Caravan (1937 song)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Caravan" is a jazz standard composed by Juan Tizol and first performed by Duke Ellington in 1936. Irving Mills wrote seldom performed lyrics. Its exotic sound interested exotica musicians; Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Gordon Jenkins all covered it. Woody Allen used the song in two of his films, Alice and Sweet and Lowdown. The song is also heavily featured in the 2014 film Whiplash as an important plot element. The Mills Brothers recorded an a cappella version, making the instruments' sounds with their voices, and Johnny Mathis recorded the song in 1956. There are more than three hundred and fifty recordings of this song by Duke Ellington's orchestra, the great majority of them now in the public domain.

Original recording

The first version of the song was recorded in Hollywood in 1936, performed as an instrumental by Barney Bigard and his Jazzopators. Two takes were recorded, of which the first (Variety VA-515-1) was published. The band members were:

All the players were members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which often split into smaller combinations to record songs under different band names. For this recording, which included Ellington and song composer Tizol as performers, the session band leader was Bigard.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Caravan (1937 song)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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