Caravan (Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington song)
|Single by Barney Bigard and His Jazzopators|
|Composer(s)||Juan Tizol, Duke Ellington|
"Caravan" is an American jazz standard that was composed by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington and first performed by Ellington in 1936. Irving Mills wrote lyrics, but they are rarely sung.
The first version of the song was recorded in Hollywood in 1936 and 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 saxophone
- Duke Ellington – piano
- Billy Taylor – double bass
- Sonny Greer – drums
The musicians were members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which often split into smaller combinations to record songs under different band names. For this recording, which included Ellington and Tizol as performers, the session band leader was Bigard.
The sound of "Caravan" interested exotica musicians; Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Gordon Jenkins all covered it. The Mills Brothers recorded an a cappella version in which they imitated instruments with their voices. More than 350 versions have been recorded.
- Duke Ellington – New York, May 14, 1937
- Valaida Snow – Valaida Snow (vocal and trumpet) and her Orchestra, 1939, Sonora
- Art Tatum – Los Angeles, April–July 1940
- Dizzy Gillespie – October 25, 1951
- Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington, Hackensack, New Jersey, July 27, 1955
- Nat King Cole – After Midnight, Los Angeles, September 14, 1956
- Santo & Johnny's – Santo & Johnny (1959), peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart
- Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – Caravan, New York, October 23, 1962
- Wes Montgomery – Movin' Wes, New York, November 16, 1964
- Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson – Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie, London, November 28–29, 1974
- Les Paul & Chet Atkins – Chester and Lester, May 6–7, 1975
- Art Pepper – Friday Night at the Village Vanguard, New York, July 29, 1977
- Wynton Marsalis – Marsalis Standard Time, Vol. I, New York, May 29–30, 1986 and September 24–25, 1986
- Medeski Martin & Wood – Notes from the Underground, New York, December 15–16, 1991
- Michel Camilo – Rendezvous, New York, January 18–20, 1993
- Eva Cassidy – recorded live at the Blues Alley club, Washington, D.C. January 3, 1996, and released in her posthumous album Nightbird (2015)
- Fanfare Ciocărlia - Gili Garabdi, 2005
- Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band – Vox Humana, recorded live at Dizzy's Club-Coca Cola, NYC, June 18-19, 2022
In popular culture
Woody Allen used the song in two of his films, Alice and Sweet and Lowdown. Steven Soderbergh used the Lyman version in his 2001 film Ocean's Eleven. The song is featured prominently in the 2014 film Whiplash as an important plot element. A horn sample from the Romanian cover version by Fanfare Ciocărlia was used in the song We No Speak Americano by Yolanda Be Cool.
External links and references
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
- ^ Alain, Pailler (2002). Duke's place, Ellington et ses imaginaire. France: Actes sud. p. 147. ISBN 978-2-7427-3691-1.
- ^ "Santo & Johnny Chart History". Billboard Magazine. Archived from the original on 2016-05-08. Retrieved 2016-04-17.