Caravan (1936 song)

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"Caravan" is a 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 exotic sound of "Caravan" 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. The song appears often in the film Whiplash (2014) as an important plot element. The Mills Brothers recorded an a cappella version in which they imitated instruments with their voices. Johnny Mathis recorded the song in 1956. More than 350 versions have been recorded.[1]

Original recording[edit]

Original 1936 label

The first version of the song was recorded in Hollywood in 1936 and performed as an instrumental by Barney Bigard and his Jazzopaters.[2] 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]

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. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4. 
  3. ^ "Santo & Johnny Chart History". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2016-04-17.