TDES, Inc. has led the way in commissioning new works in tribute to the
Duke and restoring his long-lost compositions. We are also supporting the
efforts of specialists who are transcribing Ellington's recordings so that
today and tomorrow, musicians can learn and scholars can study his
masterful arrangements and orchestrations.
New commissions and world premieres have included:
- Suite for the Duke (1983), by Aaron Bell
- Music is My Mistress (1984), by Mercer K. Ellington
Manuscripts restored to Ellington's original performance standards, and
now published by G. Schirmer, include:
- Black, Brown, and Beige: A tone Parallel to the History of
the American Negro (1943/1983)
- New World A-Comin'
The audience at TDES' 1995 big band concert enjoyed the premiere
performance of a new transcription of Ellington's Sepia
Panorama (1940). Prepared by Gunther Schuller, the transcription has
been scored and published for use by professional and student bands by the
Smithsonian Institution's Division of Cultural History as part of its Jazz
Most recently, the society commissioned musicologist Walter van de Leur
to reconstruct from Ellington's original manuscript notes much of the score
for the 1966 movie Assault on a Queen. Ellington was
commissioned to write the music by Frank Sinatra, who directed and starred
in the film. The reconstructed score was given its first performance
at TDES' 1996 big band birthday concert, at Columbia University.