Ellington recorded for many American record companies and appeared in several films. Festival appearances at the new Monterey Jazz Festival and elsewhere provided venues for live exposure and a European tour in 1958 was well received. Nance however added violin to the instrumental colors Ellington had at his disposal.
Ellington recorded for many American record companies and appeared in several films. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges "Concerto for Cootie" for Cootie Williams which later became "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" with Bob Russell's lyrics and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category".