Duke Ellington's My People Duke Ellington


Modern Jazz
Flying Dutchman
Catalogue Id:

This product is also available in these versions:
Duke Ellington's My People (MP3), MP3 (£6.32)

When it came to choosing a composer to create a musical work to mark the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Emancipation, Duke Ellington was first on the list. Ellington, by this point 40 years into his career, was the embodiment of what could be achieved by a black man in the USA. Recognised the world over for the quality of his work and the grace and dignity with which he held himself, he had dined with royalty and won prestigious international awards.

Ellington was born in Washington toward the end of the 19th century and built his career as the leader of a great orchestra. His facility in managing the great players he employed, and his ability to write music that suited their styles made him the pre-eminent bandleader. Hits came his way, but when he began to develop long-form works, he rose to another level.

He chose to celebrate a century of black emancipation with a musical review titled “My People”, based around his earlier suite ‘Black, Brown And Beige’. Taking in gospel, blues and jazz, the work was performed by the main members of his Orchestra, with vocalists Joya Sherill, Jimmy McPhail and others. It also featured an oration by Ellington himself.

After the show finished its run, it may well have been lost to history if producer Bob Thiele hadn’t decided to get involved. He reassembled the cast and recorded the album at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in New Jersey, then issued it on his Contact label. An understated gem in the Ellington catalogue, we are reissuing it for the first time using the original album artwork.

By Dean Rudland


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview a) Ain't But The One b) Will You Be There? and 99%

  • 02 Preview a) Come Sunday b) David Danced

  • 03 Preview My Mother, My Father (Heritage)

  • 04 Preview Montage - Instrumental

  • 05 Preview a) My People b) The Blues Ain't

  • 06 Preview a) Workin' Blues b) My Man Sends Me c) Jail Blues d) Lovin' Lover

  • 07 Preview King Fit The Battle Of Alabam'

  • 08 Preview What Color Is Virtue?

Delivery & Returns


We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought