On The Road With Duke Ellington Directed by Robert Drew, 1967
A superb profile on an elusive subject" - Variety
Filmed just six years before Duke Ellington’s death and at the peak of his career, ON THE ROAD WITH DUKE ELLINGTON serves as perhaps the most revealing and intimate portrait of the artist ever recorded. Robert Drew, legendary filmmaker and pioneer of the Cinema Verite documentary style, offers audiences a unique and unobtrusive look inside the colorful and transient world of this American jazz legend, exposing the key elements that characterize and define Ellington as we discover the artist performing, composing, and ruminating about his life and career. Since then, no other film, book, interview or composition has been able to capture Ellington in quite the same way. Drew finds Ellington at home, on the road and at his piano, in a world where nightly concert performances, impromptu improvisations, all night composing sessions, and steak and potato breakfasts are all a part of Duke’s daily routine. With a musical score that highlights an assortment of Ellington standards including “Satin Doll” and “Take the ‘A’ Train,” we are privy to rare moments with Duke as we encounter him late at night composing a new song that he will perform the following day. Even Louis Armstrong makes an appearance in this groundbreaking film that profiles one of the most prolific and influential composers of the 20th century.
Duke Ellington photo gallery; Filmmaker Biography; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection