The number was introduced in a Soundie short film. These three-minute features, produced to be shown on a jukebox-type player, illustrated the band miming to a pre-recorded performance. Entitled “Jam Session” the Soundie was filmed late in 1941 along with four other Ellington numbers. Duke introduces various band members, who then solo: Ray Nance (violin), Ben Webster (tenor sax), Rex Stewart (cornet), Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton (trombone), and Sonny Greer (drums). The complete ensemble carries the tune to its finish with composer Bigard (clarinet) providing some improvised upper register piping.
“C Jam Blues” was formally recorded under that title in January, 1942, for RCA Victor Records. It continued be a staple of the Ellington repertoire, generally featuring a handful of the soloists in the band.
Baby, take me down to Duke's place Wildest box in town is Duke's place Love that piano sound in Duke's place Saxes do their tricks in Duke's place
Fellas swing their chicks in Duke's place Come on, get your kicks in Duke's place You find yourself a seat, and when you want to eat You look around and yell waiter
You fill your cup chock full of dreams and drink it up You're jetting along with your girlie It's after three o'clock, but, baby, it's still early If you've never been to Duke's place Take your tootsies into Duke's place Life is in a spin in Duke's place