origin is not perfectly clear.[1]

It was also known as "Duke's Place", with lyrics added by Bill Katts, Bob Thiele and Ruth Roberts.



  1. ^ "C Jam Blues (1942)". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  2. ^ San Antonio Rose. Tiffany Transcriptions page 351.
  3. ^ Tracey, Ed (18 September 2016). "Odds & Ends: News/Humor (with a "Who Lost the Week?" poll)". Daily Kos. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "Mulgrew Miller Discography". jazzdisco.org. Retrieved 7 March 2017.