“Sophisticated Lady“ is a jazz standard which was composed as an instrumental in 1932 by Duke Ellington…..as additional credit is given to publisher Irving Mills….whose words were added to the song by Mitchell Parish….whereas the words met with approval from Ellington….who described them as “wonderful, but not entirely fitted to my original conception”. That original conception was inspired by three of Ellington’s grade school teachers….“They taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication.”
Duke Ellington and His Orchestra introduced “Sophisticated Lady” in 1933….with an instrumental recording of the song that featured solos by Toby Hardwick on alto sax, Barney Bigard on clarinet, Lawrence Brown on trombone and Ellington on piano….as the recording entered the charts on May 27, 1933 and rose to # 3…..while singer Adelaide Hall recorded with Ellington in 1927, 1932 and 1933….and the song appeared on the soundtrack of the 1989/90 documentary celebrating her life entitled Sophisticated Lady.
In this video herewith, jazz singing legend Ella Fitzgerald teams up with Billy Taylor and His All Star Orchestra at The Kennedy Center Salutes Duke Ellington concert in 1980….for a memorable rendition of Duke’s “Sophisticated Lady”…..as well as a wonderful expression of wonderful memories about Duke Ellington as seen through the eyes of Ella Fitzgerald…..which makes this a MUST SEE VIDEO to any and all Ellington fans around the world.