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Take The "A" Train

Ray Nance, Duke Ellington

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Dec. 10, 1913 - Jan. 28, 1976

Ray Nance was Duke Ellington's trumpeter for over twenty years during which he proved an indispensable addition. He replaced Cootie Williams in 1940 who eventually returned to the band prior to Nance's own 1963 departure.


Ray Nance,
Shorty Baker,
Cat Anderson,
Bill Berry,
Ed Mullens (t)
Lawrence Brown,
Leon Cox,
Chuck Connors, (tb)
Russell Procope,
Johnny Hodges, (as)
Paul Gonsalves, (ts)
Jimmy Hamilton, (cl, ts)
Harry Carney, (bars)
Duke Ellington, (p)
Aaron Bell, (b)
Sam Woodyard, (d)

Five jazz films were commissioned by a corporate sponsor during the early 1960s. One them opened with this performance of the Duke Ellington Orchestra classic "Take the 'A' Train" featuring Ray Nance's famous trumpet solo. The solo became so prevalent among jazz musicians over the next two decades when Cootie Williams returned to the band in 1962 he had little trouble duplicating Nance.

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