It Don’t Mean A Thing
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
This 1943 film footage captures the Duke Ellington Orchestra performing the swing era anthem “It Don’t Mean A Thing” with the singing of violinist and trumpeter Ray Nance, and trombonist ‘Tricky’ Sam Nanton.
*The song’s title was a derived from a saying often used by the Ellington Band’s former trumpet player Bubber Miley.
“It Don’t Mean A Thing” would quickly become a Jazz standard; probably the first song to use the phrase “Swing” in it’s title.
*The Duke Ellington Orchestra, unlike many of their contemporaries, was able to make the transition from Hot Jazz of the 1920’s to the Swing music of the 1930’s fairly easily.
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