Caravan (Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington song)

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"Caravan" on Variety
Single by Barney Bigard and His Jazzopators
Composer(s)Juan Tizol, Duke Ellington
Lyricist(s)Irving Mills

"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.

Original recording[edit]

The first version of the song was recorded in Hollywood in 1936 and performed as an instrumental by Barney Bigard and His Jazzopators.[1] Two takes were recorded, of which the first (Variety VA-515-1) was published. The band members were:

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.

Other versions[edit]

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.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

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.

Wu Bai used aspects of the song in his Crush on You (煞到妳).

See also[edit]

List of 1930s jazz standards

External links and references[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Alain, Pailler (2002). Duke's place, Ellington et ses imaginaire. France: Actes sud. p. 147. ISBN 978-2-7427-3691-1.
  3. ^ "Santo & Johnny Chart History". Billboard Magazine. Archived from the original on 2016-05-08. Retrieved 2016-04-17.