C Jam Blues

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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. Western Swing band leader Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys recorded the song sometime between mid-1945 through 1947 as part of the Tiffany Transcriptions.[2]

Bill Doggett recorded a version on his 1958 tribute album Salute To Duke Ellington (King Records 533).


  1. ^ "C Jam Blues (1942)". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  2. ^ San Antonio Rose. Tiffany Transcriptions page 351.