CD - The Symphonic Duke

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The Symphonic Duke

Duke Ellington – Harlem, The Queen Suite and Night Creature

Symphonic Orchestra & Concert Jazz Band of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam


A special collaboration of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam Jazz and Classical Departments.

Loath to categorize his music, Ellington did not try to write jazz in a classical mold, nor to fuse the two genres. This CD features three samples of his superbly original work. Ellington wrote Harlem, one of his so-called ‘tone-parallels’ while he was sailing back to the US after his third tour in Europe. The Queen Suite is dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II. Ellington had one single record of the suite pressed, which he sent to Buckingham Palace. Only after his death in 1974, the recording became available to the general public. In Night Creature Ellington tried, in his own words, ‘to make the symphony swing’. The result is an idiosyncratic concoction of groovy riffs, strange chords and overall joy that certainly does swing.



  1. Harlem
  2. The Queen Suite Sunset and the Mocking Bird
  3. The Queen Suite Lighting Bugs and Frogs
  4. The Queen Suite Le Sucrier Velours
  5. The Queen Suite Northern Lights
  6. The Queen Suite The Single Petal of a Rose
  7. The Queen Suite Apes and Peacocks
  8. Night Creature Blind Bug
  9. Night Creature Stalking Monster
  10. Night Creature Dazzling Creature

Challenge Records, 2015

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