Piano in the Foreground (Podcast #17-008)

We feature piano versions of Ellington’s music, by the Maestro himself and other giants like Hines, Tyner, Waller, Tatum and others…. Continue reading





……[M]y mother decided I should take piano lessons. My piano teacher, Mrs. Clinkscales (that was really her name), got paid several times a week for many weeks for these lessons, but I missed more than I took, because of my enthusiasm for playing ball, and running and racing through the street. That I remember very well, because when she had her piano recital with all her pupils in the church, I was the only one who could not play his part.

-Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress



Duke Ellington, Orson Welles and Cab Calloway

I was fortunate enough to see three of this podcast’s featured artists in concert and get their autographs:


Oscar Peterson (along with Ella Fitzgerald, Freddie Green, Al Grey, Bobby Plater and Tommy Flanagan)


McCoy Tyner


Earl “Fatha” Hines

The recordings heard on this podcast episode:

Greatest Concert

Take the “A” Train (LP: “The Greatest Jazz Concert In The World” Pablo 2625-704)

Recorded 1 July 1967 at The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

Oscar Peterson – piano; Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone, Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Paul Gonsalves, Jimmy Hamilton, Harry Carney – reeds, John Lamb -bass; Chris Columbus – drums.



Soda Fountain Rag (CD: “Live at The Whitney” Impulse/GRP 173)

Recorded 10 April 1972, New York City

Duke Ellington – piano.



Soda Fountain Rag (CD: “Duke Ellington Piano Works” Dynamic CDS7743)

Recorded 2015, Italy

Luigi Polombi – piano.




Solitude (CD”Romance a la Mode” Jazzsential)

Recorded 16 September 1943, New York City

Fats Waller – organ, vocal.


kenny burrell

Orson (LP: “Ellington Is Forever, Volume 2” Fantasy 79008 )

Recorded November & December, 1975, Berkeley, California

Jimmy Jones – piano



Black and Tan Fantasy (CD: “Thelonious Monk plays Duke Ellington”  Universal

Recorded 21 July 1955, Hackensack, New Jersey

Thelonious Monk – piano; Oscar Pettiford -bass; Kenny Clarke – drums.



In a Sentimental Mood (CD: “Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Volume 8” Pablo PACD-2405-439-2)

Recorded 29 December 1953, Los Angeles

Art Tatum – piano.



What Am I Here For? (CD: “The Missouri Connection” Reservoir (City Hall) 124)

Recorded 15 September 1992, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Jay McShann, John Hicks – piano.



Caravan (CD: “Ready Take One” Sony Music 88985363312)

Recorded 2 December 1971, New York City

Erroll Garner – piano; Ernest McCarty, Jr. – bass; Jose Mangual – conga; Jimmie Smith – drums.


earl plays duke

Satin Doll (CD: “Jazz Royalty – Earl Hines plays Duke Ellington” New World Records
NW 81001)

Recorded 10 December 1971, New York City

Earl “Fatha” Hines – piano.



Satin Doll (CD: “Double Trios”, Denon Records 1128)

Recorded 7 June 1986, New York City

McCoy Tyner – piano; Avery Sharpe – bass; Louis Hayes – drums.



Pitter Panther Patter (CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942 Band” Avid, AMSC1143)

Recorded 1 October 1940, Chicago

Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmie Blanton -bass.


This ones for Blanton

Pitter Panther Patter (CD: “This One’s for Blanton” Pablo PACD-2310-721-2)

Recorded 5 December 1972, Las Vegas

Duke Ellington – piano; Ray Brown – bass.



It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, New York City

Paul Gonsalves- tenor sax; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Ray Nance – cornet; Mitchell “Booty” Wood – trombone; Jimmy Jones – piano; Al Hall – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums.