Caravan (Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington song)
"Caravan" on Variety
|Song 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 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. Steven Soderbergh used the Lyman version in his 2001 film Ocean's Eleven. The song appears often in the 2014 film Whiplash 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.
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.
- Barney Bigard and His Jazzopators – Hollywood, December 19, 1936
- Duke Ellington – New York, May 14, 1937
- Art Tatum – Los Angeles, April–July 1940
- Dizzy Gillespie – October 25, 1951
- Clifford Brown – August 11, 1954
- 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
- The Ventures – Walk, Don't Run (album), 1960
- Nelson Riddle – Love Tide, 1961
- Art Blakey – Caravan, New York, October 23, 1962
- The Fentones - Recorded August 14th. 1962 at Abbey Road Studio
- Bill Haley and His Comets - recorded two different studio versions for Orfeon Records of Mexico in 1962 and 1966, and numerous live performances including for Roulette Records in 1962 for the album Twistin' Knights at the Roundtable (Roulette SR-25174).
- Wes Montgomery – Movin' Wes, New York, November 16, 1964
- Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson – Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie, London, November 28–29, 1974
- Chet Atkins and Les Paul - Chester and Lester, 1976
- Art Pepper – Friday Night at the Village Vanguard, New York, July 29, 1977
- Ryo Kawasaki – Lucky Lady, 1983
- Wynton Marsalis – Marsalis Standard Time, Vol. I, New York, May 29–30, 1986 and September 24–25, 1986
- Haruomi Hosono – Omni Sight Seeing, Tokyo and Paris, 1989
- Randy Weston – Portraits of Duke Ellington (album), 1989
- Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Inner Voyage (album), Blue Note, 1989
- Medeski Martin & Wood – Notes from the Underground, New York, December 15–16, 1991
- Thin White Rope - Squatter's Rights, Frontier Records, 1991
- Michel Camilo – Rendezvous, New York, January 18–20, 1993
- Dave Grusin - Homage to Duke, 1993
- Chicago – Night & Day: Big Band, 1995
- Dee Dee Bridgewater – Prelude to a Kiss: The Duke Ellington Album, 1996
- Jimi Tenor – Intervision (Album), Warp, 1997
- Danny Gatton – Danny Gatton; In Concert 9/9/94, Big Mo Records, Original Release Date: May 6, 1997
- Abdullah Ibrahim – Ode to Duke Ellington (album), 1998
- Chucho Valdés — Briyumba palo Congo, 1999
- The Brian Setzer Orchestra – Jumpin' East of Java, 2001
- Jacky Terrasson – Mirror (2007)
- Brownman Electryc Trio – Gravitation, Toronto, October 31, 2013
Santana's La Fuente del Ritmo from the 1972 album Caravanserai borrows the melodic line of Caravan, although the song is credited to percussionist James Mingo Lewis of Santana.
- Alain, Pailler (2002). Duke's place, Ellington et ses imaginaire. France: Actes sud. p. 147. ISBN 978-2-7427-3691-1.
- 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.
- "Mercury Records Catalog". Mercury Records. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
- "Santo & Johnny Chart History". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2016-04-17.