Duke Ellington in a truly colored world

UPDATE: I have entered the correct date and added Lou Rawls’ name, thanks to Ehsan Khoshbakht and Ruth Gilson!


It is usually said that Duke Ellington was a synaesthete –  in his case a person being able to hear colors (and see music as colors).

Among Otto Flückiger’s old VHS cassettes I recently found a six minute clip of Duke and his orchestra performing in a surrounding that must hurt people of that ability. This comes from a Lou Rawls Show  directed by Jörn Winther and produced in Canada in 1971 (Thanks, Ehsan!)

It seems like the only way for Duke  to protect his inner ear from the screaming colors of the studio furniture and walls was to fight them by wearing a bright orange-red jacket with a lilac shirt!

Duke and the band (unfortunately one does not see much of the orchestra) play “Satin Doll”, afer that Duke is joined by singer Lou Rawls (thanks again, Ehsan!)–  doing “Sophisticated Lady”.



5 Responses to “Duke Ellington in a truly colored world”

  1. It is from 1971 and the singer on the second song is Lou Rawls.

  2. Ruth Gilson Says:

    I think the male vocalist in this Ellington video is Lou Rawls.


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