Caravan is an American jazz standard that was composed by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington. The exotic sound of Caravan interested many movie directors; Woody Allen used the song twice in his films and Steven Soderbergh used a version in Ocean's Eleven. The song also appears in the 2014 film Whiplash as an important plot element.
Caravan is an American jazz standard that was composed by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington. The exotic sound of Caravan interested many movie directors; Woody Allen used the song twice in his films and Steven Soderbergh used a version in Ocean's Eleven. The song also appears in the 2014 film Whiplash as an important plot element. The first version of the song was recorded in 1936. The band members included Juan Tizol (1900–1984) a Puerto Rican trombonist and composer and the co-writer of Caravan. Juan Tizol was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. Music was a large part of his early life. The valve trombone was the instrument he would play throughout his career. Tizol got the call to join the Ellington band in 1929 after a recommendation. Tizol sat beside Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton in the two man trombone section and became the fifth voice in the brass section of Ellington's orchestra. This opened up new possibilities for Duke's writing. Tizol's rich, warm tone also blended well with the sax section, Along with his distinctive sound, Tizol was also known for being one of the best sight-readers in the band. He played with great accuracy and was often featured playing solos that displayed his masterful technique and agility on the valve trombone. Tizol made many contributions to the Ellington band, as well as writing Pyramid and Perdido. One of his other major roles in the band was copying parts from Ellington's scores. Tizol spent many hours/days extracting parts that needed to be written out for up and coming shows.
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (1899–1974) was an American composer, pianist and jazz orchestra leader, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than six decades. Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured Europe. Although widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase "beyond category" as a liberating principle and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music rather than to a musical genre such as jazz. Some of the jazz musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered to be among the best players in the idiom. Ellington melded them into the best-known orchestral unit in the history of jazz. Some members stayed with the orchestra for several decades. A master at writing miniatures for the three-minute 78 rpm recording format, Ellington wrote more than one thousand compositions; his extensive body of work is the largest recorded personal jazz legacy. In the early 1940s, Ellington began a nearly thirty-year collaboration with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his writing and arranging companion. With Strayhorn, he composed many extended compositions and suites. Ellington was noted for his inventive use of the orchestra and for his eloquence and charisma. His reputation continued to rise after he died and he was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize Special Award for music in 1999.