Sophisticated Lady

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"Sophisticated Lady"
Jazz standard by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
Released 1933 (1933)
Recorded February 15, 1933 (1933-02-15)
Genre Jazz
Writer(s) Mitchell Parish
Composer(s) Duke Ellington

"Sophisticated Lady" is a jazz standard, composed as an instrumental in 1932 by Duke Ellington, with additional credit given to publisher Irving Mills, to which words were added by Mitchell Parish. The words met with approval from Ellington, who described them as "wonderful—but not entirely fitted to my original conception." That original conception was inspired by three of Ellington's grade school teachers. "They taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication."[1] Duke Ellington and His Orchestra introduced Sophisticated Lady in 1933[2] with an instrumental recording of the song that featured solos by Toby Hardwick on alto sax, Barney Bigard on clarinet, Lawrence Brown on trombone and Ellington on piano. The recording entered the charts on 27 May 1933, and stayed there for sixteen weeks, rising to number three. [3]

Ellington’s early vocalist Adelaide Hall recorded two versions of ‘Sophisticated Lady’. In 1944 on the Decca label (Decca – F. 8467)[4] and in the soundtrack of the 1989/90 movie documentary celebrating her life entitled Sophisticated Lady.[5][6][7] Miss Hall recorded with Ellington on several occasions — in 1927, 1932 and 1933. Another version of Adelaide Hall singing ‘Sophisticated Lady’ can be found on footage from British TV in the 1987 Terry Wogan Show.[8][9]

Arild Andresen, piano with guitar and bass recorded it in Oslo on March 11, 1955, as the first melody of the medley "Klaver-Cocktail Nr. 3" and "With a Song in My Heart" and "Flamingo". The medley was released on the 78 rpm record His Master's Voice A.L. 3514.


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