Born: March 11, 1919 | Died: February 8, 1996
Mercer Ellington was born in Washington, D.C., the only child of Duke and Edna Ellington. He received formal music training and eventually led his own band as a trumpet player. Joining his father in Los Angeles in 1940 he began a period of study with the Duke Ellington Orchestra that lasted until he went into the service; this would be Mercer’s most productive period with regard to jazz standards.
In Duke Ellington in Person: An Intimate Memoir, Mercer states,
There is nothing like practical experience, and when the band played arrangements I had written under [Duke’s] supervision, like “Moon Mist,” “Blue Serge,” “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” and “The Girl in My Dreams,” it was as instructive as gratifying....
Stepping Into Swing Society (Songs Composed By Duke And Mercer...Atlantic
Remembering Duke's WorldAtlantic
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