Sophisticated Lady

"Sophisticated Lady" is a jazz standard, composed as an instrumental in 1932 by Duke Ellington.

"Sophisticated Lady"
Single by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
Released1933 (1933)
RecordedFebruary 15, 1933 (1933-02-15)
Songwriter(s)Duke Ellington


Additional credit is given to publisher Irving Mills whose words were added to the song by Mitchell Parish. The words met with approval from Ellington, who described them as "wonderful—but not entirely fitted to my original conception". That original conception was inspired by three of Ellington's grade school teachers. "They taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication."[1][2]

Duke Ellington and His Orchestra introduced "Sophisticated Lady" in 1933[3][2] with an instrumental recording of the song that featured solos by Toby Hardwick on alto sax, Barney Bigard on clarinet, Lawrence Brown on trombone and Ellington on piano. The recording entered the charts on 27 May 1933 and rose to number three.[4][2]

Singer Adelaide Hall recorded with Ellington in 1927, 1932, and 1933.[5] The song appeared on the soundtrack of the 1989/90 documentary celebrating her life entitled Sophisticated Lady.[6]

Other recordings

See also


  1. "Who Was Duke's Sophisticated Lady?". All About Jazz. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  2. Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 389. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
  3. "Ellington Sessions 1933". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  4. "Jazz Standards Songs and Instrumentals (Sophisticated Lady)". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  5. Collins, Glenn (10 November 1993). "Adelaide Hall, 92, International Star of Cabaret". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  6. "Sophisticated Lady A Musical Self-portrait Adelaide Hall". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  7. "Dangerous Liaisons". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  8. Yanow, Scott. "Toku Do". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  9. "Live at the Riverside". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  10. "Billie Holiday Discography". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  11. "Silver Rain". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  12. Tauss, Lucy (1 May 2005). "Marcus Miller: Silver Rain". JazzTimes. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  13. "Mulgrew Miller Discography". Retrieved 7 March 2017.
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