Duke Ellington’s America

book cover

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra with Mahalia Jackson “Come Sunday” (1956)

(Quotes are from Duke Ellington’s America)

Gospel vocal legend Mahalia Jackson teamed up with Ellington for what I would call the definitive version of “Come Sunday”, the religious theme from Black, Brown and Beige, Ellington’s 1943 multi-movement tribute to African American history. “Ellington veteran [musician] Ray Nance reported two decades later that he cried when he first heard Jackson sing the song.” It is safe to say he is not alone. My advice: close your eyes when you listen to this and don’t multi-task, just let it wash over you.