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 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
- Art Blakey – Caravan, New York, October 23, 1962
- Clifford Brown – August 11, 1954
- Michel Camilo – Rendezvous, New York, January 18–20, 1993
- Nat King Cole – After Midnight, Los Angeles, September 14, 1956
- Duke Ellington – New York, May 14, 1937
- Dizzy Gillespie – October 25, 1951
- Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson – Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie, London, November 28–29, 1974
- 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
- Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington, Hackensack, New Jersey, July 27, 1955
- Wes Montgomery – Movin' Wes, New York, November 16, 1964
- Art Pepper – Friday Night at the Village Vanguard, New York, July 29, 1977
- Santo & Johnny's – Santo & Johnny (1959), peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart
- Art Tatum – Los Angeles, April–July 1940
- 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 2-7427-3691-3.
- 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.
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