Cootie Williams With And Without Duke Ellington

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Cootie Williams was an American jazz trumpeter who lived from 1911 to 1985. He is primarily known for his work as a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (1929-1940 and 1962-1975) as well as for his time as a band leader and soloist (1940-1962). As a member of the Ellington Orchestra, Williams was a highly regarded trumpeter with whom Ellington collaborated on several works that featured Williams as a primary soloist. This document provides a historical overview of Williams’s life and career, highlighting important events and musicians that shaped his performance style. Two Ellington works- “Concerto for Cootie” and “Tutti for Cootie”- are used as comparison points to show the development of Williams as a musician and soloist between his first and second time spent with the Ellington Orchestra.

Cootie Williams, Duke Ellington