"Rockin' in Rhythm" was written by saxophonist Harry Carney, Irving Mills and Ellington himself. It was recorded just before the Duke Ellington orchestra's legendary performance at the Cotton Club in 1931.
Many critics believe "Rockin' in Rhythm" to be one of the pieces that most defined Ellington -- as it is instinctive, spontaneous and thus very much representative of the swing era.
Listen as the band "rocks" from minor to major, before "rocking" back to major. This late in Ellington's career, almost three decades after its debut, the performance of this piece had become much more subdued.
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