MusicMonday: Take The "A" Train by Duke Ellington

Today's #MusicMonday is a very special one and is a selection that Mama Bird helped with. Duke Ellington was so well loved by my Grandfather - he took each of his six children to see him play - and his music flowed through the house from both the fingertips of my Grandad and from the speakers of a carefully set up stereo system. It is without a doubt that my and my brothers' love of music is directly influenced by Duke Ellington through his significance to my grandparents and mother. From our earliest days, in fact, even in utero, both my mother and father actively encouraged us to love music and this is one song that when it pops up on my iPod I can't help but smile and tap my foot too. My Mum has told me before how she often thought Duke Ellington and my grandfather were very similar men - quiet, unassuming and private, noble men with an intelligent sense of humour and style - and this adds extra poignancy to Duke Ellington's music.

Take the "A" Train was the "anthem" for Duke Ellington Orchestra and although he didn't actually write the song himself it was directly influenced by his composing style. This version features the vocals of Joya Sherill who is believed to have written the original lyrics for the song while listening to the song on her radio. It is slightly different - in many ways more natural and sort of sweeter - to the more famous recorded version featuring Ella Fitzgerald.

Please enjoy this song and video. It defines what a swinging time looks like. I am going to take some time to get lost in more music like this this week...

It is an unintentional coincidence that this weeks Instagrams are all in black and white. I don't know why I decided to do this but once I started, I had to see the week through. It's a very unusual way of looking at Thailand, a boldly colourful country. Have a beautiful week, friends...

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before starting a family with her Australian partner. Frankie is the author of three short story collections, and is a freelance writer for travel and creative brands. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her two young sons around Amsterdam.
Find Frankie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

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