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Catching Up with Mercer Ellington.

Band leader and composer Mercer Ellington. He's the son of Duke Ellington and now perpetuates the big band tradition his father made famous as head of the Duke Ellington Band. When he was a young man, Mercer Ellington had hoped to break into his father's band on the saxophone. But after years of frustration, he could see that he would never crack the legendary Ellington reed section. He finally was accepted as a trombone player and later played french horn and trumpet. With the death of his father in 1974, Mercer Ellington took over his father's orchestra. In the last two years, two Ellington albums have won wide acclaim: "Digital Duke" and "For Ellington," performed by the Modern Jazz Quartet and produced by Mercer Ellington. (Rebroadcast. Original date 5/3/89).

22:27

Other segments from the episode on September 25, 1989

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, September 25, 1989: Interview with Mercer Ellington; Interview with Bob Hoskins; Review of the television show "Saturday Night Live: 15th Anniversary Special."

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