Duke Ellington wrote 'Black, Brown, and
Beige' in 1937, maybe '39. I'm not too
clear. It had its break-through points
for sure. One time, singing the melody
to an older composer, Will Marion Cook,
he was told to 'Reverse your figures.' It
was a mix-up; Cook didn't get it - using
old Brahmsian principles of variation and
development, while Ellington was doing
the breakout, to leave all that behind.
Cook was inversion and retrograde,
while Ellington was new fire and
steam. Blazing right along.
Real 'A-train' stuff.