Black, Brown and Beige

Black, Brown and Beige

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This recording is only available as an MP3 or hi-res WAV digital download.

Access the digital booklet and liner notes.


“It sits alone in the history of jazz,” Wynton Marsalis says of Duke Ellington’s groundbreaking masterpiece Black, Brown & Beige. Since its 1943 debut at Carnegie Hall, the piece—a sprawling survey of African American history—has been heralded as one of the most significant compositions in American orchestral music. Now, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis is releasing a definitive, present-day recording of Black, Brown & Beige that conveys all the nuances and emotion of Ellington’s grandest work.

Captured during a live, Rose Theater performance in 2018, Black, Brown & Beige's Marsalis’s first recording of the work and Blue Engine’s first release dedicated entirely to Ellington. As Marsalis explains, the piece “covers a mosaic of not just Afro-American but of American styles of music,” and the expert musicians of the JLCO—not to mention special guests Brianna Thomas (vocals) and Eli Bishop (violin)—are perfectly equipped to tackle its stirring stylistic breadth. The JLCO’s spirited take on Ellington’s epic work not only pays tribute to some of the maestro’s most personal work but adds another important chapter to its enduring legacy.

 Track Listing

I. Black
1. Work Song
2. Come Sunday
3. Light


II. Brown
4. West Indian Dance
5. Emancipation Celebration
6. Blues Theme Mauve


III. Beige
7. Various Themes
8. Sugar Hill Penthouse
9. Finale



Sherman Irby (alto saxophone)
Ted Nash (alto saxophone)
Victor Goines (tenor saxophone, clarinet)
*Walter Blanding (tenor saxophone)
Paul Nedzela (baritone saxophone)
Julian Lee (substitute for Walter Blanding) 

Ryan Kisor 
Marcus Printup
Kenny Rampton
Wynton Marsalis (music director)
Jonah Moss

*Vincent Gardner
*Chris Crenshaw
Elliot Mason
Kasperi Sarikoski (substitute for Vincent Gardner)
Sam Chess (substitute for Chris Crenshaw)

Dan Nimmer (piano, bells)
Carlos Henriquez (bass)
Marion Felder (drums)
James Chirillo (guitar)

 *Did not perform on this show