Program Details

Enjoying the Music of Duke Ellington and Count Basie

Mark Gridley
Music / History

Course Description

This series is a presentation and discussion of the best recordings that Duke Ellington made as a pianist: Soda Fountain Rag, Lots o' FingersTonk, SolitudeReflections in D, and Single Petal of a Rose. Ellington's most stunning works as a composer, including his Harlem Airshaft, Transblucency, and Black, Brown & Beige. The quintessential recordings of the Count Basie big band and small groups, will be Shoe Shine Boy, Lester Leaps In, Dickie's Dream, Lady Be Good, Pound Cake, and Jive at Five, with emphasis on the solos of saxophonist Lester Young and Young's disciples, in both the "cool jazz" school and the "soul saxes" school.


  1. Duke Ellington as Pianist: A Stunning Touch and Master of Breathtaking Moods
  2. Duke Ellington as Composer: Painting Musical Pictures with an All-Star Cast of Unique Jazz Musicians
  3. Count Basie's Greatest Big Bands and Small Combos
  4. Count Basie's Top Soloist: Lester Young and his Disciples

About the Instructor

  • Mark C. Gridley, Ph.D., is a professional jazz saxophonist-flutist-bandleader who taught jazz history and appreciation at Case Western Reserve University, where he developed America's most widely used introductions to jazz: Jazz Styles: History and Analysis and its abridged edition, Concise Guide to Jazz (Prentice-Hall). His books have been translated into six foreign languages. His articles appear in numerous academic musicology journals as well as Groves Dictionaries of Music and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Gridley has been honored by the Educational Press Association of America’s Distinguished Achievement Award, and he is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in America.

Upcoming programs presented by Mark Gridley.

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